The national unemployment rate was 3.5% in December, a fifty-year low. Sounds like good news, right? For employers, low unemployment means fewer individuals applying for job vacancies. So, it’s no surprise that recruiting is one of the top challenges businesses face in 2020.
Indeed, Human Resource Executive recently reported that nearly 30% of respondents to XpertHR’s annual survey of HR professionals identified recruiting and hiring as their most critical challenge. Among these respondents, 51% are “extremely challenged” to find high-quality candidates—more than double the number (22%) from two years ago.
Businesses that are successful in overcoming this challenge are likely to be those that do not look at recruiting as solely the responsibility of HR. Rather, they draw upon cross-departmental resources and collaboration to attract and retain talent. According to Aberdeen research, 67% of best-in-class companies have a clear employment branding initiative that involves marketing and other departments.
How can HR and marketing teams work more seamlessly to advance the brand and address their recruiting and hiring challenges? Among the key areas where greater collaboration between HR and marketing can have an impact are customer experience and company culture. In addition, intelligent use of technology can facilitate tighter collaboration as departments work together in support of shared goals.
Opportunities for Collaboration: Customer Experience & Company Culture
To be successful in today’s business environment, it’s vital to have a customer-centric focus. This requires engaging your entire organization in creating and delivering a winning customer experience. Defining and positioning customer experience often rests on the marketing department. But customer experience touches all departments of a business – from sales, to customer support, to recruiting and training.
Marketing brings the messaging skills required to convey aspects of the customer experience. But it also has a stake in attracting high-quality employees that can deliver on that customer experience. By collaborating with HR, marketing can ensure the attributes and essence of the company’s customer experience are applied to recruiting and hiring – from first impressions delivered through content on the company website and social channels, to processes and materials used in interviewing, onboarding and training.
A major aspect of recruiting today is defining and expressing an authentic culture. This requires HR and marketing to work together to ensure culture is embedded within the brand. A recent post by Marketing Insider Group suggested, “In 2019, the lines between branding and corporate culture are blending, and in 2020, they’re set to disappear completely. In other words, your brand is your culture – at least in terms of how the outside world sees it.”
This is where marketing can take the lead. CMOs are well-positioned to build cross-departmental bridges between marketing and HR and across other departments throughout the company. Marketing Insider Group advises, “Going forward, companies must support their CMOs in having a significantly bigger influence on human resources, talent sourcing, and retention than they have had in the past.”
Our own research supports this. Making Marketing Strategic, a research report about strategic bank marketing trends by Cornerstone Advisors, published by Vya, revealed, “A significantly larger percentage of the institutions with high strategic impact have stronger relationships with IT, accounting/finance and human resources than the institutions in the low strategic impact segment. This suggests that marketing in most institutions is developing strong relationships with their internal customers (i.e., product lines) but that the banks with the highest strategic impact are developing strong relationships with their fellow support functions.”
Using Technology to Tear Down Departmental Silos
One way to facilitate cross-functional and cross-departmental collaboration is through the use of certain marketing technology platforms. Our own clients across industries use Vya’s marketing resource management systems to efficiently make approved recruiting materials and campaigns that reflect the brand and culture, available for easy access by the HR team.
Banking industry clients use our MRM systems to provide HR associates access to specific materials that support recruiting. And franchise clients allow franchisees to access templated recruiting materials with customizable fields that they can use to localize their recruitment efforts.
Using an MRM system also eliminates the need to continually recreate materials, like recruiting flyers that describe the benefits, support, and reasons to join the organization, as well as postcards, social posts, print and digital ads, and even yard signs. These materials can be efficiently housed on the marketing portal as templates with image options and variable fields that can be used to fill-in open position titles and appropriate contact information.
Beyond recruiting, marketing can support HR’s efforts to welcome and retain talent, which is particularly important in today’s low employment environment. This starts with a positive onboarding experience. Marketing and HR can work together to make employee welcome kits available on their marketing portal, with items like business cards, personalized notepads, branded pens and water bottles and welcome notecards. Ongoing, the system can be used to deploy campaigns to promote company policies, benefits and values, all aligned with the company’s branding, culture and customer experience goals.
Through greater collaboration, marketing and HR teams can more effectively maximize the impact of a company’s marketing and recruiting efforts, advancing the brand and simultaneously addressing their recruiting and hiring challenges.
How has your marketing team worked with HR, and what impact has your organization experienced as a result of this collaboration?