HR Managers as Marketers? Yes, the Good Ones Are in 5 Key Ways

HR is never thought of as a marketing-adjacent department. In fact, we see HR managers as responsible for recruitment, hiring, onboarding, training and development, coaching, payroll, and housing a lot of files on employees.

But HR also has an audience – virtually everyone who works in an organization. And developing some marketing strategies to reach the audience within an enterprise can actually boost the brand, generate loyalty, establish relationships, and get conversions – just what content marketers do.

So, here are five marketing strategies that good HR managers should employ in this digital age.

Identify Target Audiences

There will be several in an organization – executives, managers, supervisors/team leaders, IT, clerical. And all of them receive a huge number of internal emails every week. Rather than send a long memo/email targeting everyone, good HR managers segregate their audiences and target them with specific information. People are far more likely to read that email because it is concise and only relates to them.

This is also a good strategy when a new program is coming down the pike. If there is a new training and development program coming up, there should be two separate emails sent out – one to those that should be signing up for the program and one for supervisors or managers who need to encourage their team members to sign up. The one to potential attendees should target the value and benefit to them. There will be different benefits to supervisors and managers.

Use Many Channels

Marketers know that an important campaign will require more than one method of contact. They will use blog posts, social media, newsletters, and emails for example. They also highlight customers, encourage customer conversations/feedback and use visuals when possible.

HR managers who are marketing the brand to their internal people can do the same thing.

  • They can send text messages to individuals or small groups;
  • They can develop mobile apps that can act like newsletters and direct employees to new information and announcements.
  • Those mobile apps can support visuals, videos, and other engaging content.
  • Many HR managers start a company blog and solicit employee contributions
  • If the company is on social media (and it should be), encourage employees to access those platforms and participate.

Marketing a company to internal employees in these ways makes them feel valuable and gives them some “ownership” in the company.

Making “Housekeeping” Easy

What marketers do is make the customer journey as seamless and easy as possible. Everything loads quickly; directions are clear; movement from browsing to selection to payment is smooth.

HR managers have employee tasks that should be seamless and easy as well. By having one part of a site that holds all “housekeeping” tasks, employees only have to access one place to take care of all their “paperwork” responsibilities – changing their W-9’s, providing paperwork required for their health insurance, signing up for other benefits, and all other paperwork that is due periodically. Putting it in the format of a mobile app also allows access on their time and their preferred devices.


Marketers recruit leads. They do this by creating, publishing and promoting exceptional content. The goal is to get more visitors, to establish conversations, to connect and to get conversions whether those are in the form of providing email addresses or making  purchases.

HR has a recruitment role to play, too. It must craft job postings and descriptions, publish them in the right places and get conversions in the way of responses. HR managers want to find the best talent (their version of leads) out there and can use any of the various tools out there to digitally screen applicants for the best prospects.

Measuring ROI

Marketers have the wherewithal to measure everything – they can track every visitor to a site or blog post; they know what they have looked at, how long they have stayed on a page, where they came from, and when they convert in some way. They can re-target customers and visitors with additional products and track whether they “bite.” All of this is because of data science, and it tells marketers what is working and what needs to be changed.

HR can use data science too. While the ROI is not measured in ultimate revenue, it is measured by participation, whether that is in a new wellness program, use of the company website, downloading the newsletter, or taking part in satisfaction surveys. The opening of text and email messages can be tracked as well. The smart HR manager will use the science that is available to determine what is working well, and what may need to be re-modeled and improved. In this day of growing remote individuals and teams, this is especially important.

The Purposes of HR Have Not Changed – The Methods Have

HR is a varied and complex function of any organization. There are just so many sub-components. But one important and overall function is to keep employees engaged, to keep them satisfied, to ensure that they have the information and training they need, and, ultimately, to enhance “buy-in” and loyalty. Our digital world has given HR professionals many ways to do this. If they begin to think of themselves as internal “marketers” for the company brand, they will use the strategies and tactics that their marketing counterparts do to make big changes within the company.

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About the author

Janet Anthony is a passionate blogger and freelance writer at MasterGrades.comShe is always seeking to discover new ways for personal and professional growth.