Human resource marketing: a formidable weapon in the fight against labor shortages

Loyalty should begin long before an employee first enters the office. (Photo: 123RF)

When Jean Couto’s group of 420 pharmacists in its network asked what it could do to help them fight labor shortages, its senior director of human resources noted “the dire need to attract talent,” Annie Brisson recalled in an interview with Les Affres.

The owner pharmacists, however, did not sit idly by. “What was missing was this consistency, this employer situation,” says a Certified Human Resources Consultant (CRHA). In other words, the group had to come up with its own HR marketing strategy.

“We know good HR practices. Now, we have to make sure it is in line with the promise of the employer, and that everyone is working in the same direction,” explains consultant and speaker, Emily Pelletier.

For 16 years, HRM Groupe, founded by Ms. Pelletier in 2006 with Didier Dubois, has been raising awareness first in HR departments and then, more and more, in marketing about the importance of combining these two disciplines to attract a workforce.

However, the rising popularity of this practice is leading to the emergence of acronyms.

“Often, what some people call HR marketing is really just hiring campaigns. But it goes much deeper than that. We have to start by defining what our ’employer promise’ is,” she adds.

An employer promise is the cornerstone of human resource marketing, the kind of experience a worker will have on a daily basis. Without this “serious” thinking done beforehand, chances are high that the recruiter will leave the organization soon after being hired. CRHA warns of its disappointment for not taking advantage of what it promised, and will spread its disappointment in the job market.

“We are not going to hide it, we are riding a mare. There are things that we must apply quickly to meet our needs, but at least they allow us to be coherent and cohesive.”

long-term approach

This process is well done and takes several months. During the first three to four months, the company should begin with an “internal survey, compared to what has been done elsewhere, focus groups,” in order to determine the employer’s brand, according to the expert.

Then, the company should work on the attraction and retention plan – what we call external HR marketing and internal HR marketing, respectively – for the next two months at the most.

Finally, the attraction plan will be implemented within one year, while the loyalty plan will be implemented over three to five years. [Certes]We’ll readjust it as we go, but it at least gives an idea of ​​what we’re getting into,” Emily Pelletier outlines.

For its part, Jean Couto Group started its operation in September 2021 by conducting its first survey of its employees. At the time these lines were written, the company was about to learn the results of its first attack to seduce potential candidates, through an advertising campaign. “Now we’ll see what the conversion rate for these clicks is,” says Annie Bryson, who has called on HRM Groupe Services.

This huge and costly business—a small and medium business with fifty employees should expect to spend between $20,000 and $30,000—will be a good team mobilizer, Emily Pelletier asserts, since all members of the organization are invited to contribute directly or indirectly to the This is the shared vision of the business owner. “It’s much more than an advertising campaign,” she says.

The importance of manager training

In order to fulfill this promise, the company will have to train its managers. “They are the people who bring the employee experience we sell to candidates to life on a daily basis.”

This is why she recommends creating a guide, to ensure that there is “standardization of approved practices and behaviors” and that they meet the expectations of the organization.

This is what Jean Coutu Group did when it published its first employer website in its branches in May 2022. “We informed them, we educated them, we sent them a toolbox, but great work awaits them, to revive these initiatives” over the next two years in order to retain their employees, as warns.

Retention must now begin long before the employee first arrives at the office. Once the contract is signed, […], we start creating an affiliate link with it. We don’t want another company to make him a more attractive offer in the meantime and he won’t show up on the first day,” the consultant notes.

Emilie Pelletier also suggests producing “snap reports” three to four weeks after a recruit has entered the position, in order to implement quality control of the integration process and make corrections if necessary. Close monitoring of his satisfaction should now continue for a year.

After the candidate experience and employee experience, the speaker now notes the emergence of “post-employment” experience. By leaving the boss in good conditions and maintaining a certain attachment to the organization, the former co-worker can recommend other workers to join the team, or even set foot in the company himself.

