I recently read a post from ‘8 hours & a lunch‘ about the best and worst jobs. Philosopher was #12 on the list and Deb asked how many people actually know a philosopher. It was cool to comment because I’ve met Tom Morris, who is a real-life philosopher and author of books like “If Harry Potter Ran General Electric“.
So I wanted to write this post today in a format similar to Tom’s books. As a human resources professional, I’ve always viewed my role as being the marketing department for internal customers. I must say that it’s surprising when HR Pros say they dislike marketing activities or they don’t know how to market…because a part of me wonders if there is something more behind their comment.
So to illustrate my point, let’s examine what HR would look like if a marketing director were in charge:
- First and foremost, they would know how the organization makes money and where they spend it. No bones about it. A marketing director knows how the money comes in and what it’s spent on. They have a say in financial decisions.
- They would always be looking for talent. Every marketing director I’ve known was looking for the next great sales person, even when the department had no openings. When they found them, they figured out how to get them into the organization. As a HR person, are you continuously looking for talent? Or just waiting for the next requisition?
- They know what their customers want and are constantly developing products to fit their needs. Good marketers make sure the company’s products and services fill a customer’s need (regardless of the economy). Are HR Pros out there right now making sure benefits and employee programs fill an employee need?
- HR wouldn’t be about policies and procedures; it would be about doing things to benefit the organization. I’m not saying that marketing departments don’t follow the rules…but they do look first at the needs of the company. Consequently, there are moments HR should examine the situation first then possibly amend/revise/throw away the policy and procedure manual for the good of the company. We’re not talking about illegal and immoral stuff. It’s about being creative and effectively operating in the gray zone. Let’s face it – HR does get criticized for trying to make things black/white (when they really aren’t).
Hopefully this outline will help HR to understand that they really are doing marketing work, even if they didn’t realize it. And, perhaps, the next time the marketing director comes to visit, HR Pros will use it as an opportunity to ask a few questions and maybe learn something new.