Article | October 18, 2021
A new age approach to driving engagement is significantly responsible for bringing HR and marketing together. Today, HR professionals need to understand things like employer branding, social media hiring, employee engagement, etc. It requires making the most of marketing resources and driving cross-functional collaboration between the two departments.
Encouraged further by the interdependence with IT, knowledge transfer between the two is driving success across departments. In addition, the fact that HR can turn to in-house marketing professionals to generate awareness among job-seekers is a serious edge.
Experts in the marketing recruitment services space believe that an even deeper synergy between the two departments is needed to maximize core processes. Their shared objectives targeted towards two different audiences can promote a solid partnership between HR and marketing.
Much of your organization’s success is driven by HR’s ability to attract and successfully hire suitable candidates. HR’s aims to engage its audience of candidates effectively. Even if they reach the right talent pool, being able to meaningfully communicate and convert job seekers into applicants is still challenging. This is where the marketing team can add the greatest value. So how does an HR and marketing partnership aid in developing best HR practices?
Customer - Potential Employees
In general, an organization’s values and culture are demonstrated through brand marketing. While it is targeted to attract customers, job seekers are also part of the audience. Many organizations deploy a full-fledged marketing campaign to engage a customer and keep them coming back. You can maximize the same marketing channels to communicate a universal message to consumers, applicants and employees.
If customers love your brand, they probably align with your products and services and the values they reflect, making them an ideal cultural fit. Not only is this important for employee engagement, but such candidates become long-term employees and brand advocates.
By focusing on integrated marketing strategies that target job-minded individuals among your audience, you can gain access to their network of friends, families, previous co-workers, fellow alumni, and followers. This way, you reach a large pool of potential candidates on an unlikely platform.
Employees - the Full-time Brand Advocates
Employee advocacy programs are becoming a popular HR tool as organizations have discovered the power of employees to be brand advocates. Additionally, employee advocacy inspires employees to share company news on their social media.
Socially active employees are more likely to attract new candidates from their inner circle. According to research, employee promoted content receives eight times more engagement and is shared more frequently than brand-promoted content.
This is likely due to employees being considered a source of authentic and honest representation of an organization. Hence, any employee advocacy will benefit your ability to attract and retain top talent. With this in mind, employees may add the extra push needed to take content marketing campaigns to the next level.
Consumerized HR - the New Employee Experience
Organizations are learning the importance of a universal brand that employees can identify with. HR and marketing must join forces to extend the branding strategy and deploy it internally to consumerize human resources.
Communication, training, and showing appreciation. These are key to employee satisfaction. People want to be informed and be part of the journey. They also want to know that they are developing and working towards their personal goals and most importantly that they are appreciated.
- Kayleeann Maritz, Chief Marketing Officer, Momenta Group Global
Both consumers and employees drive business growth forward. The way marketing teams engage customers can be replicated to engage employees on a meaningful level. The consumerization of HR aims to create a memorable employment experience that resonates with employees. It creates brand advocates from them the same way returning customers become life-long brand loyalists.
Building Lasting Employer-employee Relationships
Organizations must address the employment experience of past employees as much as present employees while reworking workplace experience. Doing so will ensure lasting workplace relationships that mirror meaningful and enduring customer loyalty.
HR teams must approach consumerization at the workplace with an essential goal in mind. While employee turnover is the norm, with positive employment experience, HR departments will be able to derive benefit from the networks of existing employees. They will also fill gaps identified by exiting employees and prepare a better experience for new hires.
Marketing and HR - the Evolution of a Composite Team
Is it time to merge HR and marketing? Indeed, large corporations like the Lincoln Financial Group have a single head for marketing and HR. On the other hand, there is much ground to cover if marketing and HR must work together effectively. Their composite strengths can prove valuable in managing key assignments like crafting hiring campaigns, talent acquisition research, and shared objectives of people engagement.
In addition, a symbiotic relationship between the two functions can prove beneficial for both. It can provide organizations a competitive edge in not just acquiring customers but acquiring top talent as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the role of marketing in HR?
