Written by Kimberley Startup | February 15, 2013
Traditionally, branding has been a marketer’s job. But the evolution of the HR discipline – talent attraction, engagement and retention, along with the pervasive influence of social media – has resulted in the requirement of a much more integrated approach involving marketing, HR and recruitment.
Whilst HR and marketing seems like an unlikely joint venture, it actually makes a lot of sense.
HR & recruitment, for example, benefits from brand performance in a number of ways:
> top brands attract top candidates
> well-known brands instil a sense of pride in current employees,
> and strong brands can motivate employees to deliver outstanding work
Marketing, on the other hand, benefits from HR and recruitment activity since it is critical to the success of the function and the overall business.
Yet there are few companies that are as rigorous at branding themselves to candidates as they are at branding their products and services to their customers. Perhaps as an HR & recruitment professional, the lack of marketing background means knowing what a strong employer brand means and how to promote it can be tricky?
To help you gain a greater understanding of how marketing can benefit your HR & recruitment process, here is the lowdown of what it means to market your employer brand to potential candidates, as well as a few tips to help you deliver an unforgettable brand experience.
So what is an employer brand?
Your employer brand identifies your company’s corporate culture, working environment and employee experiences. It is the image you portray of what it’s like to work at your business and how that meets the needs of your employees.
A strong employer brand means you’re not only capable of fulfilling your own HR & recruitment goals, such as attracting and retaining employees, but that you can also fulfil marketing goals by aligning an employee’s personality, ambitions and motivations with your company’s brand.
Integrating marketing, HR & recruitment strategies
Brand marketing focuses on creating, maintaining and benefiting from high-value relationships with its customers. It’s about getting potential customers to see your company as a solution to their needs.
Employer branding works in a very similar way. As an HR & recruitment professional, you must position the company as a place that will help meet your employees’ needs and further their career. You want candidates to be excited by the prospect of working for your business. And just like customer loyalty, this excitement will have a positive impact on loyalty and retaining employees.
Social media and your employer brand
Just as marketer’s use social media platforms to gain customer insights, promote products and develop their brand proposition, HR & recruitment teams can use it to promote their employer brand and attract talent.
Take LinkedIn as an example. You can join groups (or set up your own) to engage with others with similar interests. You can ask for recommendations to enhance your reputation, and offer responses to LinkedIn’s Answers to establish yourself as a subject matter expert and help build your brand (plus so much more).
Platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest, on the other hand, enable you to engage your audience with visually stunning content. You can offer a visual of what it’s like to work for your company by showcasing your culture, values, employees and work environment.
Is your HR strategy in tune with the market conditions?
Most employer branding is just a case of adjusting existing marketing approaches to your jobs on offer. But without looking at the broader, more strategic value of a strong employer brand, it’s difficult to create and develop effective relationships with your candidates.
To combat this, keep up-to-date with any changes in market conditions and adjust your approach as necessary.
Whilst marketing & HR’s integration is still in its infancy stages, how we know it today, will inevitably evolve and play a key role in more and more organisations.
But by getting to grips with tried and tested marketing tactics early on, and understanding the prevailing labour market conditions, your employer brand will be moving in the right direction, and attracting the best talent for your team will certainly become a little easier.
With social media’s growing popularity as part of the recruitment mix, it’s never been more important for businesses to be clear about the way their employees should act on these platforms.
If you’re looking to invest in some social media guidelines, but unsure where to start, you might find this free guide, Creating Social Media Guidelines, of use. Download your copy today.
If you want to learn more about the role of marketing in HR & recruitment, you might find some of these articles of use.