As more and more companies begin to realize that promoting their businesses effectively means engaging and interacting with customers as opposed to simply broadcasting marketing messages, this presents a very real opportunity that didn’t exist previously for recruitment to involve themselves.
As most in corporate HR know, marketing folks look at employment branding as a practice that is beneath them. Rarely is the marketing team interested in providing any support for this endeavor. Sure, in the proactive and forward-thinking companies this is not the case, but throughout the far majority of US businesses, this is prevalent.
Now, however, there exists an opportunity for HR to insert themselves — an opportunity that comes courtesy of the socialization of products and brands.
Many companies are seeking solutions and they are looking to editors and writers to join the marketing staff to craft stories about their products that engage the marketplace. The objective is to humanize the brands so consumers see them as friends and not just something they use in the kitchen, for example.
Think of Dove dish-washing soap. A few years ago, they regenerated their business by associating the brand with helping to clean oil-soaked birds in the Gulf Of Mexico during the giant BP oil disaster. The Dove people created a dialog that was embraced by those from the environmental and green communities in a huge way, with dozens of stories, comments and dialog with the public. To this day, I can’t wash a dish at home without thinking about helping poor defenseless creatures every time I reach for the Dove soap.
This is the “new” marketing. It’s all about people, engagement and humanization — which is where the opportunity for HR presents itself. The “human” in Human Resources needs to jump into the fray and create dialog and engagement about the work life of the company, making it a point to include details on work style, culture, working environment, and real employees in most if not all external ads, engagements or conversations.
With this approach, Talent Acquisition can engage with Career Consumers using the same techniques that product marketers use in humanizing the company brands and services. Now when HR/TA connects with their marketing team, they may be viewed in a much different light. The concept of tying together the humanization effort for products, services and employer brand should grab their attention. This could help make the case that HR/TA should finally be a marketing partner and get a share of the budget.
It’s a natural fit and a chance for Human Resources to spread the “human” aspect of what they represent into a second realm to make an even bigger impact on the success of the company.
For more on bridging the gap between recruiting and marketing, check out this video by Lars Schmidt.