Sunday, September 12, 2010

Who 'Owns' Employment Branding?

As a prompt from my first blog comment, my 2nd post will be on the topic of 'owning' Employment Branding. This is a role that can easily fall within the HR/Talent Acquisition teams or within Marketing. I have always described being an Employment Brand Manager as sitting on the fence within the 2 fields. It is totally the best of 2 worlds as you can use great marketing techniques for a recruiting purpose, in a very current and changing field. The reason I feel I have been successful is that my background is in marketing but I am interested in the HR field. Personally, I believe that a strong Employment Brand Manager (and I am obviously biased on this one based on my own background) should have experience in, or a real passion for, marketing. Employment Brand Managers who think "marketing" can strategize in how to use marketing tactics to market job opportunities that could similarily be used to market a specific product or brand.

For those organizations who are seeking to start an Employment Brand role, I suggest looking internally within your marketing department and see if someone would like a cross functional role that reports into HR. For those of you who are HR through and through but interested in marketing - this is not a lost role for you. I would suggest taking a marketing course or self educating through working closely with a liaison team member in the marketing department of your company. The role will only truly be successful with signoff from both teams as marketing will be concerned with the reputation of your company and have access to more resources, techniques and ideas to support HR needs (like sourcing, recruiting and referrals!)

To be successful in being an Employment Brand Manager or starting a team, I think these are a few key points:
1. Understand how marketing drives brands - be it products, experiences or employment choices. Take your cues from the hottest techniques in Experiential Marketing and social media.
2. Understand your KPI (Key Performance Indicators) related to recruiting. Are you trying to drive applicants, decrease your cost per hire, become an employeer of choice? All of these? Prioritize! This will guide your vision and 6 month, 1 year, 5 year plan. (Again a whole other post on how to design KPI).
3. Have executive buy-in (again a whole other post!). You will not be successful unless your plan is signed off from the top. Have direction/support/resources/funds from both the HR/Talent Acquisition and Marketing Executives.  I am very lucky to have also worked very closely with a Creative Director for create resources in webdesign etc.
4. Understand how your role relates to the recruiting team as a whole. Are you sourcing candidates for them? Driving marketing for the company as a whole? etc. The structure of your team and your role will drive success or failure. Employment Branding should be a senior role within the team who can drive strategy that supports the recruiting and sourcing efforts of the team.

Just my point of view & a few ideas to get you started. For those who have HR or marketing backgrounds and are in this role, what has made you successful?

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