Marketing can help HR go beyond recruiting talent. As HR demands a strategic approach in the modern workplace, shared strategies driven by marketing may be used to form engagement initiatives that work.
How to ensure a positive employment experience?
Empowering employees with support at every stage, encouraging two-way communication, and cultivating a culture of peer-to-peer cooperation are just some ways to ensure a positive employment experience.
Why is an employee advocacy plan essential?
Employee advocacy programs are a way to boost employee morale and communicate with employees from outside the workplace. It employs content marketing that enables organizations to reach a wider audience and demonstrate your organization's credibility. Parallelly, it helps create brand awareness while attracting quality talent.
"name": "What is the role of marketing in HR?",
"text": "Marketing can help HR go beyond recruiting talent. As HR demands a strategic approach in the modern workplace, shared strategies driven by marketing may be used to form engagement initiatives that work."
"name": "How to ensure a positive employment experience?",
"text": "Empowering employees with support at every stage, encouraging two-way communication, and cultivating a culture of peer-to-peer cooperation are just some ways to ensure a positive employment experience."
"name": "Why is an employee advocacy plan essential?",
"text": "Employee advocacy programs are a way to boost employee morale and communicate with employees from outside the workplace. It employs content marketing that enables organizations to reach a wider audience and demonstrate your organization's credibility. Parallelly, it helps create brand awareness while attracting quality talent."
Article | October 18, 2021
Fast transforming workplaces mean more focus needs to be placed on human resources and their management. According to current HR tech trends, the future of HR will witness a strategy-driven approach. HR teams are the gatekeepers of an organization’s vision and mission. In 2022, they will also be significant drivers of business outcomes and advance its financial success through human capital management.
As workplaces become remote, the world is witnessing several technology-led innovations in HR operations hiring and recruitment. But what are some non-tech transformations that have forced organizations to revisit their workforce management?
Integration of the gig economy
The normalization of remote work as the primary way to do things has opened the doors for the gig economy to make its way into the mainstream. As organizations become more adept at managing a hybrid workforce, remote workers, including employees, freelancers, and even specialist contractors, can deliver direct services without much interference.
With tools to measure productivity and performance, the gig economy is no longer a subset of the job market. Further, organizations embracing the latest HR tech will become simpler,enablingremote workers to collaborate and manage a hybrid workforce of full-time and freelance employees..
Rise in outsourcing
Innovations in HR software will also encourage HR to incorporate employee self-service and automation software in turn, enabling independence across the board. In addition, as many roles are outsourced to specialists, HR resources can be capitalized to identify new strategies and put tailored initiatives and policies in place to engage employees and improve their work experience.
Cloud HR has further enabled the outsourcing of roles to specialists to perform HR functions like payroll management. With these new developments in the role of HR leaders, outsourcing will become rampant, reducing the cost for in-house HR teams.
Employee Wellness at the heart of HR
While, traditionally, HR operations focused on capitalizing on the organization’s workforce through performance, employee wellness has proven to be just as critical. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic amplified uncertainty in its wake. As a result, most employees have to balance the concern for their health and safety with the uncertainty of work.
Modern HR management considers these concerns and puts employee wellness at the center of its new policies.
People management around the globe is shifting towards adopting a more data-driven approach to improve employee experience intelligence. People Analytics is a huge step towards using data to identify, configure, and predict the challenges in HR.
“Organizations require insights at everyone’s fingertips, no matter where they are on their digital business journey.”
- Mark Palmer, Senior Vice President, Engineering at TIBCO
With the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), this trend will transform the way companies attract, hire, and retain talent. In addition, the use of big data to develop personalized HR and marketing initiatives will lead to improvement in performance management within the organization.
Reimagining sustainability and agility
In the backdrop of the global health crisis, the importance of resilience and sustainability in business is evident more than ever. Furthermore, HR leaders focusing on faster adaptability improve business outcomes for organizations.
