Heads or tails?

Yesterday I participated on a panel with some marketing folks at #smbdc, the Social Media Club Breakfast with the Social Media Club of DC. We talked about collaboration across departments and how working between these groups can create some great synergies.

While watching my Twitter stream, one of my favorite tweeters, NextMoon, who had watched the presentation, was sharing thoughts about marketing and HR and wrote this:

Talk about hitting the nail on the head.

There are a lot of things that fall under the human resources umbrella. Sure, you’ve got all the standard duties that the old personnel departments used to handle – benefits, employee files, legal issues – but the new and improved HR functions encompass business strategy, talent management, employee training and development, etc. While the old functions may have allowed folks to operate in a vacuum, these new ones require us to get out of our chairs and into the thick of things.

For us HR folks, the marketing comes from a willingness to look beyond our offices and into the core of the workplace. While marketing’s focus tends to be that external piece – client contacts, work proposals, business development – HR needs the same willingness to speak up and often, only internally, doing the same with employees at all levels and across all dicsiplines. Both require you to reach out and connect with people, make people comfortable, allay their fears by addressing concerns, talk up your strengths and make it clear why your organization is the right choice. Marketing is doing this to potential clients, HR to potential recruits.

It really is the same coin, just different focuses. So…heads or tails?

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2 responses to “Heads or tails?

  1. What a great post! Thank you for including me. I’m delighted that I was able to pass on some wisdom, from myself and from Weld, who was my mentor.

    I rarely tell anyone that I’m an HR person, because HR is so often seen as “infrastructure” in a firm. HR is part of a firm’s “energy grid,” providing guidelines, systems, and resources so that employees are treated fairly and given opportunities to grow and develop.

    But in the best firms, the HR people are partners with the practice leaders, working on enhancing the firm’s talent capabilities mix and its value proposition as well.

    And that’s where the real fun is.

    • The HR Intern

      I definitely think that this is wisdom worth sharing. I agree that HR is often seen as the backbone, important and necessary, but rigid, inflexible and resistant to change. By incorporating more of that marketing fervor, HR folks can grow into that practice leader role, using their knowledge to craft solutions that are good for the specific culture they’re applying practices to.

      Thanks for stopping by Marjanne!

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