August 6, 2020

5 Ways Marketing and HR Can (and Should) Work Together

by Mike O'Neill

You use your HR team effectively, but are you tapping into all they have to offer? Do you have a marketing team that could collaborate with them to form a powerhouse? 

Maybe you are looking to fill a few vacant spots in your company. 

Unemployment rates are high right now. This means it's easy to get a high number of applicants for desirable jobs, but are they the right applicants for your business? 

With HR and Marketing working together, you can create a strong employer brand, help attract new applicants, and improve inter-company communications — which is incredibly important right now as things continue to change and grow. 

5 Ways Marketing and HR Can (and Should) Work Together

In this article, we will go over everything your company will gain when HR and Marketing work together. Let's get started!

#1: Improve Internal Communications

Internal communication is when you connect with your employees. You use this connection to keep them informed and to instill a shared understanding of the company's goals and values. 

Internal communications work by keeping employees up-to-date on everything happening in your organization. It facilitates clear communication between departments and is the key to combat rumors. 

In today's society, we face a constant overload of cluttered information. This often causes anxiety and fear. That's why in these unprecedented times, internal communications make a difference. 

When employees receive relevant and contextual information, it inspires teamwork, trust, and respect.

In the past, many organizations used newsletters to make announcements and provide information around the office, but people have found that this is no longer effective. With the event of COVID-19 things changed almost overnight, and your employees need more. You need a better way to keep employees informed and engaged with their work while they are out of the office. 

Marketing and HR can work together to design a creative message that will inspire employees. By sharing their practices, both teams can identify opportunities and obstacles, improving engagement for everyone. And when they work together, they can make sure that HR is sharing the same messages internally that Marketing is sharing externally. 

In our webinar with Mike Lieberman, he talks about how important it is for HR and Marketing to communicate with everyone about company policies— including new prospects. 

- CEO, SQuare 2 -

"There are a lot of people looking for work, and if you are able to hire, you're going to have the pick of the litter. But these new employees are going to want to know things about your business. They are going to want to know what your time off policy is. They are going to want to know if I do get sick with COVID, am I going to be okay. If I am coming to the office who am I working with, how are you screening those people, are you requiring people to be tested. These are the new questions people are going to be asking...Communicate it in emails to candidates or on your website as part of your about the company section." 

No matter how you look at it, communication is important, especially right now. But if you are worried about how HR and Marketing can improve their internal communications with technology, check out this post

#2: Establish a Strong Employer Brand

Employer branding is the way you present your company to potential recruits and internal employees. If you have good employer branding, you will attract better job seekers— and retain more employees. 

The best example is when a recruit asks an employee what it is like to work for your company. Good employer branding means your employee will tell them a compelling story about the workplace culture and company values. 

I'm sure you are wondering why employer branding is so important. But the thing is, whether or not you work on it, you have an employer brand! 

A positive employer brand can potentially cut turnover rates by 28% and reduce your costs-per-hire in half. You can imagine what negative employer branding does — just the opposite! 

Currently, lots of people are looking for jobs. COVID forced a lot of companies to furlough or layoff employees — and many of those people need jobs now. If you have a good employer brand, you will attract the best talent in this group. And when other companies start reopening, and more jobs become available — you'll keep those employees. 

Marketing will know how to promote your brand. While HR will understand what your brand is.

The two can work together when creating your brand. HR will act as the go-between for marketing and the employees. They can communicate to Marketing what image needs promotion.

If you need more help in crafting your employer brand, check out this previous post.

#3: Launch Recruitment Marketing Campaigns

Recruitment marketing is simply how you market your organization to new talent. It refers to the strategies and tactics used to find and engage with them before they apply for the job. 

You might think that recruitment marketing isn't essential while in a recession. But you aren't looking just to fill vacant spots in your company. You want high-quality candidates. 

It's essential that you hire people who want to stay after the recession ends. You want people who are worth keeping. 

