Not incorrectly, when people think about marketing, they think about marketing to customers. But recent events are forcing employers to consider marketing to another population- their employees and their future employees.
In February, CBS reported statistics from the Labor Department showing 670,000 job vacancies, a 17% jump from the previous year. Becky Frankiewicz, the president of Manpower Group North America suggests that the labor market is getting tighter and there is a talent shortage. And to her this means “skilled workers are calling the shots,”
She urges companies to understand what workers want and says it is more than pay and ping pong in the office. It is benefits. "Employees are now stakeholders in companies’ ecosystems,” Frankiewicz reminds us.
And now the world is dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. Businesses are laying people off and essential workers are striking. Some businesses are shuttering their doors for an indefinite amount of time. People are hurt and skeptical of corporations.
Businesses will have marketing work to do for employees.
Companies and marketing professionals will have to look at marketing differently, and as Forbes predicted in March 2020, marketing specialists might be employed in the HR department of many companies.
What do employees want?
We have been hearing about undesirable working conditions in some of the country’s top companies. Oftentimes, these complaints are coming from low-wage workers. However, that doesn’t mean the company’s image isn’t tarnished in the eyes of highly skilled and paid workers.
Companies with accusations against them will need to address these concerns and show the candidate market what they have done to correct past missteps. Competing companies will have to market themselves as counter to this image.
Some of these complaints have been:
Part time hours or gig work that lead to no benefits
No sick leave
Unsafe working conditions
All of the above complaints can be summed up as lack of respect. Why would an executive, a salesperson, an IT specialist or a truck driver want to work for a company that shows a lack of respect for employees, for humans?
How can a marketing specialist help?
Marketers help companies listen to the market. They then use that information to develop a marketing plan and then they design marketing strategies and campaigns.
So why not listen to your employees as well. And the candidate markets to find out what employees and potential employees want.
If the country is in a talent shortage, as Frankiewicz says, then the workers have the leverage.
A marketing strategist already knows how to work with the sales team, the advertising team, and the executive team; surely they can learn to work with the human resources team.
Marketing to employees and candidates will not only get you quality employees, but it will also show customers that you are a company with integrity and values. And as we have seen before, the younger generations buy with their ethics.
Marketing to Current Employees
Once an employee is onboarded, there is still marketing to be done. For several reasons, it is important to keep employees informed regarding new campaigns, products, initiatives, updated visions and so on.
Employees like to feel considered, important and in the loop. Having the marketing team help pen the communication to employees will keep the message consistent across all platforms and audiences
Employees are the company’s biggest ambassadors. If they are happy and well informed, they can help spread the right message.
Adding a marketing specialist to your HR team or having the marketing team and the HR team work together is all about cohesiveness and communication.