Date Added: June 2005
Traditionally, human resources (HR) and marketing departments focus on different audiences. Marketing works externally with customers, while HR works internally with employees. Organizations should consider having these two departments form an alliance to create a new culture, and an efficient and effective strategy, resulting in higher revenues. By unifying, HR and marketing can form stronger business to employee (B2E) relations and enhance internal branding.
HR can help marketing build a presence in various departments throughout the company that are lacking a brand focus. HR represents the internal values of the organization, and can implement brand strategies to coincide with those values. For instance, by focusing on organizational brand messages and corporate values, HR can incorporate this into recruiting, new employee orientation, training and development, and performance evaluation. Doing so encourages a brand-focused culture.
By initiating such strategies, employees can become change agents and "live the ideals of the brand." HR can incorporate brand awareness internally to expand internal branding practices, creating more brand knowledgeable employees.
Marketing can assist HR in recruiting talented individuals who have an emotional connection with and support the brand. HR can align with marketing to recruit and retain talented employees by targeting their needs. More people are seeking resume-building jobs versus long-term employment to increase their own individual value. By determining what will attract these recruits, HR has the potential to sustain a company-employee relationship.
In addition to the selection of qualified employees, HR can utilize marketing to educate employees about the organization. Most employees learn about their company through external marketing efforts. Marketing is the logical ally to retrieve brand and company information. Marketing professionals are also experts on how to deliver the message accurately. They know the customer and how to position the company to a targeted audience. This is useful because employees that accurately understand what their customers need and how best to deliver those needs, provide better overall service, to customers resulting in high customer loyalty and complete satisfaction. Completely satisfied customers - and employees - rarely leave an organization.
HR and marketing need to collaborate in order to align the strategies of both departments to benefit the company and employees. A successful alliance can improve internal branding and focus on one unified culture - internally and externally.
To be successful, leadership must support this, along with a full commitment from leaders of both departments. The result is increased revenues and profitability - and employees and customers that are completely satisfied.
Smith, J. and Blomqvist, K. "Strange Bedfellows: Could HR be Marketing's New Best Friend?" Marketing Management. January/February 2005: 38-43.