The HR department can borrow a lot from the marketing teams. For example, some techniques will help recruit the right talent. They will also be critical tools for passing brand messaging to internal stakeholders.
Marketing is not a preserve of the sales department only. Every department within the organization can benefit from all it has to offer.
The same goes for HR. Having the right strategies can help with some of the day-to-day management processes. You may be wondering how, with good reason.
Marketing can help attract the right people to the organization. It is also a fantastic tool for ensuring that the staff remains engaged and happy in their roles.
It is important to note that the role of HR professionals is quite broad. It incorporates things like employee liaison, leadership, culture keeper, and so much more. And, having marketing as a skill set is an extra feather under the cap.
There is a lot to learn for HR managers. Let’s see what they had to say below.
Bridging the Gap between HR and Marketing
The marketing department has one core responsibility. Their role is to communicate brand messaging to external stakeholders. The HR department, on the other hand, communicates with internal stakeholders.
Yet the language the two departments speak is very similar. They have a universal or brand-specific message that applies to all the stakeholders. So communicating well with staff is crucial. The reason is really quite simple.
The first people who need to live the brand are the employees. That is why they are the first choice when looking for brand ambassadors. Whatever they amplify is what goes out into the market.
By adopting some of the marketing techniques, HR will see a significant improvement in the management processes. They will have the tools to manage the talent that exists within the organization.
So what are some of the marketing ideas they can employ in the departments?
1. Proper Understanding of the Target Audience
Take a look at any marketing 101 tutorial. It will tell you that the first step to developing a strategy is to understand the target audience. Next, you have to understand the demographics, behaviors, and attitudes.
You take all those insights and turn them into a persona. So that is the person that you will be targeting with the messaging going forward.
The same applies to HR strategy development. They must have a persona of the talent they would like to have in the organization. Understand factors like:
- What are their goals and aspirations?
- What is the motivational factor that pushes them every single day?
- Do they have a value system; if yes, what is it?
- Are there specific areas of concern they may have, and so on
- Developing a persona requires a lot of research. It is very much the same process a marketer would use.
When you’re pursuing a local market, it would be a good idea to find talents in the locality who understands your target. For example, a Milwaukee digital marketing agency will provide amazing insights into what the locals of Milwaukee want. They’d have analytics and researched information about them.
From the acquired marketing knowledge, the HR department would utilize that information to find talents that have a deep understanding of the locals’ needs, pains, and goals.
2. Understand That the Market is Competitive
Every single day the HR department receives tons of applications. It could provide a false sense of comfort to the managers. However, going through the applications may bring up a very different story.
Within 100 applicants, you may find only one or two who have some potential. Do you know why? It is because the best talents are already working in other organizations.
Those who are not working have offers coming their way already. Like a typical marketplace, there is a lot of competition.
Head-hunters and other managers troll places like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, or social media platforms. In the hiring process, they offer compensation and benefits that a small business may not afford.
It almost becomes a survival for the fittest to attract the best people to the organization. As a result, HR managers must use the same techniques marketing managers use to gain an edge. Such include digital marketing with an emphasis on SEO and the use of omnichannel platforms. Long-term talent management and retention also require a company culture that puts employees first.
3. Vary Platforms to Reach Prospects
HR managers may often hear marketers refer to Omnichannel marketing. What it essentially means is the use of various channels to reach customers.
Such include physical stores, digital platforms like websites, and social media. First, however, there is some basic thinking behind the adoption of such methodologies.
- The first is to reach a broader audience base, right at the point of need, thus providing convenience.
- The second is to provide a flexible and seamless user experience.
Let’s say the customer identifies a particular product on social media. They don’t have to switch to you to make a purchase. Instead, they can complete the entire transaction right on the social media platform.
It is time for HR managers to adopt the same methods. Omnichannel channels provide a fantastic opportunity to engage with potential employees on different platforms.
Crafting messaging and sharing it across the different platforms ensures greater reach. You don’t have to depend on professional platforms like LinkedIn only.
You can widen the scope of your search on other channels like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
4. Content Marketing for HR Managers
The buzzword on marketing streets is, ‘content is King.’ And indeed it is, because of the power it has in generating brand visibility. In addition, the right content can establish the organization as an authority in its field.
Backlinking to high authority sites is an excellent SEO technique. Not only do they search engines notice and give good rankings. But, the organization has an opportunity to build organic traffic to their websites.
HR managers would not have a problem adapting this particular technique. After all, content is one of the ways with which they facilitate many of the HR processes.
All it requires is a shift in the type of content. It should be about attracting new employees and engaging with internal stakeholders.
The good news is that there are so many mediums. Such include training manuals, newsletters, video content, emails, and job descriptions.
The bad news is that even marketers with experience find content development quite difficult. Whatever the HR churns out must be relevant and engaging. It should come from the point of understanding gaps or areas of need amongst the internal stakeholders. Provide insights and answer questions from employees.
A good tactic is the use of storytelling to bring out salient points. And, content is a fantastic way to remove the negative perception employees tend to have about HR. For example, many feel that there is a lack of transparency in their processes. The result is minimal trust in such a crucial part of the company.
5. Create Engagement with User-Generated Content
User-generated content (UGC) is a potent and robust marketing tool. It is a way of inviting customers to be part of the brand. Marketers request photos or videos of people using their products. They then post this on websites or social media platforms.
UGC provides an excellent way to increase interaction and engagement with audiences. Further, it is a type of third-party endorsement for the company. No one would be willing to take a picture or video with products if they do not like it.
HR managers can put a little twist on UGC. Employee-generated content is anything created by the staff. It could be in the form of social media posts, videos, and photos.
Invite internal stakeholders to be part of the messaging or content creation. It could be in the form of Article contributions to the company newsletter. Employees should have a central position on the company website or intranet.
Instead of using stock photos, use the internal resources to create custom images. Like in the case of UGC, you get the brand endorsement. People will be more willing to trust a brand that has a face in the form of employees. Still need more convincing? Here are some mind-blowing statistics.
- Employees, on average, have 10 times higher following than brand accounts
- Employee generated content attracts up to 8% more engagement than brand content
- EGC re-sharing rates are 24 times higher than branded content
- 35% of people will have a higher retention rate of EGC than what the company shares.
Now here is the best part. You will not need to do much convincing to get EGC. It will surprise you how ready and willing employees are to take part in company activities.
6. Incentivize Employees and Measure Results
A significant part of the marketing budget goes to campaigns. A portion will go towards discounts, prizes, and other promotional programs. Do you know why? The answer is as simple as; because it works! Who does not like an occasional freebie? Who will turn away from some form of appreciation?
Most HR departments already have such recognition and incentive programs in place. However, they may not be aware of how similar the concept is to the promotional programs run by marketing departments.
Like any good marketing strategy, employee performance measurement is a must. It allows for tweaking or improving areas that may not be working. The same must apply to the HR department.
Decide on the metrics that will be the basis of continuous monitoring and evaluation. Such could include employee engagement levels, lower turnover, and effectiveness of messaging.
Our article has looked at some ideas that HR can borrow from marketing. Such include the use of content and omnichannel platforms to reach the right talent. Other methods are incentive programs and employee-generated content.
One insight that is very clear to see is that HR must, at least, learn the basics of marketing. It will help with management processes, thus increased productivity.