What do marketing and human resources have to do with each other? More than you might think! Just as customers want to be convinced of your products or services, convincing employees and applicants also plays an increasingly important role these days. You can only be successful in the long term if both are successful. The basis is a corresponding HR marketing concept. We show how it’s done.

As the name suggests, human resources marketing (or personnel marketing) is at the interface between personnel management and marketing. An HR marketing concept must therefore combine both HR management and marketing-technical aspects. The central element here is the brand, the employer brand. It forms the identity of your company and thus creates the effect of how existing employees and potential applicants perceive your company. Basically, an HR marketing concept differentiates between internal and external customized HR consulting services providers.

The development of an HR marketing concept follows – like all strategic concepts – a specific process that can be divided into five phases.

1. Current situation: What is the starting position?

Everything starts with an inventory. So, where do we stand in terms of HR marketing? Here, considering your employer brand, it should be determined to what extent existing internal and external HR measures include the brand idea. Internally, it is particularly important to check whether the arguments of the Employer Value Proposition are convincing and are being lived. Externally, it is important to check how your company positions itself in the competitive environment, how others perceive it, and whether this corresponds to the idea that you want to convey to the outside world.

2. Target State: What do we want to achieve?

The second step is to define your company’s goals. What do we want to achieve with our HR marketing? The overriding goal can be to increase the attractiveness of an employer in general. However, a sub-area may also have priority, for example with regard to internal or external HR marketing.

External HR marketing goal: “Attraction”

  • Positive employer image
  • Increase awareness of the company
  • Ensure sufficient applicant potential
  • Lower recruiting costs

Internal HR marketing goal: “Retention”

  • Increase commitment and loyalty to the company
  • Lower the turnover rate in the company
  • Build a pool of potential junior executives

Depending on the result of the analysis of the current situation, the focus of your HR marketing concept can vary. In any case, you should state your goals as specifically as possible to check the achievement of goals in the last step.

3. Strategy: How do we convert the current state into the target state?

A concept needs not only goals but also a strategic line that the long-term process is based on. In other words: the course is set, now you should set the guard rails. Above all, this includes the draft of a model that should be present in all HR areas in the future. In other words, think about how you can integrate the HR marketing concept into your personnel activities – from recruiting and personnel selection to personnel development. Important: This is about a medium to a long-term orientation. Assume that the development and implementation of the HR marketing concept may take months or years.

4. Measures: Which instruments do we use for implementation?

Now it’s getting more concrete. Think about the ways in which you can achieve your goals. It makes sense to assign appropriate measures to each goal and, ideally, sort them according to the cost-benefit ratio. For example, ask yourself: What can be implemented immediately, what requires longer planning? What is the budget enough for? Do we need know-how from a service provider? Below you will find a selection of suitable measures to achieve external and internal HR marketing goals.

External HR marketing measures

  • Measures for employer branding, especially with a view to the employee value proposition
  • Measures for recruiting (also e-recruiting), especially with regard to suitable specialist and management personnel
  • Improve candidate relationship management, for example, through the use of professional recruiting software
  • Better communication on the Web, such as websites, social media, etc.
  • More publicity measures such as open days, trade fairs, etc.

Internal HR marketing measures

  • HR services such as work-life balance, etc.
  • Programs for employee retention
  • Attractive pay, benefits and incentive system
  • Offers career planning, employee development and further training
  • feedback options such as by employee interviews and employee surveys
  • Internal PR tools such as an intranet, company magazines, etc.

5. Monitoring the success of the HR marketing concept: How do the measures work?

As is so often the case, the following also applies in this case: trust is good, control is better. Check at regular intervals whether milestones have been reached or how individual measures are working. Key figures can be informative here, for example, to measure the success of recruiting or the fluctuation rate within your company. At the same time, you should definitely use methods for qualitative success measurement, for example, positioning on the job market, employee or applicant satisfaction, and much more. Direct contact with your target group – current and future employees – is important in monitoring success. After all, they can best tell you whether your HR marketing strategy is convincing or not.