Are HR and Marketing the Next Epic Love Story? Part I


Background image via Pixabay

In the last post, we looked at using a marketing approach to create compelling job descriptions that will attract rock star talent. For this post, we will look at one of the ways marketing and HR may soon be intertwined.

How do you attract and retain employees?

It has been apparent for many years that employer’s needed a compelling reason for employees to want to work for them. Years ago, this reason was pretty black and white – people need wages to buy the basic things needed to survive. For a long time, that reason alone offered plenty of motivation to bring in boatloads of eager workers. Flash forward to a couple of decades ago and things changed a bit. While wages were still incredibly important in attracting potential employees, more was needed to keep personnel rolling in. We started seeing things like healthcare and benefits, 401k, and pensions (the disappearance of which may be somewhat to blame for current retention issues).  Back then, the average career path was relatively linear.

The linear career path is disappearing and with it is the organization’s hold on its employees.

In a recent interview, Derek Hann, CLO for PayPal, illustrated this norm with his statements, “Over the last 40 years, we’ve gone from getting hired by a company, working for that company for 25-35 years and ultimately getting a gold watch and a retirement package. That was the accepted and excepted model About 20 years ago, we dramatically moved away from that and moved towards making your way as best as you can. This is done by proving your worth to a company, staying as long as you can, gaining as much experience as you can and moving on when you are asked to, need to, or have an opportunity to go do something bigger better or more exciting.”

Companies need to make themselves attractive to candidates.

There is a war for talent going on and your company needs to seem like the most desirable company out there in order to attract and retain the best talent.

I want you to think about the word branding.

What does the word mean to you?

Is your mind conjuring up logos, color schemes, and consumer products?  Are you internally hearing loud radio spots (what is up with the volume?), or that funny squirrel commercial that you saw last week (that was also likely about 20x the comfortable decibel level)?  Those things along with customer support, social media, digital presence, and other aspects, are all part of the overall notion of company branding. The idea of company branding has been around for ages and while its characteristics (Ie. Social media, digital ads instead of print, etc.) may change, its fundamental core purpose remains the same. That purpose is to attract consumers to the company’s products or services- and the company itself, and to retain those now-loyal consumers.

Employer branding is important now – and HR is responsible for it.

Part of putting an organization at the top of job-seekers lists and keeping existing employees engaged is having a strong employer brand. Like the commercials, social, and digital presence you thought of, your brand needs to positively take its hold in the minds of its current and potential employees.

We have previously discussed some of the aspects of creating a winning employer brand including:

 While some HR professionals are not worried about taking on this endeavor, many are fretting about whether or not they are building the brand effectively.

Branding is nothing new to marketers.

Branding is core to the marketing mix. An enormous amount of attention goes into making sure that every little detail of the communications from and any representations of the organization are reflective of its brand.

 It would seem that a wise endeavor would be to bring marketers into the HR fold.

A partnership between these two departments would make your employer brand succeed and give you an undeniable edge in the talent war.  Next time, we will take a deeper look into why this pairing will be both necessary and beneficial in the coming years.

This piece was originally published on More Than ResourcesTo get new posts first, visit

Columns reflect the opinions of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of Human Resources IQ.