HR Needs to Hire More Marketers

3084612861_16f030986f_zYou know what most HR departments are missing? Marketers. HR needs to hire more marketers. I’m not talking about hiring more people for the marketing department. I’m talking about hiring people with a marketing background to work in HR.

In a recent survey (full disclosure: they are my employer), about 70% of HR professionals say they are using social networking sites to attract talent (that’s called social recruiting for those who slept in). According to that same survey, though, only a quarter (27%) have adopted content marketing as an approach to get the attention of candidates. And fewer still are using pay-per-click advertising.

“Only 27% of HR pros using content marketing to attract candidates” Click to Tweet

I’d say this is a problem for HR and an opportunity for under-employed marketers.

It’s a problem for HR because social recruiting, just like social media marketing, is really all about playing the long game. Developing relationships, engaging with your target audience and trying to entice them with your calls-to-action, without actually putting them of. That’s not HR’s forte. They’re more about writing job ads and searching LinkedIn for candidates. That’s not going to bring in the big fish. That’s going to get you the candidates who are already looking. The mediocre, the failing, the unmotivated and disloyal. Sure, there are some gems in there, too, but it’s not the majority.

The gems, the types of employees companies would love to attract, are already doing great where they are. They’re exceeding performance reviews, getting bonuses, promotions, great parking spots (is that still a thing?). You won’t get them with lame job ads and unsolicited InMails.

It’s an opportunity for marketers because what they need is exactly what we can provide. What we have been doing for years to help our companies attract prospects. HR needs good content marketers, community managers and SEMs.

The same strategies that have been working for marketing to prospects will also work to bring in passive candidates. So, here’s a common marketing approach:

Develop your buyer persona; find out their pain points; develop content that addresses those points and establishes your brand as a thought leader; engage them in social channels, adding value; target them with PPC ads and banners in the places they spend their time; take them through a sales funnel and close the deal.

Now, replace “buyer” with “candidate” or “employer” and add “employer” before “brand” and you have an HR marketing strategy; a social recruiting strategy.

Better Leaders Leads to More Social Recruiting

Want more proof? Okay.

That same survey also found that companies with stronger leaders (as rated by respondents) were more likely to use social recruiting (81% versus 62%).  They were more likely to use content marketing and target PPC advertising, too. They also said they were getting higher-quality candidates through social channels.

So, it works. All they need are marketers to help them pull it off.

I’m not sure if HR will actually start to hire more marketers. My bet is the smart ones will. I also think those that do will gain a huge advantage. They may even bring some validity to that cliché “people are our greatest advantage”.

What do you think? Should HR hire more marketers?

Image courtesy of Flickr cc and Adam Bowie