Where marketing meets HR

Written by

Desmond Lawrence

Published on

All ArticlesHR Communication and Marketing

Unapparent to some at first, a strong collaboration between marketing and HR can yield enormous returns for companies seeking a competitive advantage in their market spaces. Inherent similarities between the two functional areas collectively lay the foundation for a strong synergy that can be leveraged to achieve that competitive advantage.
Marketers target current and prospective customers. In HR, the customers or clients are current and prospective employees. The target audiences are different, but the effective communication of company values, emphasis on developing a robust awareness of its brand, in addition to ensuring exceptional “customer” experiences, together constitute an indispensable determinant for organisational success. 

Both marketing and HR rely on similar strategies to attract and retain new customers and new talent respectively. Identical branding strategies that ensure companies stand out in the marketplace will help them be at the forefront of the minds of the most sought-after and desired talent.
The use of marketing communication techniques and tools like story telling to highlight the work achievements of employees at a company, for example, has the dual effect of leaving a lasting positive impression in the minds of customers and positioning the company as an employer of choice.  

Marketing and HR both prioritise the experience of the user. In marketing, the experience of the customer is paramount; similarly, employee experience is vital to HR. This alignment of focus on “users” means that HR and marketing can collaboratively develop ways to set a positive tone in organisations for employees. 
The HR/marketing nexus potentially yields numerous benefits to organisations when both teams work together closely. These include increased alignment to company values, increased employee engagement, a stronger and more cohesive brand message that positively resonates with customers, employees and prospective top talent. Let’s explore further. 

 Joining forces to enhance effectiveness of internal communications

The central remit of internal communication processes in organisations is to establish effective communications and connections with, and among employees. Often understated, it keeps employees informed and is useful in instilling a shared understanding of the company’s goals and values. Receipt of relevant and contextual information inspires teamwork, trust, and respect. Working together, marketing and HR can design creative messages that inspire employees. Sharing practices, both teams can identify opportunities and obstacles, while improving engagement for everyone. Working together, they can ensure that HR shares the same messages internally that marketing shares externally. 

Strengthening employer reputation and cultivating brand representatives 

Employer branding focuses on how a company is perceived by both internal employees and potential hires. It is axiomatic that the strength of an employer’s brand is a key determinant of the quality of job seekers it will attract and of likely employee retention rate. Studies suggest highly positive employer brands have the potential to cut turnover rates and reduce costs per higher substantially. With effective employer branding, employees are likely to become loyal and committed company ambassadors, telling compelling stories about their organisations’ workplace cultures and values. 
Together, marketing and HR can fashion a company’s brand. HR is uniquely placed to communicate to marketing what is the company’s image that needs to be promoted to employees. Marketing has the tools at its disposal to craft an effective strategy to promote this image. 

 Working to develop effective recruitment marketing campaigns

Recruitment marketing strategy refers to inbound strategies and tactics that organisations use to find, attract, engage and nurture talent before they apply for a job; not be confused with employer branding strategy, it should be guided by a few considerations:  
Recruitment marketing’s remit includes filling vacant roles, as well as developing talent pipelines to utilise in the future. 
Substantiated data suggests that job seekers are not influenced by salary scales alone, but also by what brands represent and their reputations. 
Marketing teams are expert message crafters, skilled at utilising marketing data, analytics, and have the experience of building strong campaigns. HR teams possess key insights into employer brands. They can provide marketing with key pieces of information, including what a perfect applicant or candidate looks like. Marketing can utilise this information to create formidable recruitment campaigns. 

Working to synergise social media efforts 

Marketers leverage social media daily to reach consumers and drive brand awareness. They can be of great assistance to HR teams, helping them to utilise social media channels for modern recruitment marketing. Marketing can help in crafting the right social media strategy to enhance HR’s effectiveness in reaching and hiring talent. Both teams are responsible for promoting an active social media presence, externally and internally, and therefore should work together on a strategy for synergistic leveraging of social media channels. Overall messaging from both departments must be cohesive and consistent. 
Social media can also be used to promote a company’s organisational culture; in the process highlighting why the company is a great place to work for desirable prospective candidates. The potential emotional branding benefits of marketing and HR working together to highlight employee experiences and stories and to highlight company accomplishments, are enormous and are rooted in the fact that it leads to both customers and candidates getting insight into the company’s brand in an authentic kind of way. 

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