Making Friends With Marketing: Why, When and How

If you're new to hiring, it may come as a shock that one of your biggest advocates might be in another department entirely. That's right, it's time to make friends with Marketing! 

Why (you ask with that perplexed look on your face) Maren, WHY would I need to make friends with the marketing pros at my company? 


They get attraction in a big way

Half of recruiting and hiring people is attraction. And shockingly, folks in HR or even recruiting, don't always see it this way to begin with. You need someone in marketing to explain how your message will look to your "target market" (which is really your candidate pipeline) and what sort of "buying behavior" (job history and online activities) you should be looking for. Attracting people is something marketing does every day and they can help you get better at it in your recruiting efforts. 

Marketing knows service

They have to. Over the past ten years, email and social have forced marketing to practice what they preach. If you've ever sent out a mass email blast with a mistake as a marketing pro (raises hand) and gotten razzed in email, on Twitter and had your phone ring all in the same minute, you know what I mean. This can be a great thing when it comes to contacting those candidates that didn't make the cut. It might be a natural impulse to ignore or forget about them, but that's no service-minded. Marketing will teach you how to deliver the message softly but effectively (and they probably know a few automation tricks to make your life easier too.)

They understand the power of expectation

When you don't deliver on the expectation as a marketer, you hear about it. That's why so many advertising and marketing messages are tempered with the reality of expectation. This can help in your recruiting efforts. How much information should you be giving your jobseekers? When do they need to apply to have the best chance? How long until they will hear from you if at all? Explaining this ahead of time goes a long way toward having a happy talent pool and marketing understands that.

Great, so I have convinced you that marketing is a powerful ally. Now how to get them on your side? Rule number one: they don't owe you anything. Some other things to consider:

What do you have to offer? Sure marketing has a lot of great ideas and knowledge to share, but remember, so do you! Can you help them assess new hires faster? View distribution packages with a more critical eye? Learn managerial or retention tricks? Whatever it is, make sure that you are giving as much as you get.

Set up a trade

Perhaps you'd like them to view your latest job ads to give them more zest. Offer to test their email campaign with some of your friends. Do you want them to ocassionally point to your jobs portal on Twitter, then make sure support their contest on Facebook. 

View them as professional

If you are asking for their professional opinion then take it. If they say move the CTA button because it doesn't make sense where it is, then take the hint and thank them. However, if they consistently give crummy advice, find a new marketing buddy, or offer to A/B test it with them. The results will benefit you both!

Seems simple right? It is, but the final piece of this puzzle is the when. When you ask marketing for help is as important as the how or why. If you wait until you have a campaign ready to launch to call in your new buddy, they may think you don't respect their time, or worse, that you are using them only for their professional skills with no intention of payback.

- Don't approach them with no time for them to help.
- Don't wait until you NEED marketing support. Cultivate the relationship about 4-5 months ahead of time.
- DO have a plan for where they can specifically help so they can say "yes" or "no".
- Don't frustrate them with abstract emails and phone calls. Lay out your plans up front.

Now that you have the why, how and when of asking marketing to help with recruitment, get busy!!

photo credit: martymadrid via photopin cc

About the Author

Maren Hogan is a marketer and community builder in the HR and Recruiting space. Most recently the Head of Marketing, US for BraveNewTalent, she's recently resumed her consultancy at Red Branch Media, handling marketing strategy and content developments for HR and Recruiting vendors. You can connect with Maren on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, as well as read her latest posts on Marenated and RedBranchMedia.
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