Recruitment marketing is often confused for employer branding. But the two are not the same — one is about developing a brand while the other is about marketing it. 

The first step to launch your recruitment marketing campaign starts with HR feedback. Marketing teams are masters of data, analytics, and messaging— they build strong campaigns. But your HR team will understand your employer brand better. They know what you need and what you are looking for. 

HR will be able to answer the crucial questions: 

  • Do you want the most talented candidates out there or people ready to work immediately? 
  • What does the perfect applicant look like? 
  • What can your company offer them? 

And your marketing team will know what to do with the answers to create your ideal campaign. 

Cisco recently did a great job of bringing the two departments together.

In this video, they invited employees to showcase the company culture. This encouraged like-minded professionals to join their unique brand.  

#4: Align Your Brand Internally and Externally

A company brand is everything from your website to your logo — even your tag line. A company brand is what people think of when your company comes to mind. 

The internal work culture and the external company brand must complement each other so new applicants know what to expect. 

Imagine applying for a job and thinking you'll be working in a laid-back environment. Then you start, and the atmosphere is chaos. You'd want to quit, I'm sure! 

Aligning your brand from the inside out is essential to keep employees— reducing costs on turnovers. 

Typically, marketing manages company branding, and HR helps maintain the workplace culture. So when the two work together, you can ensure that your organization keeps its promise. And you don't have disgruntled new employees. 

Your marketing team needs to promote a realistic image of the internal culture. Your external brand should be as accurate and authentic as possible. 

HR and marketing should regularly audit the message to potential job candidates. This will help them ensure authenticity because they can find any gaps and fix them.

Co-Founder and Partner at ‎Stories Incorporated

“The easiest and most effective way to market to candidates is to use employee stories. While this is a best practice in the industry, companies still sometimes miss the opportunity here to feature employees. Quotes and pictures of the office are great — they get the candidate picturing themselves in the work environment which is important — but stories leave a lasting impression. When candidates consume 2-18 pieces of content before clicking apply, you have to be memorable. And stories stick.” 

#5: Create Brand Advocates Internally

A brand advocate is an employee who promotes your company brand through social media. And sometimes, word of mouth. They can do this on their own, or you can set up an employee advocacy program. 

Marketing and public relations need to realize that great content is just one step. But how you share that content is essential. And that's where social media comes in. There is so much potential for social media marketing right now. 

Using your employees and their social media accounts can boost your organization's visibility. And by using your internal brand advocates, you are using a voice that other people can trust. Nielsen determined that 92% of people trust word-of-mouth referrals over traditional advertising. 

That's why Kelly Services wanted to put a social media system together. They harnessed the power of their employees' social media accounts to attract new talent. 

Kelly Staffing

“Since I began using social media, I have seen an uptick in the number of qualified connection requests on Linkedin and followers on Twitter. People now know what type of positions I have and that I’m active in the recruiting world.” 

A great way to implement this is to set up an employee advocacy program. HR will help determine which employees should be the first users. And Marketing will train them on how and what to do.

HR will need to pick the right candidates. Some things they want to look for include:

  • employees that are active on social media
  • employees who maintain a professional attitude
  • employees that can provide good feedback
  • employees who believe in the company's values

Marketing will provide employee advocacy candidates with content and training. They will need to make sure the candidates know what is and isn't okay to post. They need to coach them on when the best times are to post and which outlets to use.

Get Help Aligning Your Teams to Your Goals

Your company is looking to grow — but you need to develop an employer brand and an effective way to communicate with new prospects. 

Getting your HR and Marketing teams collaborating on various projects is a great way to ensure you hire the right talent. They can create tools and strategies together to keep communication lines open and information concise. 

It doesn’t stop there, though. Things constantly change in the business world, and it’s essential your plan stays up-to-date. 

Even if 2020 wasn’t proving to be so complicated, we know running a business is hard work. And we’re here to help you through it. 

We can help with short term planning, leadership training, and in general, help you find solutions to problems. 

Let’s talk — and see what we can do! 

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