After all, the honeymoon with his new duties will also last three months: “It is not bad to call them to see if they still like it. »

When Jean Couto Group asked 420 pharmacy owners in their network what they could do to help them cope with a labor shortage, its senior director of human resources noted “the dire need to attract talent,” Annie Brisson recalled in an interview with Business.

The owner pharmacists, however, did not sit idly by. “What was missing was this consistency, this employer situation,” says a Certified Human Resources Consultant (CRHA). In other words, the group had to come up with its own HR marketing strategy.

“We know good HR practices. Now, we have to make sure it is in line with the promise of the employer, and that everyone is working in the same direction,” explains consultant and speaker, Emily Pelletier.

For 16 years, HRM Groupe, founded by Emilie Pelletier in 2006 with Didier Dubois, has been raising awareness first in HR departments and then, more and more, in marketing about the importance of combining these two disciplines to attract and retain a workforce.

However, the rising popularity of this practice is leading to the emergence of acronyms.

“Often, what some people call HR marketing is really just hiring campaigns. But it goes much deeper than that. We have to start by defining what our ’employer promise’ is,” she adds.

An employer promise is the cornerstone of human resource marketing, the kind of experience a worker will have on a daily basis. Without this “serious” thinking done beforehand, chances are high that the recruiter will leave the organization soon after being hired. CRHA warns of its disappointment for not taking advantage of what it promised, and will spread its disappointment in the job market.

“We are not going to hide it, we are riding a mare. There are things that we must apply quickly to meet our needs, but at least they allow us to be coherent and cohesive.”

long-term approach

This process is well done and takes several months. During the first three to four months, the company should begin with an “internal survey, compared to what has been done elsewhere, focus groups,” in order to determine the employer’s brand, according to the expert.

Then, the company should work on the attraction and retention plan – what we call external HR marketing and internal HR marketing, respectively – for the next two months at the most.

Finally, the attraction plan will be implemented within one year, while the loyalty plan will be implemented over three to five years. [Certes]We’ll readjust it as we go, but it at least gives an idea of ​​what we’re getting into,” Emily Pelletier outlines.

For its part, Jean Couto Group started its operation in September 2021 by conducting its first survey of its employees. At the time these lines were written, the company was about to learn the results of its first attack to seduce potential candidates, through an advertising campaign. “Now we’ll see what the conversion rate for these clicks is,” says Annie Bryson, who has called on HRM Groupe Services.

This huge and costly business—a small and medium business with fifty employees should expect to spend between $20,000 and $30,000—will be a good team mobilizer, Emily Pelletier asserts, since all members of the organization are invited to contribute directly or indirectly to the This is the shared vision of the business owner. “It’s much more than an advertising campaign,” she says.

The importance of manager training

In order to fulfill this promise, the company will have to train its managers. “They are the people who bring the employee experience we sell to candidates to life on a daily basis.”

This is why she recommends creating a guide, to ensure that there is “standardization of approved practices and behaviors” and that they meet the expectations of the organization.

This is what Jean Coutu Group did when it published its first employer website in its branches in May 2022. “We informed them, we educated them, we sent them a toolbox, but great work awaits them, to revive these initiatives” over the next two years in order to retain their employees, as warns.

Retention must now begin long before the employee first arrives at the office. Once the contract is signed, […], we start creating an affiliate link with it. We don’t want another company to make him a more attractive offer in the meantime and he won’t show up on the first day,” the consultant notes.

Emilie Pelletier also suggests producing “snap reports” three to four weeks after a recruit has entered the position, in order to implement quality control of the integration process and make corrections if necessary. Close monitoring of his satisfaction should now continue for a year.

After the candidate experience and employee experience, the speaker now notes the emergence of “post-employment” experience. By leaving the boss in good conditions and maintaining a certain attachment to the organization, the former co-worker can recommend other workers to join the team, or even set foot in the company himself.

After all, the honeymoon with his new duties will also last three months: “It is not bad to call them to see if they still like it. »

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