Human resources generalists wear many hats. From implementing policies and procedures to administering compensation programs and from monitoring performance evaluations to performing benefits administration, the tasks are extensive and diverse. And while “marketing professional,” may not generally make the “duties and responsibilities” part of the typical job description, the truth is that the art of selling is a valuable trait in a successful human resources generalist.
A Different Kind of Product
In the most literal sense, the job of a human resources generalist is to identify and hire the best and brightest talent for the workforce. In practice, it comes down to much more than this. Why? Because you’re not operating in a vacuum. Rather, you’re operating in an intensely competitive arena in which multiple companies are vying for the same elite members of the workforce. So how do you distinguish yourself? By pitching an exceptional product.
Just as marketers seek to engage customers, human resources generalists seek to engage potential employees. If you revise your perspective to think of potential employees as customers, a clearer idea of what you’re selling.
While the idea of “buying” may not cross an employee’s mind when it comes to accepting a job, the fact is that’s exactly what’s happening: people accept jobs because it adds value in some essential way. And just as savvy marketing methods can convince a consumer he can’t live without that necktie or toaster, so can savvy marketing methods convince a potential employee that your company offers unparalleled job potential that can’t be found elsewhere.
Get to Know Your Target Audience
Now that you know what your product is, it’s time to take a closer look at your consumer. Marketers don’t just throw a one-size-fits-all sales pitch out into the universe and hope it sticks. This would be a monumental waste of time and resources. Rather, they devise targeted pitches for specific demographics.
Likewise, as a human resources representative hoping to make smart staffing choices, it’s essential to know the type of positions you have available, and what kind of employees are ideal to fill them. This matchmaking game involves aligning your human resources strategies with your business strategies.
You’re not just hiring a new employee; you’re making a promise.
To Market, To Market
So all of this begs the question: what methods help you connect the customer (job seekers) with the product (your company)? The field of marketing is nothing without research, and customer feedback is crucial. Marketers are constantly collecting information from consumers and transforming it into actionable insights which influence products and business strategies.
The same premise can and should be applied in the workplace. Employee surveys play a valuable role in determining satisfaction in the workplace. And while exit interviews are commonplace, they are often too little/too late. The best feedback is regular and relevant. After all, you wouldn’t wait two years to solicit feedback about tangible product like soap or a dishwasher, so why would you delay soliciting such important information from your employees?
While routine surveys can help you learn a lot about how your employees feel, one critical takeaway rises above the rest: happy employees are the goal. Your workplace should be able to live up to the promises you’ve made during the recruitment process; otherwise, your business becomes the equivalent of the shiny new toy that eventually got sent back to the store because it didn’t’ perform the way it did in the commercial.
Another area where human resources professionals can learn from their marketing comrades? Social media. The best marketers embrace social media in order to strengthen consumer relationships and build brand identities. Human resources can employ similar methods to great success. By establishing a social media presence, you can stay relevant while standing out from the competition.
Another way to make use of technology? If you’re currently hiring and looking for ways to engage new employees, a job board offer another valuable entry point — so long as you present a consistent and compelling message in all social media enterprises.