There’s one thing all businesses have in common, regardless of your market, size, or location: Your people are your biggest asset. It’s true! Think about it: If you don’t hire and retain the best talent, not only will your culture suffer, but so will your bottom line. One way to ensure you attract, build, and engage the best team for your organization is to utilize good, old-fashioned marketing strategies. Why? Marketing is engagement-driven and heavily invested in brand communication. Sound familiar? That’s right—so is HR. I recommend you hire a marketer to join your HR team. If you can’t, though, here are the top four marketing strategies HR should embrace.
Make recruitment creative again.
Marketers leverage multiple tools to promote their messages, and you should do the same when it comes to marketing strategies for recruiting. Yes, LinkedIn is a great way to look for new talent, but it’s not the only way. When it comes to recruiting, shake things up. Try machine learning or other social tools, for example. (For more on this topic, read: Man and Machines: How Are You Looking for Talent?)
Use a consistent voice.
Your brand must have a consistent presence and voice in all communications and all platforms, whether internal or external. Yes, your message for a job posting will be difference than your message for an employee benefits program, but the voice and branding should be the same. If you’re struggling to develop a brand voice, start by examining the culture of your organization and look for ways to carry that through, from your website all the way through to your letterhead.
Combine programs and platforms to streamline the employee experience.
Marketing departments are becoming increasingly techy these days, leveraging robust tools with functions in marketing automation, social media management, CRM tasks, and many more marketing strategies. The interfaces are becoming increasingly simpler to use, too as solutions get more modernized and the user experience is factored in almost as much—if not more than—the capabilities of the software itself. After all, even the best tools aren’t worth anything if people don’t use them. HR can take a page from this playbook, leveraging HR tech for everything from recruiting and hiring, to personnel management, to enterprise social networks (ESNs) that bring teams together. The key is to find tech your employees can and will use and make the dashboards as simple and integrated as possible.
Make your employees brand advocates.
The three strategies I mentioned above all lead to one of the biggest competitive advantages out there: Having an office full of not only employees, but brand advocates. What’s the difference? Simple: Brand advocates don’t just do their jobs, leave, and not pay you any more mind until the next time they arrive to work. Instead, they willingly sing the praises of your organization to those around them—in person and on their likely well-networked social channels—while at work and outside of it. Their engagement switches are stuck to the “on position,” so they refer and market for you organically. The result? Baked-in recruitment and more access to top-tier talent—with less work.
Marketing isn’t only a tool that pairs with sales. At its heart, marketing is about communicating value—the value of a product, a service, an organizational shift, a job, even an entire company—the list goes on. It’s this emphasis on communication that make marketing so critical to the success of HR—which is, at its heart, about people. If hiring a marketer for your HR team is off the table, start by leveraging the four strategies above. Or, walk across the office (or pick up the phone, if you’re one of the plethora of teams working remotely these days), and ask your marketing cohorts for direction. The first step to acting like a marketer is thinking like one.
Does your HR department utilize any marketing strategies? What has worked for your organization? I’d love to hear your thoughts.