Organizations encouraging a culture of listening, ensuring trust, and a sense of security for their employees need to manage employee sentiment with fast decision-making. That is essential during times of crisis. At a point when time is of core essence, HR professionals must be prepared to course-correct quickly and identify new solutions to manage evolving challenges.
Emphasis on cybersecurity
Digitizing core HR functions and work processes has shed a spotlight on the importance of cybersecurity. As a result, maintaining a robust remote infrastructure will be the number one priority on the lists of both HR and IT teams. Everything, from ‘Work from home’ to information confidentiality policies, have to be reframed to accommodate a mobile workforce.
HR leaders might want to take a leaf out of IBM’s book. As a tech giant, IBM’s VP of data, AI, and strategy oversees the HR department’s use of data to enhance employee retention and encourage talent mobility within IBM. This is a significant example of encouraging collaboration between the IT, data, and HR teams to improve human resources management.
In a nutshell
While HR’s main aim will be to strengthen the organization’s human capital, a foresighted approach have to be adopted. Even though the current scenario makes it impossible to tell for sure, upcoming trends and patterns are helpful inidentifyingwhere HR is headed.
In 2025 itself, HR is envisioned to be much different than what it is today. HR leaders will become an integral part of decision-making teams, charting strategies and consequently making business decisions.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should be the main focus of HR in 2022?
HR needs to focus on employee engagement across the organization. In addition, with a hybrid workforce, it is vital to integrate HR tech to improve employee experience at every stage.
What is the future of HR tech?
Technology in HR will take precedence in administrative functions. This means HR resources can be better utilized to boost people-oriented policies. Using tools like artificial intelligence, machine learning, digital learning and development, an emphasis on creating a culture of digital collaboration is a must-do for all HR teams.
Will AI take over HR?
No. The HR function may undergo automation and adopt machine learning to identify and predict solutions. However, being a people-oriented process that requires human perception will remain the core of HR for a long time.
"name": "What should be the main focus of HR in 2022?",
"text": "HR needs to focus on employee engagement across the organization. In addition, with a hybrid workforce, it is vital to integrate HR tech to improve employee experience at every stage."
"name": "What is the future of HR tech?",
"text": "Technology in HR will take precedence in administrative functions. This means HR resources can be better utilized to boost people-oriented policies. Using tools like artificial intelligence, machine learning, digital learning and development, an emphasis on creating a culture of digital collaboration is a must-do for all HR teams."
"name": "Will AI take over HR?",
"text": "No. The HR function may undergo automation and adopt machine learning to identify and predict solutions. However, being a people-oriented process that requires human perception will remain the core of HR for a long time."
Article | October 18, 2021
Around the world, and throughout almost every sector, the fourth industrial revolution is ushering in a new era – an age of digital disruption and automation, in which the very essence of how humans work is being redefined.
When we refer to the fourth industrial revolution, we refer to the digital transformation of processes, tasks and jobs that have traditionally been undertaken manually. At its core, the digital transformation process involves implementing specialist technologies that ‘digitalise’ operations.
Digitising operations – which can include fully or partially automating them - makes them far more efficient, cost effective, and more enjoyable for human workers. The digitising process also reduces risk, streamlines processes and allows more efficient allocation of resources. Ultimately, it enables businesses to work smarter and faster and leads to more fulfilled personnel – all at a lower cost.
From the chatbots used by an insurer’s customer service departments to the increasingly automated KYC checks undertaken by investment banks, industries of all shape are already on the path of digital transformation. There remains, however, considerable concern, confusion and miscaption over how this new era of automation will impact traditional jobs, skills, training and wider company culture.
In recent years, reading some of the tabloid newspapers in the UK would make you believe the worst. Headlines such as “nearly nine million British jobs could be lost to AI by 2030” and, more recently, “Covid pandemic is ‘accelerating the rise of robots’ which will lead to loss of millions of hospitality jobs” would imply digital transformation will lead to a dystopian future in which humans will become redundant (a doomsday scenario referred to as the ‘jobocalypse’).
