Something wonderful can happen – a solid, positive employer branding strategy. The collaboration between marketing and Human Resources leadership can yield some pretty powerful returns. Increased innovation, productivity and quality of execution are just the tip of the iceberg when these traditionally siloed departments breakdown the walls and start collaborating.
A 2013 extensive survey revealed that 52% of executives and employers polled stated their top business challenge was hiring and retaining talent. As the war for talent rages on, leaders are scrambling to stay competitive, but the majority are overlooking some key weaponry. The same study also revealed that 51% of respondents did not offer clear employment-branding messaging. Strategic and well-implemented employer branding has become the differentiator.
“With less than 20% of organizations having an employer branding strategy and only 30% of companies with teams of two or more departments responsible for managing the employer brand, we see a huge opportunity for Marketing and HR leaders to collaborate on this critical issue.” - Blue Ivy Group, Branding and Marketing Strategists
What HR Can Learn from Marketing
This is a two-way street, but right now we’re going to focus on what HR can take from collaborating with marketing. The root of what each department does is very similar, but their expertise combined can create the optimal employer brand strategy.
Defining and Reaching Your Target Audience
Recruitment messaging is a rising trend in talent attraction for one simple reason – it works. Marketing has always known how to define an audience (talent pool) and craft messages the audience (talent pool) will listen to. Here are some pro HR marketing tips from one of our very own:
“Write down all of the candidate attraction methods you use and map out all of the messages you want to get across. Are the channels right for the messages you want to deliver? Do they work effectively? Are you doing the best job you can? You will identify gaps – perhaps you need to train or retrain how your consultants write their job adverts.” - Clair Bush (@clairbush), Broadbean Technology Marketing Director
Known in marketing as customer segmentation, there are also candidate and employee segments that need to be defined so each value proposition can be created for tailored messaging. Your marketing pals are great at this.
Optimizing Social Media
With 92% of companies using social media in their recruiting efforts, it’s fair to say that recruiters have embraced it, but few are using it optimally. It’s time to get more marketing-minded with your social reach. How are marketers using pictures, hashtags, videos and chats in their social posts? What analytics tools are they using and how? How should your resources be allocated among each outlet? I’d love to hand you the answers on a silver blog platter, but the reality is that it all depends on your marketing segment – target audience, industry, job requirements, location etc. Marketing can help define, target and reach each candidate segment.
The brand must be strong and consistent through each interaction the candidate has with the organization in the recruiting process. Brand recognition is something marketers have had nailed for years, and recruiters and HR pros are really catching on now.
Candidates are using search engines, job boards, social media, career sites and reviews in their hunt. In fact, job seekers use an average of 16 different sources when looking for a job, as CareerBuilder research revealed. Each place they go has to present a streamlined, engaging brand. Our marketing pro across the pond, Clair Bush, calls it your shop window. How does yours look? I’m sure marketing can help spruce it up.
As the competition ramps up in talent acquisition, creating and maintaining an effective employer branding strategy is vital in staying competitive and relevant. The infusion of marketing practices in HR isn’t just a trend; it is the optimal way to achieve your talent goals. When marketing has an influential thread throughout the business strategy, the culture, brand and attraction efforts come together quite nicely. So, march across the hall and see if your marketing team is willing to collaborate.