Is HR Your Marketing Department’s Silent Killer?

It seems everywhere we look online there’s buzz about employer branding.  On one side, we are living in a time where there are still many people struggling to find jobs, and on the other side, companies are focusing on effectively branding themselves as preferred employers to draw in applicants.

HR managers are pulling out all the stops and creating sophisticated recruitment platforms to attract top talent.  One such platform is LinkedIn’s new Career Page, which can help companies creatively showcase their organizational culture.  But, even after looking at all the bells and whistles, I still see companies missing an important opportunity with employer branding.

Why do companies need to focus on recruiting new applicants, considering each new job posting results in hundreds of applications?

Companies need the RIGHT applicants.  Platforms are implemented primarily for the purpose of recruiting top talent.  Out of the hundreds of candidates who may apply for a position, only a handful will meet all the job requirements.  In part, this can be attributed to the number of candidates who are desperate for a job.  If a candidate is desperate, they may apply for positions where they are not fully qualified.

The Missed Opportunity

What happens to all these ‘unqualified’ or ‘not fully qualified’ candidates? More than likely, unqualified candidates are dismissed using a tragic, auto-reply email, that delivers a stale good luck with your career search message.  (I actually had a hiring manager once tell me during the interview that if I wasn’t chosen, I’d receive a form letter!)

This simple communication is a missed opportunity of HUGE proportions and here’s why.

Employer branding provides the opportunity for the organization to better engage with the community outside of the HR role. HR serves as the gateway to this interaction.  Enter into the mix Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC), an approach to unifying all aspects of marketing communications in an effort to strengthen brand awareness, and deliver the brand’s core message consistently across all traditional channels of external communication.

The IMC management approach begins with evaluating the content and communication channels within an organization, and looking for opportunities to increase brand awareness, improve community relations and develop and nurture brand ambassadors. Many organizations continue to operate using a departmentalized infrastructure where marketing, public relations and corporate communications function separate from one another. In addition, the human resources department is seldom recognized as an integral component of a company’s external communications, when in fact, the communications developed from this department are an important part of the public’s introduction to the company. As companies work to improve relationships with external audiences, it is important to take a closer look at internal communications and develop a plan that will enable departments to work together seamlessly, supporting the over-arching marketing communications strategy.

Add Human Resources into the IMC mix.

Many companies already use internal communications in an effort to engage employees. Integrating HR into the external strategy is a natural transition, especially as business leaders begin to look at ways to better engage employees and develop employees to becoming brand advocates. Using this non-traditional channel, organizations can strengthen the employer brand and foster new relationships within the community.

We are a small company that follows a pay-it-forward, community-building philosophy.  We are communications strategists, and in a small way, scientists. I say this because we look at every organizational communication and examine it for every possible use.  We ask ourselves… What audiences can we reach with this communication? What message are we sending and how is this message going to affect other areas of the business?

Our company offers a free e-book called HR and Marketing Converge that teaches HR managers and Marketing managers how to partner and implement an integrated strategy.  Our e-book teaches strategic messaging to help with employer branding, building brand advocates, and improving community relations.  The book teaches a strategy ideal for companies of any size and nonprofit organizations.

So, go refill your coffee cup, download your free copy, and see what you have been missing.