Marketing & HR: The Best Combo Since Milk & Cookies
While marketing and human resources departments perform different functions, if they’re doing their jobs right, they have one major thing in common: they hold your company’s core values and brand promise sacred in everything they do.
You may think of marketing as solely focused on external areas while human resources deals with internal matters. It’s absolutely up to marketing to communicate your brand’s message to consumers…but marketing can provide critical support to HR when it comes to communicating your brand message to employees and applicants.
With unemployment in the U.S. at historic lows, it’s companies who are on the ropes when it comes to recruitment. In recent years, it was up to potential employees to try and impress interviewers, but in the current landscape, those roles have been reversed. Companies who fail to communicate their message, core values, and culture will either fail to attract employees, or, arguably worse, they will attract employees who aren’t a good fit for the organization.
Marketing plays a critical role in driving successful recruitment by infusing your brand message and values into every job description, career fair banner, and social media post. Social media is a particularly powerful channel where your company can share inspiring stories and recognize the contributions of your team members. From these communications, potential employees will see your brand’s attitude toward its people firsthand, and start to get a sense of what it’s like to work in your organization.
When teams are aligned toward your company’s mission, vision, and values, there’s nothing they can’t accomplish. But when they aren’t, you’ll face difficulty getting anything done. Just like you’d never expect consumers to guess at what value your products and/or services can offer, you shouldn’t expect your employees to, either. Tell them, tell them, and tell them again!
Your marketing team should leverage their skills to help HR communicate your brand’s message to current employees on a continual basis. You can accomplish this through employee handbooks, onboarding materials (orientation decks, for example), and communication about benefits and perks.
Case In Point
ShuntCare+: A Marketing & HR Love Story
National Shunt Service, Ltd. (NSSL) is a yard management solutions company that serves large retailers, utilities, and other industries across North America. What’s yard management? We’re glad you asked. NSSL works in its customers’ distribution centers moving trailers from one location to the next to facilitate the flow of goods (that’s the short version). A large portion of its over 400 employees work in physically demanding jobs as drivers and field supervisors, and the entire company is structured to foster a “roll up your sleeves” culture where people are its most highly prized asset.
In 2019, goBRANDgo! worked with NSSL’s human resources and leadership teams to help them develop and roll out a new benefits plan. It was important to the company to offer a highly competitive benefits package that would take care of its people and help them to attract new talent. HR had already figured out all the details…but they needed help naming their programs, getting the word out, and showing the value of the new program to NSSL employees.
The goBRANDgo! team took it to the whiteboards and brainstormed some ideas on what to name the programs. We also outlined a full communications and rollout strategy for NSSL and produced all the necessary collateral pieces they needed. This included a comprehensive benefits guide, brochures, and both email and mail communications.
Because NSSL’s human resources team was prepared with all the materials they needed to educate employees on the new programs (and because NSSL’s HR did an awesome job on the administration), the rollout went smoothly and was well-received by team members. The names of the programs, ShuntCare+ and Flexible Advantage, communicated the benefits each offered to its users and their families and aligned with the overall NSSL brand.
Marketing and HR must work together to effectively launch large internal initiatives, and they should work together on a regular basis to enhance each other’s skills. When these two departments collaborate, companies win—drawing more consumers, attracting potential employees, and fostering team member retention.