Industry Insights

Why HR needs Marketing.

Posted by Niall McDonagh on Oct 2, 2014, 6:00:00 AM

Over the past 15 years, my work with StratX often puts me in close contact with leadership teams and HR executives at global firms and I’m often struck by the negative internal perception of the HR organisation. Too often associated with the administrative tasks of compensation, recruitment, training and performance management, it is an exception to see the HR department as having a right to influence, let alone sit alongside the top team. Over the next few weeks, I will be exploring why this might be the case and how marketing concepts can help align HR with business strategy.

In some cases it may be down to capability or confidence and in many circumstances it is clear that the organisational structure creates a barrier to separate the HR team. But I have reached a more fundamental conclusion: HR has traditionally been extremely poor at marketing! And I don’t mean the ‘fluffy’ marketing as practiced by some marketers who should know better (hiding behind technical jargon and brand equity measures that often have little to do with genuine market impact and financial success). What I mean is authentic marketing, based on creating and delivering value.

For the HR professional, or the HR organisation as a whole, ‘creating value’ must start with an understanding of the market and customers. This should not be limited to internal customers. Indeed, at least initially the focus should be external:

In my next post, I will explore the big questions that HR should be asking to become more customer-driven.

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