Employee Benefits Communication

Think Like a Marketer –
5 Tips for HR Pros

Cathy Siska COO

Erica Kommer
Director of Marketing

Just what you don’t need or want – one more responsibility piled on your already exhaustive list of HR duties. I’m here to tell you that you are already a large part of the marketing department of your organization, you just may not realize it – or its’ importance.

The labor market continues to tighten in the US, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, since January 2017 the number of unemployed people has decreased by 774,000. It continues to be a selective market for valued candidates, and the way that you position your company in the recruiting of candidates plays a large role in continuing to attract talent.

Instead of thinking of marketing as an added job responsibility, there are some small things that you can do with some of the initiatives that you are already working on. You just need to think in terms of the principals that marketers use to promote their products and services.

Know Your Brand, Really Know It.

To know your brand you must understand your brand story, mission, values, and brand pillars. Shout them from the rooftops and also be certain to make sure that your employees have the same understanding.

When hiring, make sure you are selecting candidates not only for their qualifications but also with how they align with your brand mission and vision. Every employee should be viewed as a brand ambassador; another person to help carry your message to the masses. This is equally important for selling the product and service that your company offers as well as for selling your company to potential candidates.

When your employees align with your core values, they are more likely to be engaged employees. According to Gallop, 51% of the U.S. workforce is not engaged and 51% of the U.S. workforce is actively seeking other employment opportunities. You can stay ahead of this curve with a deep understanding of your brand and its’ value proposition.

Understand Your Target Audience

Knowing and understanding the audience that you are targeting is the best way to make sure the right message is getting to the right audience. This applies to multiple facets of your role including recruitment, onboarding, employee communications, and employee benefits and compensation packages. A one size fits all approach no longer works.

Every touchpoint should be adapted to make sure that it is communicated properly to the correct audience. What you need to remember is that your story, what your brand stands for, never changes. It is simply framed in a way that better resonates with a specific audience. A good example may be in the way that you communicate your benefits packages to your team. If your company is equally split between Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers you need to make sure you are addressing the needs of each generation so that they fully understand the value of the packages that you are providing. What is of importance to one generation may not be important to another, so make sure to remember this the next time you are approaching your communication strategy. Think of this as employee life-cycle marketing where each phase of the life cycle uses a varied approach in its communication method to achieve your desired results.

Content Is King

Maybe you’ve heard the saying that content is king, but maybe not. This is a marketing phrase that is widely known and is easily applied to HR. Content marketing as defined by the Content Marketing Institute is “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience – and, ultimately to drive profitable customer action.” Simply change a handful of words in their definition and you can easily see how this applies to HR management.

My HR Definition of content marketing is: a strategic HR approach focused on creating and distributing relevant and consistent content to attract and retain talent – and, ultimately to drive company profits by lower turnover and increased employee engagement. Not much more to say, is there?

Bring Your Brand To Life

Now you know your brand, you understand your target and you’ve been creating relevant and meaningful content — what’s next? You must bring your brand to life at every touchpoint. Be sure to consider your brand in emails, events, trade shows, office gatherings and even the branded merchandise that you give out to your employees and clients. Remember, you are helping to build your brand every step of the way.

Consider this — According to Glass Door, 84% of candidates would leave a job if they were offered a job from a company with a great employee brand.  Therefore, it is not only important to continue to build your brand for future employees but also for the retention of your current staff. The best employees want to work for the best companies with the best cultures and brands, so make sure you are constantly striving to improve your brand with clear and consistent positive associations whenever possible.

Keep Pace With Change

Just like marketers are trying to stay ahead of the next big thing, HR pros need to make sure they are keeping up as well. Even though we may be monitoring different marketplace trends, you’ll need to stay on top of salary trends, trends in employee benefits, corporate wellness programs, and culture initiatives. The last words you’ll ever want to hear from a candidate is that they really liked your company and wanted to take the job, however, they were offered better benefits and additional perks someplace else. Not keeping pace with change can cost you valuable talent, high turn-over, not to mention recruitment time.

At Austin, we work with our client partners to keep them up-to-date on benefit and HR trends so that they’re always in the know. If you are interested in learning more about how Austin can help you stay informed of the most current HR trends while simplifying the administration of your employee benefits, contact us today.