HR Marketing: Definition, Measures, and Strategies
You're probably well acquainted with many faces of marketing. There's social media marketing, word of mouth marketing, direct mail – this list continues to increase with the growing number of channels and audiences.
But, somewhere in this race of chasing consumers, businesses forget their most important 'customer': their employees. They're the ones who breathe life into your product/service loved by so many people. And yet, a lot of companies fail to implement employee retention strategies. Resulting in high turnover and stagnation.
This is when HR Marketing takes the front seat in attracting and retaining the crème de la crème of the talent pool. Forbes ingeniously coined this "consumerization of HR."
❓ What is HR Marketing?
HR marketing is an umbrella term for all activities an organization undergoes to attract, motivate, and retain the best talents. These activities include employer branding on social media, marketing the training programs, recruitment marketing, and a lot more. They are designed to create an interest in candidates who are actively and passively looking for a job.
Like all other forms of marketing, HR Marketing also has to follow three rules to maximize its potential.
First, the activities mentioned above have to be segmented appropriately – ask yourself.
- Who are you running the campaign for? (Business owners, students, professionals)
- Where are they located?
- Are they actively looking for a job?
- What are their expectations and longer-term aspirations?
- What kind of perks are other organizations offering?
Secondly, you don't want your marketing efforts to be pushy. They need to be effortless, yet at the same time, have a certain oomph factor in attracting candidates.
Lastly, your efforts have to be consistent. For example, let's assume you are running an employer branding campaign on social media. While the purpose is to acquire leads to fill a current job position, chances are you might not be reaching out to the right candidates in one go.
A consistent HR marketing campaign ensures that your prospective employees not only notice you but you become their first choice when they're ready to apply for the job.
❗️ Why is HR marketing so important?
We believe the best way to emphasize the importance of HR Marketing is through a real-life example.
Quite recently, Meta notoriously made the headlines for hiring over a hundred of Apple's employees. However, Apple quickly responded by giving equity funds to their existing engineers – an incentive that is hard to turn down.
Apple was not only successful in retaining its engineers, but it also managed to acquire Meta's engineers by promising them lucrative career opportunities.
Our learning from the above example is that HR Marketing helps employees make a powerful connection with your organization, product/service. As a result, they will be motivated to work at their full potential, their goals align with your organization's, and be more encouraged to promote your brand.
Let's take an in-depth look at several more benefits of HR Marketing:
Stronger Employer Branding
Employee branding is an overarching perception a candidate/employee has of your organization. It stems from their personal experiences and interactions with your existing employees.
Its purpose is to share insights about your organization's work culture, perks and benefits, vision, and career opportunities. Then, factoring all these points, a candidate will decide whether they're the right fit for your company. On the other hand, your employees feel encouraged to share their positive experiences on social media.
This not only is a great PR opportunity but also promotes yourself as an employer who is deeply invested in its employees.
Enhanced Candidate experience
Sharing and enhancing your (potential) employees' experience – starting from preboarding to onboarding, is another aspect of HR marketing. Connect with employees who've been loyal to your organization, as well as those who recently joined. Ask them questions like:
- What made you choose your organization?
- What motivates you to work for us?
- How likely are you to recommend our company to your peers?
Sending pulse surveys through our employee onboarding program is a great way to gather intuitive information. We make it easier for you by integrating apps like Slack, through which you can send automated reminders to your employees.
We recommend sharing positive results from the survey on LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social channels. This plants a seed of trust and excitement in both – active and passive candidates.
We've already established that HR marketing is pivotal for talent acquisition. So let's explore its role in retaining your talents via an example.
Adam (name changed) was deeply committed to his organization's values and culture. However, he was at a crossroads – whether to quit or continue working.
Soon, he began to observe his colleagues' performance. They all were dedicated to their work and the organization's product. In return, the company wouldn't bat an eye before promoting employee success stories on social media and career sites.
This kind of HR Marketing showed him what he could achieve by giving his best and working at his organization.
We're getting at that if you don't value your top performers, you will have a hard time retaining them, despite your premium benefits package. Even a little appreciation, or pat on the back, goes a long way.
Because, for your organization to succeed, you need a strong army of a dedicated workforce. Ones who are passionate, have the expertise of your product and want to reap the benefits of working for you.
👀 Types of HR marketing
HR marketing efforts can be subdivided under these two categories:
Internal HR marketing
Internal HR marketing focuses on creating content that promotes your company's objectives, products, and services to your existing employees. The purpose is to educate employees about your product, foster brand advocacy, and increase employee engagement.
Most companies deploy Internal HR Marketing initiatives via email, knowledge hub, employee dashboard notifications, training sessions, etc.
The benefits of internal marketing include:
- Increased employee satisfaction
- Offers clarity about your organization's vision
- Improved customer service
- Better recruiting and employer brand
A top example of Internal HR Marketing is sharing your organization's next one-two year plan. Make it specific to each department – a critical step, given 71% of employees are unable to identify their company's strategy.
