This paper discusses the growing popularity of social media networking as a recruitment tool, and it outlines key considerations that human resources must take when using social networking. (Doherty,2010). Also, discussed is how human resources can brand and package their programs and initiatives to retain employees. (Annett, 2001). Further to the discussion of branding this paper examines employer branding as a potential tool to communicate the value proposition of the employer and how it supersedes their competitors. Priyadarshi, 2011). Utilizing the eight steps Kotter & Schlesinger mention in their article “Choosing Strategies for Change” the paper demonstrates how marketing can support change effectively. Internal marketing is also explored for its ability to influence corporate culture, specifically through the use of Investors In People (IIP). (Hogg, Carter, Dunne, 1998). Introduction YXZ College has received a gift of five billion dollars, allowing them to expand its student population, curriculum, physical plant, sports programs, and financial aid.
This gift will impact and change the colleges’ capacity to serve different members of the community and expand its employee population. The HR Director has been tasked with analyzing methods of marketing strategies to support the HR responsibilities in advertising and recruiting professionals; to fill the roles created by the expansion of the undergraduate information technology and business programs; the establishment of a men’s football team and a women’s softball team; and building new sports facilities. Advertising Strategy Technology is all around us; it is used in homes (e. . PC’s, DVD players, CD players, Wii stations, Xbox stations, iPads, iPhones, etc), in our workplace’s (e. g. PC’s, cell phones, copiers, printers, workplace internet, etc), so it only makes sense that for businesses to “keep up with the times” they must be competitive in their recruiting processes. In order to attract and retain the new generation, which is tech savvy, businesses must make their employer brand stand out from the rest by showing that it is staying up with the times and embracing technology as ways of communicating. (Doherty, 2010).
For example, one way to attract and retain top talent is through social media. Considering social media is here to stay, therefore it is important that the college fully understands the potential benefits and pitfalls, so they are able to use the right social networking tools to meet their recruitment needs. (Doherty, 2010). Let’s first look at the benefits associated with social networking. Utilizing social media in an effort to attract top talent is beneficial in that it removes the administrative burden from human resources. (Doherty, 2010) For example, many CV’s are famous for being out of date.
People do not have the time to consistently update their CV’s, nor do they ever think about their CV until they either see a job posting that looks interesting or they decide to start beating the pavement for a better employer. People who use social media sites tend to put more personal information about themselves, such as employment history, hobbies, and interests, thus for the employer, this information is likely more accurate thereby more advantageous to use. In addition, a detailed profile can provide a greater insight into a candidates skills and personality, as a CV is not tailored in any particular way. Doherty, 2010). CV’s normally do not have hobbies and interests; they are more tailored to employment history and education history. When an HR professional is going through stacks of CV’s it is hard to get a good feel for a person from reading their employment and education history. It is quite boring actually, but through social media an HR professional can get a better feel for a person’s personality and review the candidate’s information in seconds rather than several minutes.
This alleviates the burden of comparing and assessing multiple and unique CV’s. Doherty, 2010). However, for every positive for using social media there can be negatives. Social media should only be used for recruiting; even though it is popular there are still those that do not use social media. There are moral and ethical risks to consider, and businesses must be careful when using public, non-professional information to support a hiring decision. As long as organizations keep to their discrimination policies the risk of moral and ethical compromise can be avoided. (Doherty, 2010). Also, keeping in mind he type of candidates that an organization will attract through various social media sites, such as Facebook will attract a totally different candidate than a professional social media site such as LinkedIn. To avoid this, an organization must be clear and precise in their target audience and understand which candidates use which social media outlet and build their strategy accordingly. (Doherty, 2010). If done successfully, social media recruiting can improve an organizations recruitment brand by giving the company a new modern identity.
Furthermore, human resources stands to boost itself in the eyes of other departments in the organization, allowing it take a proactive leadership role and guide the rest of the company in organization-wide employee engagement activities. Social media can certainly add value to an organizations recruitment activity; however, it must be carefully managed with the right processes and technology to support it. The organizations that understand this will prosper, while those that do not risk damaging their recruitment brand. (Doherty, 2010). Furthermore, branding can not only aid in recruitment, but it is also essential in retaining employees.
