Organisations using recruitment companies are usually aware of the importance of their customer brand to the fulfilment of their firm’s potential. What they might not be so aware of, is the value of marketing techniques to HR managers as they attempt to attract candidates to join and stay with their company.
Any company is, after all, its people, with customers only experiencing the value that brands have to offer through the efforts of that company’s employees.
A marketing mind set and skills set needs to be instilled into a firm’s staff recruitment so that there is no disconnect between the brand and employee. Brand values need to manifest in a company’s recruitment, onboarding, development and retention.
There is therefore a need for core marketing capabilities to be incorporated into a firm’s HR function, encompassing strategic planning, insight and employer brand engagement.
You need to build an employer brand just as much as a customer one, seeing your candidates as “customers” themselves and creating a relevant and distinctive brand that helps to create value for those customers. HR is as valuable to marketing as marketing is to HR.
Strong brands attract top candidates, and instil in present employees a sense of pride, motivating them to deliver their best work. Much as customers want to be able to trust a brand and believe in its values – with loyalty being more likely if they do – so HR managers can benefit from communicating a strong Employee Value Proposition (EVP), with values to which their target candidates subscribe.
A company’s people – both employees and customers – need to be carefully considered as part of the marketing mix, and a reputation is something that every individual and organisation has.
HR contributes positively to a company’s reputation by creating an employment proposition and giving candidates a favourable impression of the career opportunity, pay, employability, commitment and security that the firm offers.
The creation of a powerful employer brand therefore contributes to a company’s wider reputation management when it is consistent with the recruiter’s other branding activities.
A strong employer brand may be invaluable in the attraction, retention and engagement of high-value employees, but it also aligns a firm’s employees with its brand, aiding its marketing goals.
This allows firms to recruit staff that know and embrace the values for which the company stands. According to research by the University of Amsterdam, the recruitment of a brand-oriented workforce ultimately boosts a company’s financial results, turnover and growth.
The conversion of HR into HR marketing starts with traditional HR questions like “what kind of people would you like to attract?” This is followed by segmentation, targeting and positioning, before a high value relationship is established with candidates via more traditional marketing methods.
An understanding of the link between HR and marketing can place recruiters in a much more advantageous position in their industry.