Marketing Archives - upstartHR

Posts tagged "Marketing"



Applying Marketing Principles to HR

Today we’re honored to have a guest post from a long-time friend and fellow HR practitioner. Jane Jaxon is the rockstar HR Director for a tech company in Boston. Learn more about her in the bio below the article. 

Marketing 101: You need a product that meets the needs of your target customer or audience, then you need to promote it where it will be seen by and sought out by potential customers.

Branding 101: Define what you are about and what space in the market you occupy. Stand for something you believe in. Build such a strong connection with your audience that they take on your brand identity on as their own.

Wait, this is an HR blog, right? It is. Why are these concepts so basic when building a business and customer base, but relatively foreign in the HR world? Human capital is critical to the success of a company, yet basic marketing principles and resources are rarely allocated to our teams. It seems silly. A business cannot succeed without both the right product or service and the right people to deliver that product or service.

I suspect many of you don’t have marketers on your team, but there are some simple steps you can begin to take on your own to differentiate yourself and strengthen your employer brand to attract a better pipeline.

Understand your value proposition. What value can you deliver to prospective candidates? Examples include: location, work/life balance, opportunity to work with cutting edge technologies, top-of-the-market pay or great mentorship and development programs. Ask your current employees what the best part of working for your company is. And market it! Make sure pictures and language on your website highlight your differentiators. Invite employees to write testimonials or post to Glassdoor. But above all, be honest.

Figure out your market and focus your advertising appropriately. Each position has a unique market and needs to be treated as such. For example, we ask our team to review our job descriptions when we’re adding to the team to give us feedback – the oozing-with-personality job descriptions we use for entry level positions just may not appeal to senior level developers or a CFO. When I’m looking for an engineer, I ask our current team where they spend their time browsing and to tell me about the most effective cold call or email they have received and I tweak my recruitment approach accordingly. Finally, when we land a fantastic candidate, we take note of how so we can better focus our efforts next time.

Deliver. You need your public persona to match the candidate (and employee) experience. If you differentiate by the intelligence of your team, candidates expect to talk to smart people. If you pride yourself on corporate values and culture, the interview experience and questions should reflect that. You cannot attract or retain the right people if you aren’t able to deliver on the experience you’ve marketed. Just think – would you go back to a hotel that showed beautiful rooms and an ocean view but delivered an inferior product? Neither will candidates.

No company is perfect in every area, but you can be much more successful if you are able to identify what your strengths are, how you compare to the competition, and your audience, then relay that message in an effective way. How do you stack up? What differentiates your open reqs and opportunities from the competition?

About the author: Jane Jaxon is the HR Director of a high-growth tech company in Boston where she gets to focus on building a great workplace and scaling people operations. Jane’s favorite buzzwords of the trade are eNPS, talent density and (of course) people operations. She likes neither pina colada’s nor getting caught in the rain, but sure loves marathoning critically-acclaimed tv series, reading in the sun, plotting her fantasy football world domination and, lastly, keeping a stealthy social media presence. Find her on LinkedIn.

Show Me the Money: What CMOs can Teach CHROs

I got a pitch the other day for some new research from the CMO Council. At first glance I started to trash it (I’m into marketing, but I’m willing to bet most of you aren’t!).

Then I took another look. I think the principles in the summary can shed some light on how HR pros can improve their position, make more money, and be seen as more competent overall. Got your attention? Read on!

CMO compensation is directly related to reporting structure. Those making more… are more likely to report directly to the CEO.

driving results

You have to be more innovative if you want more reward.

This one makes sense, but it’s a good reminder. Want to earn more? Work your way up until you’re reporting to the CEO. Or be good enough to become the CEO, but that’s another post for another day.

The highest paid CMOs have developed strong alliances with CIOs and CFOs.

Success in business is driven in part by the key relationships you develop. This applies to the HR function as well. Learn to connect with CFOs and other executives. Speak their language, earn some credibility, and put that network to use.

CMOs earning the highest levels of base compensation tend to be focused on driving business performance (e.g., top-line growth, market share, efficiencies, etc.).

Want to be successful long term in your role? Focus on driving business performance. The rest will take care of itself.

CMO base compensation is correlated with firm size. The larger the company, the more likely that the CMO will make more in base compensation and the more likely they will have bonus compensation.

Want to earn more money? Work for a larger company (and referring back to the first example, work for a larger company in the top tiers of management).

Digital marketing skills are important. CMO salary tends to increase as their firm’s digital marketing performance improves.

This is an easy one. The more value you can prove your function is bringing to the organization, the more you can command in terms of compensation. Have an HR mission statement that describes your aims and then make them happen.

Marketing titles (i.e., CMO, VP of Marketing, SVP of Marketing, etc.) don’t significantly correlate with base compensation.

Titles matter less than what you do. Your value is not in a title–it’s in your performance and the performance of your team.

Key accomplishments of the top earners… are centered on restructuring marketing to drive results, improving the yield/accountability of marketing, and building digital capabilities.

The top earners focus on results, not “the way things have always been done.” Improving capabilities, driving results in areas that are traditionally not seen as value add, and making tough choices are the activities that are rewarded. Keeping up the status quo not only isn’t rewarded–in many of these types of organizations I’d say it is probably weeded out.

