Where HR and marketing come together

February 6, 2017 Susan Hilliar


One of the best ways for us to learn, is to learn from others. If we all continued to do what we have always done, taking no inspiration from other sources, we would never progress. The same is true for different departments within a business.  The role of HR is changing. The key to success is moving away from process-driven activity towards a position of strategic importance for the business. Attracting talent in today’s market is a challenge as candidates look carefully at the culture of an employer they are considering. Getting this right can be the difference between winning that great new hire or losing them to your competitor. To make sure you get this right marketing and HR need to join forces.


Think like marketing and treat potential colleagues like new customers


Recruitment is shifting from a transactional process to an experience and people in recruiting roles will be required to act more like marketing and sales people, managing the candidate experience. This starts with the first contact – what impression does the recruiter leave? What kind of follow up occurs? How personalised is the contact? The best talent wants to work for the best employers and your job is to sell the company.


Teach marketing about conveying your brand culture and personality – and not just pushing for sales


A company culture is very much tied up with the brand values (although there’s sadly often a disconnect between what firms would like to portray and the reality). Understanding these values and ensuring it is reflected in external communications is essential. 


Don’t forget candidates also use sites such as Glassdoor to read feedback from current and former employees in order to find out whether employer brand values hold true. It is not about just saying anything to complete ‘the sale’, if anything, this is a sure-fire way to lose it.  That’s why the external employer brand needs to be authentic and based on real values, as well as be aligned with the internal employer brand.


Mobilise your social media army - your employees!


Companies also need to look at colleagues outside of the recruitment function to help them source candidates by tapping into the social networks of all employees in a company. Broadening networks and helping ensure greater diversity among candidates. Employees can even use social networks to refer and recommend potential candidates.


HR is moving away from traditional process automation tools to more sophisticated candidate relationship management tools, enabling HR and recruiters to follow up on candidates in the same way a salesperson follows up on a sales lead. There consequently needs to be a shift in HR’s mindset, recruiters and HR professionals need to think beyond what they consider to be their usual business remit, looking towards other departments like sales and marketing to develop the necessary new skills. These other departments should also learn something new in the process. 


About the Author

Susan Hilliar

"Some of the best stories come from the most unlikely sources – always be curious, always ask questions” ​​​​​​​ Susan Hilliar is Head of Public Realations at Cornerstone OnDemand, as a corporate communications professional she works with Cornerstone’s clients across Europe.

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