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Human Resources Should Report To Marketing

corporate_reputation This title grabs your attention. But maybe having human resources report to marketing is not really that crazy – at least by a dotted line.

The connection between human resources and marketing is tighter than you may think.

This blog is about why.

If you are a CEO/CFO/COO, after reading this, you will want to check on how messages are conveyed by your human resources team. Don’t assume, ask.

True Story

Recently, we submitted 4 well qualified and prepared candidates to a client for interviews. Like all good recruiters, our objective is to provide candidates to our clients that can perform the job, and achieve results. These candidates fit the bill.

Our team of professionals had done discovery due diligence, outlined a recruiting plan, and confirmed our strategy with the client. Then, we engaged, screened, and qualified candidates that could drive the company’s corporate goals by performing the job.

After each interview we do a post-interview feedback call with the client. And, another call with the candidate. We often receive assembled comments on the candidate from the human resources manager. They are often the contact for assembling feedback from all the reviewers to help us refine our candidate search.

In this particular case, the feedback we received from the human resources contact was about everything but the candidate’s ability to perform the job.

The feedback we received from the candidates was consistent and unanimous. Here are a few of the comments:

  1. The candidates felt uncomfortable with the experience.
  2. The human resources manager dominated the conversation.
  3. The candidate did not have a chance to answer questions about his/her qualifications.
  4. The human resources manager revealed the issues and problems of the company.
  5. The candidate did not have an opportunity to share the research and interest they had in working for the company.

Each candidate self-selected out of consideration because they did not want the position after engaging with this human resources contact.

HR Must Do Marketing

Here’s why human resources should be tied closer to marketing (not to mention any outside facing employee of your firm).

Each of these comments revealed a missed opportunity to brand the company with the job seeker, and the broader talent community that is tightly connected by social media.

This was a missed opportunity to accelerate the interest of the candidate, or at least ensure they don’t reduce the candidate interest in the company. More important is to ensure that, even if the candidate is not ultimately offered the position, ensure that candidate has positive things to say about the experience and the company by word of mouth and social media.

It Is Basic

Just as the sales department must consistently sell the brand of the corporation to customers, so must the human resources team, and its consultants, amplify the brand set by the marketing department among candidates interviewing for new positions.

CEO’s Take Note

By ensuring your human resources team is marketing and selling the company to new talent in the same way that the sales team brands and sells the product to customers ensures corporate expectations can be met. On the flipside, you don’t want anyone representing your firm miss-positioning, or as in this case, talking negative about the company.

Recruiters Are Marketers

Recruiters are your company’s ally in delivering your corporate message and engaging new talent. Your company brand is at stake – and your ability to attract and hire new talent is a function of the consistent articulation of your brand. In today’s talent networks, news (good and bad) travels fast.

How do you tell a good recruiter from a poor recruiter that just finds resumes? Good recruiters ask lots of discovery questions about the company, it’s brand and reputation, vision, mission, values, and goals. Good recruiters want to represent the value of your company to engage and attract the best talent to meet your firm’s needs.

The Story End

In our story, 4 candidates consistently repeated the same experience that ultimately made them pull out from being considered for the job. While they liked some of the interviewers, they each consistently indicated they observed a flawed corporate culture as conveyed by the human resources contact. They did not want to work there.

Since organizational development is part of effective leadership, VP’s and C-level leaders responsible for the P&L must know what’s going on in their human resources team and how well they know and carry the marketing message to the talent network. Social transparency is broad and deep – it’s hard to recover from a negative reputation when someone in your firm damages it like this.

Barton Professional Placement Group considers it’s objective to be part of the broader positioning of your company within the talent market. We take that role seriously, and do everything in our capability to collaborate with our clients to achieve exceptional outcomes. We’re not afraid to be direct. And, our clients like it when we ask a lot of questions.

If you are ready to move your recruiting up the professional scale to a coordinated effort to sell your corporate culture and the contribution your firm makes to the talent market, Barton Professional Placement is there, ready to help you. Call us today.