Guest blog: A missed opportunity?

Katie Sandow

Freelance marketer Katie Sandow tells us how HR can also provide marketing opportunities 

A friend of mine recently asked me whether I thought marketing services could go hand in hand with HR services and it set me thinking.

How an organisation manages its staff and its recruitment campaigns is ultimately another window into how it operates. It therefore makes absolute sense that businesses should consider this as another touch point with the outside world and therefore another point where they need to be aware of the impression they’re giving.

I recently received a rather formal email from a company thanking me for an application for a job. As far as I was concerned, I hadn’t written an application and I certainly hadn’t applied for a job. They were actually referring to an email I’d sent regarding a casual post on their website asking freelance writers to ‘get in touch’.

The contrast between the initial call for enquiries and the email response was jarring. They could very well have come from different companies regarding different opportunities. But at least they acknowledged my enquiry.

It seems beyond comprehension that so many organisations state at the outset that applicants should not expect to hear anything regarding a role unless they’re successful. The fact that this has become the norm demonstrates how many companies are failing to see recruitment as an opportunity to put out positive messages and reinforce their position.

Aside from the obvious point that it seems distinctly rude not to thank somebody for their interest in your company, it also suggests a superiority on the part of the company that their time is more important than that of the person who is interested in an advertised role.

Here are a few suggestions to align your marketing and recruitment:

  • Consistency is key – language, tone of voice, imagery. Recruitment is the first window into your business, so it needs to actually reflect your business. If it doesn’t, you risk applications from the wrong crowd, which ultimately means the process is going to be longer and more expensive.
  • Have some respect – recruitment shouldn’t be hierarchical. It’s a level playing field of individuals fulfilling a company’s needs and vice versa. If someone takes the time to get in touch, are you really the type of company that cannot say thank you? Applicants might not be right for your business now, but they could be in the future.
  • Fly the company flag – even if someone isn’t looking for a job, that doesn’t mean they won’t see your advert and be told about your recruitment process. Take it as an opportunity to reinforce your brand messages and highlight your strengths – it might even generate some business!

How do your experiences compare? Does your organisation use recruitment as a marketing opportunity?