Why is HR Not Part of Marketing Already?

marketing strategyMarketing has come a long way. 2013 saw the massive dominance of the social business mindset in marketing with content marketing, utility, social media and customer focus driving the pace of change. Nearly every part of modern businesses now realize that they are part of marketing in some aspect.

Even the staid bastion of cost centers that was typically only run by spreadsheet, the customer service department, has started the inexorable march towards being customer and marketing focused.

it seems that every week we read about some amazing new brand or organization integrating marketing into its core operations. Sales, Customer Service, IT and even operations are realizing that in today’s uber connected, collaborative economy the power has shifted towards the crowd. The crowd is where marketing excels.

Sales cares what anyone thinks.

Marketing cares what everyone thinks.

If you are a brand (we all are) then there are three types of crowds:

  1. Customers
  2. Prospects
  3. Employees

I have been thinking a lot this year about the role of HR and recruiting in our modern world. I recently returned to the US and for the first time in 15 years I had the misfortune of trying to get a job. Few things are as demoralizing and frustrating than trying to land a job in the traditional HR driven model. The dreaded ATS black hole swallows you up like spam email in a Matt Cutt’s daydream. Out of the hundreds of job applications and resume submissions I did in my job search I encountered exactly two positive experiences.

Two.

It seems to me that Human Resources and recruiting thinks that they have one single purpose:

To filter out the rejects so they can reward the 1-2 winners (now employees)

Which means that automatically they have the opportunity to piss off potentially thousands in order to reward 2.

What if HR realized that every interaction they with an “applicant” was actually an interaction with a person who was part of one of these crowds:

  1. Customers
  2. Prospects
  3. Employees

What would happen if HR and recruiters realized that every one of the thousands of pissed off and ignored “applicants” were actually prospects (potential customers and employees)? What if they spent time and treated all or even some of the applicants as if they were potential customers or future employees. How much MORE of a budget would HR get if they realized that they have a huge brand impact on tens of thousands of professionals. Especially when they realized that those same applicants are active on social media and collectively have a powerful voice. If your employees should be brand advocates, shouldn’t your potential employees also be brand advocates?

How long would your marketing department last if you ignored and pissed off the thousands of prospects and potential customers and only focused all of your efforts on the two leads you had already identified?

Thoughts and Counter Thoughts?