We talked to three HR leaders about how they thought the function could grow and improve by using these three marketing capabilities.
“There is a lot we can learn from our marketing colleagues,” Liam Hayes, chief people officer at Aurecon told HC Online. “I believe there are three critical skill sets HR should ‘borrow’.”
The first is the ability to understand the stakeholders of the business, he said. This involves establishing a value proposition for current and potential employees as well as HR’s internal clients.
Adrian West, head of HR for Australia and New Zealand at Cisco, agrees: “Successful HR functions create strategies which are directly aligned to the business,” he said. “The strategy needs to be shared internally in the HR function, the business, and to some extent externally.”
When creating a workforce strategy designed to grow the business, HR needs to gain buy-in from key stakeholders in order to properly implement their initiatives.
“I would see the skillsets of an overall brand manager focusing on raising the profile of the overall HR function,” West said.
Hayes’ second critical skill set is the ability to communicate effectively.
“The art of writing and delivering simple but impactful communications is so important in everything we do, both internally and externally,” he said.
Barb Hyman, executive general manager of people and culture at REA Group, told HC Online her firm’s HR strategies rely heavily on this aspect.
“Representing our employer brand and telling the story of our culture is a critical capability which, when done right, enables us to make connections with high-quality talent,” she said.
Finally, Hayes recommends that HR teams look to the creativity of the marketing function.
“Many of the challenges facing HR teams and businesses are going to require creative solutions. The challenges we face today are very different to those of the past, and we need the ability to help leaders and employees imagine a new and different future.”