Employee Marketing: Is it HR’s Job?


As one marketer said, if someone could bottle the answer to that question, they’d be sitting on bookoo bucks right about now.

Still, marketing internally is important for creating a corporate culture that facilitates an increase in values that will in turn increase a company’s brand value.

As HR professionals who oversee the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring of new staff (as well as consulting with top executives on strategic planning) you are the link between an organization’s management and its employees. Since you’re the first line of contact an employee when they enter your company, you’re also a key player in implementing internal marketing strategies to keep them engaged.

In some ways, the role of HR is going through a shift-especially with the emergence of online companies with less overhead and smaller staffs.

One example is the modern role of “Happiness Director”. It may sound corny now, but companies are putting aside budgets for full-time “Happiness Directors” to manage corporate culture and internal marketing.

Another factor is that the main employee pool is millennials, who have a higher propensity to switch jobs than the generations before them—making happiness in the workplace a valuable asset.

For now, if your company is implementing internal marketing to employees, HR may have to adapt to whatever newly established corporate culture principles are handed down by the guys and gals upstairs.

For example, how you interview prospects may change. The interview questions you ask may need to  change. The types of prospects you select may need to change.

Why?  Because it’s about the individual and how they want to be marketed to, what they want to feel and their values. You as HR have to filter out the people whose values, “feelings” and wants best match the company’s culture.

In other words, you’re the company’s first line of defense.

So, what does a company do to market internally?

Marketing internally can get a bit “fluffy” for many companies with pretty pictures, brochures, and other ‘forced unity’ events like Friday luncheons. But there are plenty of success stories, too.

One such example is birthdays. Having a culture where birthdays are celebrated works in many scenarios—particularly in companies with flat organizational structures.

Marketing to employees is an art and many businesses find it hard to get right.  Is it perfect? No. You can provide an employee with a good salary, flexible time off, positive feedback, and more, but some will still not be happy. Is it where we’re heading? Absolutely. Is it better? Time (and results) will tell.

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