In reality, many automation tools such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA), for example, simply don’t have the capacity to ‘think’ for themselves (unlike AI); their ability lies in automating repetitive, manual, mundane high-volume tasks that require a lot of processing time but little human expertise.
Given RPA cannot function or be configured without human intelligence, it has not yet been a direct driver of unemployment. Rather, the technology is there to enhance human thinking, and work side-by-side with humans, not replace them.
Research from McKinsey shows that 40% of workers spend at least a quarter of their work week on repetitive tasks, whilst 60% estimate they could save at least six hours a week with greater automation of their role. University of London research also shows that employees at organisations augmented by automation get a third more done with their time, freed from the ball-and-chain burden of monotonous repetition.
There will still be a need for human input and decision making in processes, but RPA is able to do the heavy lifting; and for those whose job would have previously seen them manually do the heavy lifting, they in turn can be upskilled or transferred to new, more engaging roles.
In the summer of 2021, the British Commons Work and Pension Committee concluded as such, when it published a comprehensive report into the fourth industrial revolution. The report stated that: “The evidence we have heard does not suggest that new technology will lead to mass displacement of workers: instead, it is likely to lead to the creation of new jobs alongside the loss of others. Automation may also result in the transformation rather than the loss of existing jobs.”
Where the greatest impact of digital transformation will lie, from a human and personnel aspect, is not therefore in redundancy – but in the skills and culture change that the process of transformation involves.
Contrary to a common misconception, digital transformation is not simply about implementing technology and flicking a digital switch. It is first and foremost about change within and between people, and for change to be effective, a proactive culture – that is, a mindset that positively embraces the opportunities afforded by digital transformation – is vital. Instilling a positive culture of change will therefore be one of the greatest challenges HR departments face in the coming years.
Another area that human staff will feel the greatest change as a result of automation is in upskilling and reskilling. It is already becoming increasingly important for staff to be digitally savvy and native, to understand how digital transformation is transforming the workplace, and – on a practical level – to be able to operate many of the new technologies that are being implemented.
Currently, there is a considerable tech skills gap in the global workforce, with companies unable to source the tech expertise they require; there will, therefore, be considerable pressure on HR departments to ensure that existing staff are sufficiently trained and equipped with the right skills for the automated age, and that recruitment is better angled towards hiring those that are technologically fluent and capable.
For any programme of transformation (be it digital or otherwise), there are five key stages to successfully implementing digital transformation which HR change makers should base a programme of transformation around. Known as the ADKAR model, the five stages are: awareness; desire; knowledge; ability and reinforcement.
These stages involve effectively communicating why digital transformation is necessary; having a desire to undertake transformation; knowing how a digital transformation strategy can be implemented; having the right and capable people to implement this strategy; and ongoing reinforcement through culture and investment.
The time for companies to digitally transform is now – and as the previous three revolutions have demonstrated, technology doesn’t replace – but complements and optimises human processes, paving the way for a whole host of new skills and experiences to be unlocked for those involved. Through upskilling, retraining, education and culture change, HR departments will be the key drivers of transformation.
Dr Zeynep Hizir, Doctor of Digital Transformation and intelligent automation (IA) implementation academic.
Article | October 18, 2021
Of late, my LinkedIn feed has seen more instances of posts highlighting the importance of organizational culture. Typically, these posts have a personal story, describing how there was a certain action by the organization or colleagues that touched them and created an experience worth telling the world. These experiences lie on both spectrums of positive and negative. The positive ones mention how these actions perfectly embody the organizational culture of the organization. These organizations are worthy of praise and let’s call them Category A organizations.
On the other hand, the negative experiences are from hapless employees posting about their agonizing experiences at the hand of their employers. The term ‘toxic work culture’ is invariably a common thread tying these narratives. Organizations of this type are still worthy of mention – to caution their customers and prospective employees against such practices. Let’s call them Category B organizations.
