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Marketing and HR have coexisted in friendly, but somewhat distant and disconnected relationships and until now there has been no special reason why the two groups really need to work closely together. Until employer branding appeared.
Marketing is generally responsible for business branding, i.e. the external perception of the company. HR is responsible for the image of the company as an employer in relation to potential candidates and current employees. In the era of the war for talents on the labor market, the cooperation of these two areas seems to be essential.
How to use marketing and HR resources to strengthen the employer's brand? What can both departments learn from each other?
Here are some ideas for cooperation between marketing and HR:
1. Coherence of activities and exchange of experiences.
Traditionally, a company's branding is in the field of how the marketing works, but the reality is that a brand promise will only be authentic if it is backed by a strong culture and employees of the company. And here we enter the field of HR activities.
The main goal of cooperation between marketing and HR is to guarantee that what marketing says about the company outside is adapted to the realities of the internal culture, employees and organization. Your external brand must be an exact and authentic replica and echo of the company - then the company delivers on the promises created by the brand.
2. Recruitment marketing - a common child of both departments.
Former recruitment methods are a thing of the past. Now companies need to build real recruiting machines to attract the best. These methods are not very different from ways to attract and engage a potential customer. This requires the same basic strategic elements: in-depth understanding of your audience and creating relevant, compelling content.
Today, companies have to recruit "current employees" just as they recruit external candidates, in order not only to encourage the best from the market, but most of all to keep the best ones in the company for as long as possible. And this seems to be the biggest challenge and a field for both departments to act together as an alliance between HR and marketing.
3. Marketing orientation throughout the company.
Treat your internal audience the same way you perceive the company's external audience. Internal communication should be one of the most important goals included in the company's marketing plan.
HR today must fulfill many functions and play many roles. Don't expect them to be experts at everything. That is why it is so important to support marketing, for example in terms of new technologies, tools, tactics and available channels, to choose those that best suit the specific needs of the company.
Basic knowledge and marketing awareness should be developed in the company in training programs. New and current employees should know how marketing works, how the company positions its strategic goal, what are the brand standards, what and how the company wants to stand out on the market. Marketing can and should be considered one of the many important "subjects" that HR considers in its corporate training program.
The corporate brand and the employer brand are inextricably linked, which is fairly obvious, but there are still very few cases where HR and marketing actually work together to form consistent messages.
4. Candidate experience = customer experience
Building the candidate's experience is the contact point of marketing and HR activities. A badly treated company customer stops buying its products. It's easy to guess what happens to a candidate who has been treated badly or unprofessionally in the recruitment process (negative feedback is like a virus, social media is its strongest distribution channel).
Therefore, marketing and HR should work together to ensure that the experience the company is building with clients and candidates is positive and that communication is consistent in both cases. Then we can be sure that neither the company's brand nor the employer's brand will suffer from it.
5. Talent segmentation
It may sound too objective and tool-like, but customer segmentation is a common practice in marketing. HR also performs a kind of analysis and selection of candidates and applies matrices of competences, employee effectiveness etc. There is certainly a lot of space in this field for both departments to cooperate, to use the best practices, methods and tools.
The times are really interesting, exciting and full of challenges for joint HR and marketing activities. It is worth working together to build a coherent message to candidates and employees, and then, of course, keep your word on this matter. Only that in practice it can be different.