HR Branding Human resources offers an array of products and initiatives and must package them accordingly under a specific combined set of symbols and key messages to communicate their link to business objectives, organizational values and culture and the organizations total rewards philosophy. (Annett). A positive HR brand can breed an emotional connection between employees and the college, whereby increasing employee loyalty. By providing rewarding benefits and a certain image the human resource brand can also prove to be a powerful tool in positioning the human resources department as a strategic player in the college.
Human resource branding can aid in helping employees make sense of all the programs and initiatives human resources has developed, thus helping to get the employees appreciation and buy-in. (Annett). For example, resource consultants Hewitt Associates suggest five steps to developing a strong employer brand: (1) understand your organization, (2) create a ‘compelling brand promise’ for employees that mirror the brand promise for customers, (3) develop standards to measure the fulfillment of brand promise, (4) ruthlessly align all people practices to support and reinforce brand promise, and (5) execute the measure. (Priyadarshi, 2011).
Essentially, companies with a strong employment brand can effectively reduce the cost of acquiring employees, improve employee relations, increase employee retention, and even offer lower salaries for comparable staff to firms of weaker employer brands. (Priyadarshi, 2011). Furthermore, it is logical to send the brand message to employees and stakeholders through internal marketing. Internal Marketing Internal marketing defined as the bases in which an organization treats their employees as customers, leads to changes in employee attitudes, therefore positively effecting customer satisfaction. Today, internal marketing a. . a. Internal Communication (IC) is an essential consideration for any organization to communicate internally. It has been further suggested that the 21st Century marketing and communication manager must recognize there are multiple markets, marketplaces, customers, channels, etc. One of the most important parts of internal marketing communication is communication with employees. In order to coherently transfer brand values to the company’s stakeholders, employees must develop a shared understanding of what the brand stands for, this can be accomplished through implementation of a ‘unified’ communication approach. Ferdous, 2008). For example, there are various internal communication tools that can be used, such as internal advertising or other internally directed promotional activities; these can be used to aid the ‘buying into the ‘programme’ process by employees. Therefore, it is necessary to combine the communication tools to be effective. Internal marketing communication has as much to gain by combining the various internal communication tools as the external communication tools.
In fact, in order to breed internal branding, employee satisfaction and commitment various internal communication tools should be used, such as personal selling, workshops, internal advertising, appropriate incentives and rewards, which all need to be applied in a combined approach. Equally important is to continually measure the effectiveness of internal marketing communication and use the results to take corrective action to close any communication gaps. It has been highly recommended that in order to support the effectiveness of internal marketing top management should nvolve all levels of employees, continuously and consistently communicate under all organizational conditions and provide full commitment to support the program. (Ferdous, 2008). Equally important is effectively managing change through marketing strategies. Strategy Changes Change brings with it problems; efforts to make changes within an organization, no matter how insignificant or significant, will encounter problems. Often times they can take longer than expected or desired, they sometimes hurt morale, and they often times cost a great deal of time, money, and even emotional upheaval.
Changes that appear to be “positive” or “rational” will still experience some emotional turmoil. For different reasons people or groups react differently toward change. It can be from passively resisting change, to aggressively trying to undermine change, to sincerely embracing change. (Kotter & Schlesinger, 2008). Managers should be aware of some predictors to change; they can be a desire not to lose something of value, a misunderstood or implication of the change, a belief that the change does not make sense for the organization, and a low tolerance for change.
Managers often times minimize the variety of ways people react to change and their ability to positively influence individuals and groups during the change. Managers sometimes do not understand the advantages and disadvantages of the methods they are familiar with in incorporating change. (Kotter & Schlesinger, 2008). Education and communication. A common way to overcome resistance is to educate people beforehand. To help people realize the need and logic behind a change communication can be vital. It can involve one-on-one discussions, presentations to groups, or memos and reports.