So, what are your thoughts? Anything here that particularly rang true for you? Any action items that stepped on your toes to drive you to action? 

Source: http://www.cmocouncil.org/press-detail.php?id=4882

Conference Booths, The Hard Sell, and What We Want

A few weeks back I attended the first day of the HR Technology Conference in Chicago. I had an expo only pass to go in and see the vendors, and I was reminded yet again of the awkwardness of the current setup. At one point my friend and I were walking down the aisle and someone asked us a question, my friend answered, and the person started trying to steer him over to their booth. It was very strange and uncomfortable, and I am not a fan of that approach.

I completely understand that it’s their job to hit up prospects and get people into the marketing funnel, but we both walked away with a bad taste in our mouths due to that person’s “hard sell” mentality.

If I have no experience with your company, there’s a low likelihood that I will just randomly decide to stop at your booth. That’s why many vendors bring swag, but then they get annoyed if you stop and take some just to walk away again. There needs to be a time of building a relationship before the sales pitch, and that’s where some of these suggestions come in.

Who I visited
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Treating your Candidates Like Customers

Can HR learn something from marketing about treating candidates like customers?

When I was at the Hire Minds event this past fall (more Hire Minds Summit coverage), the moderator asked me if I thought the Marketing department should work closely with the HR/Recruiting department at any time. My response was one I’d considered before, and I think it still applies now:

Of course HR/Recruiting should work with the Marketing department if they can. HR is trying to sell ideas internally. Recruiters are trying to “sell” open positions to candidates. Marketing is trying to sell products/services to the public. Why not work together when the opportunity arises?

Since then I’ve started thinking of candidates as customers. Most HR and recruiting pros don’t have a chance to meet customers of the business on a daily basis. They don’t get a chance to make a good impression for the company, provide great service, and do it all with a smile on their face. But they do interact with people looking to get a job with the organization.

What if they started treating those candidates like customers? There would be a little difference in that these customers are not always “right.” They can’t get whatever they want.

But you can offer them a sympathetic ear. You can treat them with respect. You can give them a clear, concise picture of what the hiring process looks like so they are not stuck wondering if their resume disappeared into a black hole.

I’ve learned that even if they are not chosen, candidates sincerely appreciate knowing the disposition of their application. It’s just a small touch that means so much to someone who has been out of work or looking for a meaningful job.

If you’d like to learn more about my philosophy on “high touch” recruiting and what it’s like being the solo recruiter for a small business, click here to hear about small business hiring on my DriveThruHR appearance from HR Florida.

Employment videos: how to get traffic (and candidates)

AKA: How to use employment videos for social recruiting

Social recruiting is discussed often, but one of the lesser mentioned facets is video. While many companies know it’s something they should pursue, they don’t know how to be successful. Below you’ll find some ideas to pursue in the area of employer videos. Just a quick word of warning, I’m going to be technical at times, because the subject warrants it. However, I’m happy to help if your organization is looking to make a move into the video arena.

First off, you want your videos to be found when people search Google, right? That’s where search engine optimization comes in. It’s a methodology for getting your videos indexed in a way that makes them easy to find by searchers.

Five tips for Video SEO (search engine optimization)

  1. Make the video something people want to share (more detail on this below).
  2. Don’t dilute your videos by posting on multiple sites (YouTube, Vimeo, Viddler, etc.).
  3. Titles, tags, and descriptions are useful when uploading and posting videos online, but backlinks to the videos (with relevant keywords in the anchor text) are more important for search engine rankings.
  4. YouTube is the #2 search engine in the world and the #1 for videos. Use that to your advantage.
  5. If you’re using WordPress as your content distribution platform, create a video sitemap and submit it via Google Webmaster Tools. Every little bit helps!

Now, let’s elaborate on #1 above. That’s usually the first question people have: what do the videos need to be about? Well, there are several ways to go with that, but I like to think of two kinds of people when considering these types of video: customers and potential job candidates. Think about what they would like to know about your company and give it to them!

Five ideas for your employment video content

  1. Interview employees and ask what they do and what they like about the job, dept, or company
  2. Get staff members to discuss the culture and how that affects what they do.
  3. Ask employees to talk about their favorite benefit/perk that you offer.
  4. Film the fun, unique events that make your organization special.
  5. Create content that is outward facing and valuable to your industry. Hint: if you’re providing thought leadership and value at a level that entices competitors to link to you, then you’re on the right track.

This list certainly isn’t all-inclusive, but it’s a great start to generating ideas that would specifically benefit your company.

Thinking about creating some employer branding videos for your company and looking for some help? Feel free to contact me if you’re looking for assistance. 

SHRM Chapter Planning and Marketing

shrm chapter planning and marketing

This post on SHRM chapter planning and marketing is a piece of the SHRM Chapter Leadership Guide.

Today I had the opportunity to meet with the NASHRM Webmaster (anyone else think “webmaster” is the coolest title ever?) to go over some ideas for the upcoming year. In just a few short weeks, we’ll be starting 2010, and I will officially become the “Assistant Webmaster” for NASHRM. We both have some great ideas for making this chapter the best. How many other SHRM chapters are thinking about…

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Rebuilding the site with the user in mind
  • Blogging
  • Email newsletters


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