Will Marketing take over HR?
published by , on 02/09/2014

Door Hans Rothweiler (Top Employers Institute)

The Top Employers Institute believes it is time to take both HR and employer branding to a next level. It’s no surprise that some of the best-known high-street brands are also some of the best ‘employer brands’ too. While companies such as Google, Apple, eBay and Sony all regularly top polls for having the most recognised consumer brand, they are also the companies ordinary people most aspire to work at if offered the chance.

Such is the strength of the employer brand, is that they can still have the power to attract top talent even when all around them appears to be collapsing.

But companies who are aware of this fact also know that successful employer branding has a much more broader remit than simply attracting, retaining and engaging talent. A strong employer brand is also what creates trust amongst customers, investors and shareholders. Which is also why it is HR professionals (not just marketers) who must also become an important player in corporate and product marketing of the organisation. It is only when HR incorporates marketing philosophy, and the principles and instruments behind the concept of employer branding (recognition, insight and visibility), that it has all the necessary skills to win the war for customers, investors and shareholders. In fact some might suggest that unless HR is willing to do this, the HR director is in danger of losing his job to the marketing director.

Achieving this is not easy. HR professionals need a new set of competencies to fulfill a role as a so -called ‘HR Marketer’. But the task is not insurmountable. Take two very different organisations: Company A. which makes and sells coffee, and Company B, which produces and sells energy and petrochemicals. Despite working in different sectors, both companies know that the value of their brand is more than just the coffee they brew or the petrol they sell at the pumps. They know it is their brand-value that really represents everything the companies stand for which is why most of what they stand for is actually embodied in the people they employ. It also explains why the marketing and HR functions at these companies are strongly interrelated. Both have created positions that bridge the two traditionally separated disciplines. Company A calls its top HR marketer the global employer brand manager, which indicates most of his time is spent firmly on the HR side of marketing. They regard this as crucial because the company is renowned worldwide for the ethical codes every employee has to live by.

Company B has taken this approach even one step further: Its marketing department is actually integrated into the HR department, and its global marketing manager is also manager recruitment and global HR communications manager. “It is HR and marketing together, and a completely different way of thinking”, says company B’s HR Director. In an interview with HR Magazine he says: “The two functions may use a different language, but they are both in the business of selling the brand. I want our HR people to understand the common tools, the language and techniques marketers use that have a direct impact on HR’s ability to do its job.”

In fact this warns fellow HR managers to be alert: If you are not strategic, the marketing director could end up taking your job and being the new HR director. To some extent, this prophecy has already materialised at some companies. Although you can describes yourself as an ‘HR person’, you could originally have joined the company as a VP of customer relationship management. Before that you could be a marketing manager. So in a way, the marketer has already taken over some part of the HR function. Time indeed for HR managers to be alert.


(Mededeling van

Seminar ‘HR Marketing/PR werkt !’

16/9/2014 (Brussel)

75 euro korting voor PASSport-houders*. Vraag op uw promocode aan op als u PASSport-houder bent. Klik hier om te achterhalen of PASSport-houder bent of recht hebt op een PASSport-login.

Tijdens dit seminar leert u van specialisten hoe een marketing- en PR-aanpak het HR-beleid van bedrijven/organisaties kan versterken. En hoe HR-dienstverleners/consultants eveneens hun voordeel kunnen doen met pientere marketing en vernuftige public relations.

Sprekers: Jan Denys (director corporate communications & public affairsRandstad Belgium),  Geerlinde Pevenage (managing director, Talking Heads), Laurens Van Dessel (consultant in employer marketing, Insilencio) en Rapahël Copis (communication & human resources director, AG Insurance). Host: Kristien Vermoesen (FINN).

Partner/sponsor: Top Employers Institute

Meer info en inschrijving :


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