The drawback in this type of program is that requires a good relationship between the initiator and the resistor or the resistor may not believe what they hear. It also requires time and effort. (Kotter & Schlesinger, 2008). Participation and involvement: By involving the resistors in the implementation and design of the change the initiator can head-off the resistance. When everyone is participating in the change the initiator can encourage feedback and gain useful insights. The drawbacks are that it can ead to poor solutions if the process is not monitored and measured carefully, and it can also be very time consuming. If changes need to happen immediately, participation and involvement can take too long. (Kotter & Schlesinger, 2008). Facilitation and support. Managers should be supportive to the potential resistor. This can include training of new skills, or giving employees time off after a demanding period, or simply listening and providing emotional support. The drawback to facilitation and support is it can be time consuming and expensive and in the long run still fail. (Kotter & Schlesinger, 2008). Negotiation and agreement. Incentives are another way that can prove beneficial to active or potential resistors. Such negotiations are particularly appropriate when it is clear that someone is going to lose out as a result of the change and their power of resistance is significant. Negotiated agreements can be a relatively easy way to avoid major resistance. Although, once a manager opens himself up to negotiation to avoid major resistance, he also opens himself up to potential blackmail. .(Kotter & Schlesinger, 2008).
Manipulation and co-optation. Sometimes the initiator will rally the troops by giving a leader or someone they respect a key role in the design and implementation of the change, not that the initiator needs the advice of the co-opted, rather just their endorsement. The drawback to this type of manipulation, however is if the person being manipulated feels they are being tricked, or not being treated equally, or being lied to, they may respond negatively. To a great degree manipulation can address what they see as hidden treatment or lies with a negative response.
If the manager gets a reputation as a manipulator not only can it undermine his ability to use approaches such as education/communication and participation/involvement, but it could potentially ruin his career with the company. However, when all else fails and time is running out manipulation might be the only course of action. Manipulation as a tool has been done successfully–particularly when all other tactics have not been successful or produced any positive results. .(Kotter & Schlesinger, 2008). Lastly, with change comes the ability to maintain the culture and climate of the organization.
The question has been ask whether climate and culture represent different sensations or simply approaches the same issue from different viewpoints. It appears the two have a lot in common; both are concerned with the affects and understandings of the values and behavior of the employees in relation to their work environment. Climate is the result of external forces and difficult to control. Culture to a large extent, evolves from many beliefs and assumptions of the group being developed through climate. The difference with culture is it is continually changing in response to the values of the employees.
Employees work within a climate, they do not create climate; culture is created by individuals. (Hogg, Carter, & Dunn, 1998). Linked to corporate culture are the concepts of organizational identity and image. Organizational identity is how the employees perceive, think and feel about their workplace. Therefore, the way employees perceive the workplace projects the image of that organization to their external customers. As the line between internal and external aspects of the organization is taken away then the employees’ view of the organization becomes foremost.
It is becoming less and less possible for organizations to disconnect their internal and external functioning’s. (Hogg, Carter, & Dunn, 1998). One way to accomplish this is through a program referred to as Investors in People (IIP). Investors in People (IIP) is a threshold standard built around the principles of commitment, planning, action and evaluation, IIP is basically an HR initiative that focuses on training and development of employees, with its specific customer focus IIP drives a link between the business strategy and HR by tying together the development of employees to the goals and targets of the organization.
The intention of IIP is to alter the beliefs, attitudes and behaviors of the employees with the subsequent effect on culture in the organization. Simply stated IIP is the glue for the management of change, a process that smooth’s cultural change within an organization. (Hogg, Carter, & Dunn, 1998). There are four key elements IIP depends on four successes; communication via regular briefings with staff regarding the organizations aims, goals, and achievements; staff training in company values, policies, etc. staff appraisal and feedback systems; and finally customer awareness of the end users perceptions of the organization and the quality of the products they produce. (Hogg, Carter, & Dunn, 1998). The key to success of such a program is two-way communication, meaning the views of the management are communicated to the employees and the views of the employees are communicated back to management. (Hogg, Carter, & Dunn, 1998). Conclusion In conclusion this paper effectively shows how XYZ College can utilize technology as a means of an advertising strategy that can attract top talent.
Further to this discussion is the ability for human resources to use branding as an ability to support the department in retaining top talent. Additionally, internal communications was discussed as a choice of a marketing strategy to create, build, and maintain the credibility of the organization through human resources. Then using Kotter’s and Schlesinger’s eight steps for change demonstrate how marketing strategies can enable change. Lastly, the paper analyzes how the program Investors In People (IIP) can maintain organizational culture and climate and reduce the negative impact of change.