Ten years ago, I was still sending fax blasts, while trying to convince CEOs that this was a dying practice and that digital marketing — email, social and internet marketing — was going to be a much more valuable use of precious budget dollars and time. A lot can change in 10 years, and I predict there will be even more change in the next 10. Not only will new technologies and machine learning (often inaccurately described as artificial intelligence) emerge, but new roles and responsibilities are going to be necessary in order to keep up with the rapid pace in which business changes.
It's not a secret that we are in a candidate-driven market and there is a talent shortage, not just for highly skilled technical roles, but roles from virtually every industry in every level of an organization. From entry-level to executive positions, companies are having a harder time than ever trying to attract and retain talent.
Merriam-Webster defines "marketing" as "the process or technique of promoting, selling and distributing a product or service." Typically, marketers have been tasked with promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service based upon its core goals. For example, a marketer for a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company would be responsible for marketing its software, a marketing representative for an insurance company would be trying to promote their brand to sell insurance plans, etc.
However, in the ever-changing market, I believe a large emphasis is going to be put on promoting and selling companies to candidates. And who better to lead this charge than an experienced marketing professional? Marketers are really great at a lot of things: defining and managing a brand, brand awareness, positioning, content creation and curation, reputation management, being creative, conducting research, utilizing social media effectively and efficiently, and much more.
There are many ways human resource (HR) departments can benefit from a marketer's leadership. To begin, in order to achieve great results, such as attract and retain top talent, you must first have a solid strategy and execution plan in place. Marketing executives are great at strategizing and creating execution plans.
Marketers also know how to organize information into different campaigns to share consistent messages that align with the overall strategy. Each campaign is a mini strategy that relates to the overall strategy. From emails to brochures to videos to your talent management website/page, it is all part of a cohesive strategy. Each element is meticulously planned and aligned.
Have you ever met a boring marketing person? I haven't, either. While many may secretly be introverts, marketers are often known for being creative, charismatic, and vibrant. They portray being social. In order to attract talent, you need to have a team full of networkers and engagers who aren't afraid to talk to new people and who want to serve as the welcoming committee.
Marketers know how to write. The copywriting tasks never end, but the sheer amount of papers required just to get a bachelor's degree in a marketing or communications field is staggering. Marketers know how to craft the right messages to reach the right candidates.
These are the professionals who should be rewriting your job ads. But please note there is a difference between a job ad and a job description. A job description is a legal document, and a job ad is the thing you want people to read/watch/hear that helps them decide they want that job.
You should have collateral on what makes your organization one that any candidate would want to work for. What is the culture like? What benefits do you offer? What perks can people look forward to? How is working there going to help them grow professionally and personally?
Research is another key skill. Marketers spend a lot of time conducting research and market analysis. This is especially helpful for your recruitment marketing efforts since they will know the latest trends that job seekers are seeking.
Finally, consider your branding. What color and what font should be used on your collateral? What's the tone of your message? What voice do you use when writing? Do you use illustration images or photo images? These are all important questions that marketing professionals will know the answers to without even thinking. Everything needs appropriate branding, from your applicant tracking system to your job descriptions and job ads, to your company collateral.
The list could go on with benefits marketing will bring to your talent acquisition process and talent retention strategies. What other ways do you think marketers could make the largest impact?
A version of this article originally appeared on Forbes.com
About the Author, Jimmy Hurff
Jimmy is a seasoned technology executive & entrepreneur noted for leading business transformations. Over his 25+ year career, Jimmy has developed multi-platform expertise in the domains of engineering, data analytics, security, compliance & business transformation. Starting in 1995, Jimmy worked with his best friend, David Webb, to develop one of the world's first Internet job board and resume bank applications. From then to now, Jimmy has been consistently helping his customers to build great teams, using best practices and world-class technology.