Recruiting and retaining employees is something that has typical fallen in the laps of the human resources department but in today’s connected world, that has changed. Marketers can and do play a huge role in helping recruit and retain staff. Working closely with your HR professional is key to the success of a successful recruiting and retention campaign.
As many of you know, recruiting good talent has been a challenge the last couple of years. This is especially true with skilled labor and experienced talent. It’s a talent war out there! Part of recruiting and retaining employees includes your company culture, which is really your brand, not just your logo. Employees are where marketing starts. You can’t service customers without employees, so finding and keeping talent must be part of your marketing plan. In order for marketers to help HR professionals, they must build rapport with them. It’s part of the collaboration in recruiting and retaining employees.
People want to be in a happy, productive workplace while having a little fun, be challenged, and work hard. They want to see their company invest and volunteer in their local economy and community. Marketers can help with these initiatives and ideas by supporting and coordinating these community activities. Companies should allow employees to be engaged in the community at some level. This presents opportunities to work alongside customers, prospects, and industry partners and occasionally leading to projects.
Employee engagement is crucial to retaining gifted staff. This includes communicating in multiple ways (newsletters, memos, private social media pages, internal intranets, and company-wide meetings) with employees about the financial health of the company but also the company growth opportunities, projects in the pipeline, and changes in benefits (both good and back). Sometimes the owners or leadership team can’t divulge everything but they can keep them informed without giving them all the details. This makes employees feel like they are part of the company and something bigger than themselves. Communication is where marketing can and should play a role in helping facilitate that communication and discussion among employees. When employees are more engaged, they are more productive.
Employee recognition is also underutilized in many companies. By recognizing employees’ efforts in a variety of ways, it lends itself to building employee morale. This recognition could include an employee recognition program, picnics, team building activities, bonuses, flexible schedules, and quite honestly a good old fashion THANK YOU!
One retaining campaign I participated in for a construction company included job site tours. We took several office people, including our president, to the job site and visited the crews. When we arrived with yummy treats, we were warmly greeted by the crew. The crew then gave us a tour of the job site showing and telling us what they were doing in the field and how they were working alongside other partners and subcontractors. The crews were very excited to see office people engaged and interested about the project they were working on. It gave that crew a sense of pride. It quickly spread like wildfire throughout the labor and built rapport between the office and field, which is always a challenge in construction companies. We also set up a private Facebook to communicate with the employees and their spouses about company events, recognition of employees, and other related company news. Marketing and HR should work together on these strategies and campaigns.
From the recruitment standpoint, your staff should already be engaging in some of these tactics which include attending career fairs; being guest lectures at colleges, universities, technical schools, and high schools; provide on the job training for those skilled laborers; employee referral programs; and being active in your local community. There are ton of online sources to find help too, but these are usually less successful than the previous tactics mentioned. Word-of-mouth recruiting, like marketing, is still the most successful tactic of finding talent.
Potential employers look at what you’re doing from a marketing perspective. Employees want to see growth and excitement in the company. These potential employees will do their initial research through social media and visit the company website. They will then reach out to anyone they know at the company to get additional information about the company. Make sure your employees are telling your story the way you want it to be told. (This relates back to the retaining part above.) Marketers should craft this internal marketing message.
Marketers and human resource departments should be working hand-in-hand on these campaigns. Both have a tremendous amount of knowledge in their area of expertise and together can recruit and retain the best talent in the marketplace.
Lindsay L. Young has been in marketing and business development in the building industry for ten years. She has experience with small and medium sized firms and helping them build their businesses. Her knowledge includes strategic marketing plans and budgets, business development strategies, employee retention and recruitment, trade show implementation, customer and employee event planning, customer perception surveys, presentations, social media presence, and project management of branding and website redevelopment.
An active Pittsburg State University Gorilla Alumni, she received both her undergraduate and graduate degree in business management. Lindsay also contributes to the industry by serving on the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) board and holds the Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM) through SMPS. She has co-chaired the SMPS Missouri Valley Regional Conference and is currently a member of the planning committee. She is currently Chief Difference Maker at nu marketing, a strategic marketing consulting company Lindsay started to help businesses increase their profits and build their business.