The above two scenarios make one wonder – what led to the creation of companies in categories A and B. No company founder would have ever set out to intentionally build a company with poor workplace environment and organizational culture. Something somewhere went awry. And its not a single watershed moment that defines organizational culture, but a series of instances, seemingly innocuous when viewed in isolation, but catastrophic when they get summed up – the negative repercussions of the total being much higher than the sum of its parts. Obviously, category B companies had grand visions of their organizations being the perfect workplace, but that vision didn’t translate into the performance of activities required for it to get realized.
Let’s take a quick detour here, what is this idea of ‘culture’ that is being laid so much emphasis here. Three months ago, I was speaking to a dear friend of mine (I fondly call him David) who is building his tech-venture. During the conversation, he confessed that something that had been keeping him awake on most nights is the uncertainty on how he should he cascade his vision of culture throughout the organization. He was struggling with the fact that culture in itself seemed abstract and finally asked me two questions: can organizational culture be tangible and how can his organization imbibe the target culture that he had in his mind?
If you are a founder or a people-manager struggling to find answers to similar questions, in order to keep your organization, a category A workplace, then let us try answering these questions. Beginning with the foundational quest– what is culture? Well, the definition of culture couldn’t have been more precise – “the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization”. Shared attitudes, values, goals, practices would translate to the fact that since they are ‘shared’ – meaning adhered to by a group of people – they are ‘acceptable’ too.
And this is true for culture anywhere – if in an organization, it is acceptable to work on weekends or beyond working hours, it automatically becomes a part of its culture.
Now that we are a little more comfortable with the idea of culture, let us try answering the next question that David was struggling with – can someone get trained in culture?
In order to answer this question, I had asked David to contemplate structuring his culture quest through the following framework:
1) Make your own vision of culture become clearer to you and others: chart-out the set of organization-wide ‘shared activities’ or behaviors that you would want to be ‘acceptable’
2) Who are your ‘Power Users’: Identify employees who are engaging in these acceptable activities
3) Empower your power users by setting an example: Reward and recognize those employees who are engaging in such behaviors
4) Make culture a part of your employee experience journey or the hire-to-retire cycle: Culture isn’t a point-in-time exercise, its continuity is closely aligned to organizational continuity
In my recent call with him, David detailed how is he ironing-out the above:
A) Creation of a preliminary competency framework: After extensive discussion with his co-founder and function heads, he has created a version of his company’s competency framework, which closely aligns to his target organizational culture and contains the competencies (e.g taking initiatives, attention to detail, innovativeness) and the associated behaviors within each of these competencies. Since the firm is only an year old, this framework and the behaviors would undergo evolution as it gains experience and understanding of what works and what doesn’t. Currently, the competency framework forms the guiding light for processes such as hiring (interview questions aligned to probing the presence of competencies in the candidates), and performance management (annual performance rating as a weighted average of the ratings on individual competencies and behaviors).
B) Publicly acknowledging displayed employee behaviors which reflect organizational culture: From calling out these employees in the recent townhall to allocating a reward (e-commerce gift-cards), David has a range of plans to recognize these behaviors and reward the employees to set examples of how the organizational culture ought to be for the entire firm, thus incentivizing these behaviors among other employees too.
C) Planning training on organizational culture: David has plans to work closely with the Learning and Development (LnD) lead of his firm to incorporate cultural training and assimilation processes by design into the employee experience. This includes activities like setting realistic job expectations at the hiring stage itself, to leveraging simulation and role play during training sessions to depict how can employees contextualize the firm’s culture to their day-do-day activities.
Through these measures, David plans to build a thriving and resilient organization that has solid foundational culture. While his initial preparations seem to be going well, as his company grows and enters subsequent levels of maturity, he must also remind himself to revisit these systems periodically so that they are in accordance to the evolving culture.
At a personal level, the definition of culture itself has helped me keep a clear understanding of the same and relate it to different aspects of an organization. And since then, terms like ‘culture-fit’ seem so much clearer to me. Here’s to more Category A companies who have understood the importance of walking-the-talk when it comes to organizational culture and have taken steps to tangiblize the intangible.