5 reasons human resources hurt consumer brands

Every person connected to your organization is in sales and marketing.  Each interaction anyone connected to your company, your government agency, your non-profit, or your university has with the anyone is an interaction with your brand.

Every interaction with a vendor, supplier, or competitor is as important as an interaction with a potential customer.  At each touch point, your organization sells your organization’s values; each and every time.

But what does this have to do with human resources?  Traditionally?  Nothing.  But today, everything.  And to bring this into a more clear picture, think on this:  every job applicant or potential employee your organization deals represents a potential customer or potential former customer.

If you believe this, then your entire candidate tracking program should be treated as importantly as your sales people treat their sales pipeline or customer relationship management.

A recent article from the United Kingdom Poor treatment of failed job applicants ‘hurts consumer brand’.  Here are some highlights:

HR departments that fail to respond to every job applicant could be hurting their organisation by alienating potential customers, experts have warned.

Half of UK jobseekers have been left with a negative impression of an organisation following an unsuccessful job application, while a fifth have stopped buying their products as a result, according to a survey from talent assessment specialists SHL.

SHL warned that although many organisations were now inundated by applications, they risked alienating customers and damaging business performance by failing to realise the link between the employer brand and customer brand.

David Leigh, CEO of SHL, said: ‘It can be easy to dismiss applicants who aren’t suitable, but employers must remember that unsuccessful job applicants are also potential customers and ignoring them could impact the bottom line. A bad recruitment experience can be at least as damaging as a bad customer experience in-store.’

Cultivate your recruiting as another sales channel.  Even if you can not hire every great candidate you can certainly treat every candidate with respect and decency and keep them as an advocate.

Here are 5 reasons to make every candidate feel like an important customer:

  1. Your candidate is a customer, can be your customer or just as easily your competitor’s;
  2. A candidate with a positive feeling continues to believe in and advocate for your organization;
  3. Your candidate might make a great fit in another position;
  4. Your candidate might make a great fit at another time;
  5. Your candidate might recommend someone as a better fit (we all know why we value employee recommendations)

As a human resource professional you are either making a business case and driving sales or you are simply a staff function.

You are either improving financial performance or you are a cost center.

As we have seen the last few years, if you are a cost center you are not a core competency – get a seat at the table with a candidate relationship management system.

Make the business case for your entire organization to treat interviewing and recruiting as a sales call.  After all, that is your job.

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Comments 2

  1. Great post. You've got me thinking….here are some other functions typically handled by HR. Surely, there are more. But here are a few off the top of my head…

    1) Conflict Management: Ultimately we should all be able to solve our own problems with others.

    2) Develop job descriptions: Initially, we are usually stuck with the job description that is handed to us (by HR). But the wise employee is able to develop their own job description over time.

    3) Training management: It is our responsibility to develop the skills needed to not only perform in our current job, but also in those we aspire to next.

    Yep. We are all in HR.

  2. Taking human resources to a core business strategy role is essential. Unfortunately, only the most progressive companies look at human resources as a competitive business advantage.

    The company and the human resource professional that looks at human resources as a cost center, compliance-driven, transaction role is on its path to extinction.

    Ultimately, the human resource field is responsible to amp up their game and become a business partner. There are a lot of functions, John, that human resources, obviously, touches: job families, job descriptions, strategic hiring, performance management, training, compensation [which is more than just $$$], and conflict management – as you mention.

    Thank you for taking the time to comment, I've enjoyed discovering your posts and look forward to learning more.

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