By Susana Mozo ( Global SaaS Client Manager)
Marketing and HR a necessary alliance
Many factors make our company a good workplace. Obviously the reputation of their professionals, their business results and how well-known they are in their sector are some of the elements that make up their company’s “elevator pitch” and most certainly considered by future employees. However there are other internal elements that have a decisive influence on business outcomes as well as on how society assesses the company, and of course, on talent retention of their employees.
The company’s HR transform simple economic transactions (salaries) in exchange for the “workforce”—into something more intangible bringing in feelings of engagement, camaraderie and professional pride, all under the invisible umbrella of a shared common goal and a strong corporate culture. HR Directors a great effort so that employees feel cared for, recognized and understood: by implementing assessment tools and methods that encourage and reward efforts, by taking steps to retain talent through innovative social benefits to complement monetary compensation, family support work-life balance and more.
However, all these efforts will not be enough without properly conducting analysis and applying internal and external communication plans. This is the time when marketing becomes an indispensable ally to HR. This discipline, used for decades to support the sales process, is applied in a similar way to manage the employment relationship between an employee and the company. HR departments are responsible for attracting and motivating the best candidates as well as retaining them. For both the “pre-sales” and “post-sales” phases of a job position, most of the traditional "marketing mix" tools (product, price, place and promotion) would be perfectly useable after some slight tweaking, due to the after-effect of the digital transformation, to become the “7Ps of HR Marketing”:
- Product: in this case, belonging to our company.
- Price: compensation policies, both monetary ones and social benefits.
- Place: how we reach our future
- Promotion: how to attract competent and engaged employees and retain them within the company.
- People: what society thinks of our company. Here social networks and digital media strongly and increasingly intervene; these are strong opinion leaders and decisively influence the reputation of companies. On the other side we also have the work environment and what our employees think. Opinion polls can give us a pretty good idea of how loyal our own employees are.
- Physical Evidence: we will turn this term around and convert it into digital evidence. Nowadays a company that does not exist in the internet quite literally "does not exist". Online boosting of the company image as a community of employees, under the wing of a strong corporate culture and an active and engaged corporate social responsibility is ultimately a powerful means to attract and retain the employees our companies seek and target.
- Processes: internal processes that give a touch of quality to everything we do—from the moment an offer appears in various media through to the recruitment process and the tools we use daily to communicate with our employees.
Once the 7Ps are defined, then as HR Directors we would embark on developing our marketing plan. This will be our go-to guide for positioning our "product" and decisively impacting the employee recruitment and retention strategy.
Without going crazy, we should draw up a working internal marketing plan while keeping in mind the following points:
- What our current situation is: what the work environment is, how are we perceived by society, what measures have already been implemented in the field of HR.
- Goals to achieve: what challenges do we want to attain in the short, medium and long term.
- Define the measures we will take to achieve our goals: how are we going to make our company more attractive to new employees as well as how we going to retain talent.
- Financial budget: analyse the investment we will make, in terms of finance and time, to carry out the plan that we have defined.
Once things are clear, then it's time to get down to work. This is the time to consider what our value proposition (Employer Branding) will be, the offer our company makes to current and future employees, internal communication, and even study how the companies in the sector are managing their HR and what results they obtained (competitors analysis study).
Loyalty among our employees is also a very important point to consider. Retaining talent does not only imply reduced recruitment and learning costs. For one, it makes sure training investments, accrued experience, technological expertise, our processes are safe and not in the hands of the competition. Plus, it gives us access to workforce committed to the corporate goals.
If we have grasped this, let’s go back to the previous comparison with the traditional sales process:
- Competitor analysis study
- Recruitment process or labour market survey
- Value proposition (Employer Branding)
- Market positioning
- Corporate culture
- Corporate social responsibility
- HR offer
Post-sales: employee satisfaction and loyalty:
- Talent retention
- Value proposition
- Tools: employee portal
Convincing our employees entails working hard with the mind and heart to focus on striking the right balance between the welfare of our employees and business goals. For this tricky task, the role that the HR Director plays is essential in any organization for managing the most valuable resources of a company: the people. Yet hard work is not enough, it requires a sales plan together with internal and external communication to be in place.
Therefore HR excellence is the company’s best elevator pitch to society and ensures our employees are engaged and committed to a collective mission.