We’ve all seen the headlines – job openings in the U.S. are at a record high. According to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employers nationwide are struggling to fill more than 9.2 million job openings. The events of 2020 have created an unusual workforce environment, marked simultaneously by higher unemployment and a labor shortage.
Even before the pandemic, businesses were facing significant recruitment challenges. Indeed, Human Resource Executive reported that nearly 30% of respondents to XpertHR’s annual survey of HR professionals identified recruiting and hiring as their most critical challenge in 2020. Among these respondents, 51% said they were “extremely challenged” to find high-quality candidates—more than double the number (22%) from two years prior.
Businesses that are successful in overcoming current hiring challenges 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. Staff shortages can have a significant and adverse impact on customer experience. 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, “The lines between branding and corporate culture are blending. In other words, your brand is your culture – at least in terms of how the outside world sees it.”
Indeed, the events of 2020 have only accelerated this trend. HR technology platform Bryq reports that in the past year, numerous businesses have changed their “employer brand” to be one that’s more empathetic and caring to their staff. As a result, HR must work with marketing to promote this facet of the brand and use it to attract qualified candidates.
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 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 is your marketing team working with HR to hire and retain talent?
Oct 01, 2021