External HR marketing
External HR marketing, as we saw, is mainly directed towards talent acquisition via social media, newspapers, job flyers, job portals, job fairs, etc. The benefits of external HR Marketing are several:
- Increased engagement with the company
- Reflects brand proposition
- It helps to scale your business
- Complimentary PR for your organization
📈 HR Marketing Strategies
As the name suggests, you would require inputs from both an HR manager and a Marketing expert to initiate HR Marketing strategies. Involving them in your processes ensures that your message reaches the right people, creates a memorable buzz, and ranks on the list of 'best companies to work for'.
To help you achieve that, we have listed down the 4 communication platforms that are popularly used for HR marketing:
1. Careers Page
Promoting your organization starts from your website's career page. Not only is it inexpensive, but it is also one of the most frequently viewed pages.
Think of your careers page as an open ground to express yourself as an employer. Throw in your best perks, benefits, values, opportunities, and employee testimonials. Get it as specific, detailed, creative, and engaging as possible. This is your place to make the first impression on your potential employees.
Many companies add rich media content like videos, gifs, animations, etc. Using beautiful engaging visuals encourages readers to engage with their content.
Spotify's careers website reflects the company's spirit, uniqueness, and atmosphere. Their entire page is made in bright colors, using advanced technologies.
2. Talent pool
A talent pool is a section of your company's recruitment database updated with details of individuals interested in working for you, including potential employees or contractors with direct contact with your business.
Setting up such a "talent pool" allows for you to keep on top of applicants, no matter if they are interested in temporary or permanent positions, for an internship, or low-level work. Then, once they have the required experience, or if there are any other roles requiring their skills and abilities, you can connect with them. You can also send them emails with updates or newsletters to keep them hooked.
3. Job Advertisement
Job advertisements are crucial for your HR marketing strategy because they reach a wider audience at a minimal cost. Your job ad should cover the critical details of an open position and present yourself as an attractive employer. Before you create an optimized job advertisement, there are a couple of crucial points to consider:
- Job description
- Job basic requirement
- Company's offerings
- Platform or medium for advertising
Linkedin offers you to create a job ad and even promote them. This way, all the interested candidates will be notified and apply for your job through the platform itself.
4. Social Blast
With the surge in social media use, it would be a rookie mistake not to utilize them for your HR marketing efforts. For example, you can use them for employee branding, announcing your organization is hiring, promoting training programs, etc.
LinkedIn is the most popular platform for HR marketing for B2B companies, but you can alternately even use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Social media apps like these are a great place to reach your talent where they already are.
They are the starting point for a candidate to learn more about your company's reputation. Things like your company's work culture, diversity, ethos play a vital role in their decision-making process.
🆚 What's the difference between HR Marketing and Employer Branding?
In layman's terms, employer branding is just one of the segments under the big umbrella of HR marketing.
Employer branding is how you promote your organization to potential job seekers. Most companies do this by showcasing their unique cultural differentiators, employee testimonials, and the level of autonomy and freedom they give to their employees. Then, combining all this, they propose themselves as a top place to work.
HR marketing covers employer branding and other areas like training and recruitment marketing. In addition, HR marketing helps build trust and faith for talent acquisition and motivates the old employees to give their best performance and continue working with the organization.
🪨 Challenges of HR Marketing
One of the biggest challenges of HR marketing is budget!
Every stellar HR marketing strategy requires a sufficient budget to back it up. The best way to ensure that your HR marketing efforts do not outrun your budget is by it as a requirement in your organization's annual HR budget. After that, you can dedicate a portion of this budget to your HR marketing activities throughout the year.
The budget should also keep in mind any emergency, last-minute requirements that would require more attention.
Other challenges include:
- Not getting employees' testimonials
- Streamlining traditional marketing and hr marketing efforts
- Finding the right platform
🏢 Real-Life Examples
We've already mentioned HR Marketing examples from Meta and Apple. Here are a few more noteworthy mentions to get you inspired:
Huddle is a software company based out of London, and their HR Marketing strategy to acquire Microsoft employees needs no further explanation:
Mollie is a Europe-based payment processor startup. For HR marketing, they published an article on their website and promoted it on social media.
Burrito has famously become synonymous with Chipotle. One of the best examples of HR marketing, Chipotle promotes the professional success of their employees and their personal success stories on their social pages.
HR Marketing isn't always an easy process. It requires continuous effort to bring your employees, marketing teams, HR managers, and stakeholders together – on the same page. Consider HR Marketing as one of the many facets of employee experience for both – existing and potential candidates.
While this is the first step to promoting yourself as an attractive company to work at, it's only half the battle won. To fulfill your side of the bargain, you need to initiate programs that meet your employees' expectations and retain them for a long.
A centralized platform like Zavvy offers end-to-end solutions for a rich, positive experience throughout an employee's life cycle. Starting from an automated onboarding tool, customized connection programs, and science-backed development tools.
Our experts are a click away if you need assistance developing any of these employee enablement practices.