There are times when the human resources and/or recruiting departments could use a little…er…makeover. Nothing too drastic…maybe just a new up-do or a shiny coat of polish. Or, maybe your HR team is on the verge of a surprise appearance (unbeknownst to you of course) on What Not To Wear when it comes to your recruiting and employee engagement techniques.
Regardless of the extent to which your department may need some dollin’ up, your dream stylist might be just down the hall. Yes. Your company’s marketing department could just be your potential new best friend and ticket to avoiding bad HaiR days. Consider the myriad ways in which their team may be able to help put a little groove back in your gait…
#1 – Attraction. Persuasion. Convincing Others.
Like recruiting, marketing deals in the trade of engaging and intriguing others to take action. The only difference is the context in which this occurs. Recruiting (hopefully) persuades individuals to apply and accept job offers with a company. Marketing produces content that helps to convince others (along with sales) to purchase products and/or services from the business. Though arguably, the scope of their activities may very well exceed the same efforts in human resources…as you may not always be hiring, and it might just be one item on your plate when you are in that mode. Sit down with your favorite marketer to find out about his/her department’s overall vision for attracting customers.
#2 – Their Brand Strategy Leaves a Mark – & I Don’t Mean on a Cow
The marketers in your company are the keepers of the brand…fussing over every detail related to how people perceive not just the visual elements of your organization, but also how the brand makes them feel. I probably don’t have to tell you…remember when they freaked out about your email signature having hyphens in the phone number instead of dots?
Your employment brand is equally as critical as your company’s overall brand…and they should go hand in hand. Its important to think about how applicants and employees, especially, feel about the way you handle the selection process and your efforts to engage employees. A buddy in marketing can help you to think about the little details that will help to improve this brand…maybe even guide you in planning a recruitment-specific logo?
#3 – They’ll Blind You With Science Technology
Being an HR-type person myself, and arguably tech savvy, I do realize that there are of course some software-lovin’ human resources people out there. Though for me, I think my SaaS passion comes from my marketing/sales background…not from the fact that I have my PHR certification. And, I know that not every human capital expert is as comfortable using the latest social media sites and software applications as the majority of their marketing counterparts.
Especially when it comes to the latest social media trends, pick the brain of your promotions team for advice on how you can best utilize sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, etc. to create a following of people interested in all things “employment” at your company. Plus, they can probably let you in on a few integration tips so that you can automate the posting of job opportunities to your social profiles.
#4 – Their Packaging Creates a Special Delivery
You know the phrase…maybe you last heard it on an episode of American Idol or The Voice. “You’re really the whole package.” Marketing is more than a logo and a snazzy brochure. Its understanding the buyer experience and all that goes into it. Its intentionally crafting that experience to elicit the desired buyer behavior. The same applies for the recruiting process.
- What expectations do you set with applicants about the interview process?
- How do you package the career-related content on your webpage?
- How does an applicant feel after receiving and reading an email notification in which they are ultimately rejected for the position?
Unless you already have a warm fuzzy about all these questions, get some constructive criticism from down the hall.
#5 – Targeted Recruitment Marketing Probably Can’t Hurt
If you’re a large enough business, then you may hire for positions ranging from IT to machine operator to administrative assistant. However, it’s unlikely that the applicants for these diverse positions will respond to the same types of call-outs, job boards and employee testimonials, right? That’s where audience segmentation can come in handy…and that should be old hat for your marketing peeps. They can walk you through the things to consider when creating your distinct lists (like previous behavior, for example), and then help you develop different sets of content/messaging that will suit the unique needs of each applicant population. Maybe even try out a retargeting campaign online…you know those ads for the amazing boots that follow you around on every website after you looked at them once on the Macy’s site two weeks ago. Yep, I bought the boots.
#6 – Because Pivot Tables Won’t Make Them Pivot on Their Heels
They should be no stranger to metrics and poring through different types of reports in the interest of gleaning data that helps make better, informed decisions in the future. And while hopefully you know what key performance indicators are important to the HR department already, that doesn’t mean that its always easy to get to that data without some Excel splicing and dicing. Your neighbors can be your tutor when it comes to mastering the spreadsheet.
#7 – They Can Sell…and Research
Job descriptions need a little pizzazz? Consider this…while the compliant HR side of you won’t neglect to include the workplace hazards chart on the official description, the marketing department can help you consider how to attract job seeker interest in the version of the job that gets posted on your careers portal and external job boards. Not only can they help dress it up to better engage the target audience for that specific position, but they can probably help you better optimize it for search engine rankings with strategic keyword placement. And speaking of search engine optimization efforts, don’t forget to get your company’s Google Analytics code from them so that it can be added to your recruiting software portal, too. That way, you can see all sorts of goodies about your job portal visitors…in addition to any analytics already available in your applicant tracking system (ATS).
#8 – They Know What a Hexadecimal Color Code is & They’re Not Afraid to Use It
Remember that part about branding being important? Keep it consistent by designing any web-based messaging you develop in such a way that it supports and reflects your company’s overall brand. And yes, that means using the same web-friendly colors that marketing uses on all other company materials. For instance, if you implement an ATS that includes a branded jobs portal, then make sure you involve marketing in the implementation process when it comes to deciding the style setting preferences for your careers site.
#9 – Because Stick Figures Just Won’t Do
When you need a neat-o graphic for your employee benefits manual so that you don’t have to use the Snipping Tool again (wait, what’s that?), just bribe them in exchange for their InDesign and PhotoShop expertise.
#10 – Focus On the People
Both camps certainly should have some stellar interpersonal skills…after all, you could probably mediate performance management reviews in your sleep, right? However, if you have been toying with taking your employee feedback solicitation show on the road, hit up your interdepartmental friends for any advice on staging successful focus groups. They might be ready to rattle off their do’s and don’ts list to you in no time.
#11 – They’d Be Willing to Write for You
If you haven’t picked it up from my subtle hints already, having informative, relevant and interesting career-related content available for your potential future applicants to consume is a critical component of your employment story. But maybe writing isnt your thing. Your new friends can come to your wordsmithing aid…most likely to be your first volunteers for any job-related blogs, company culture case studies, or compelling employee testimonial write-ups.
#12 – Engage the Masses at Job Fairs
If you feel like the portable backdrop you are using to pull job seekers into your booth at career fairs is less than mesmerizing, then your new buddies might just have a list of trusted, credible trade show material vendors ready to dispense at a moment’s notice. Why reinvent the wheel when they are already pros at the conference prep game? They can probably help steer your design and messaging ideas down the right path, as well.
And Lucky #13…Two Peas in a Pod
Last but not least, why wouldn’t HR folks hang out with Marketing? We all have a lot in common! The majority of us tend to be on the social side…you know, people people. So there’s your opening…if you haven’t already, use your winning personality to open a dialogue with the dynamic individuals down the hall who just might help you raise your HR department’s game. Of course there are tons of skills HR can offer Marketing to return the favor…but that’s a blog for another time!