HR Marketing : towards the employee experience

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marketing rhEither human resources and social media are the subject of many books but very few cover both fields. The intersection of HR and social media is still a very discussed matter but very few people have found the keys. That’s why I was impatient to read “Marketing RH” (HR Marketing) that recently came out of press. The book has been written by Franck La Pinta (Chief Digital HR Officer at Société Générale bank) and Vincent Berthelot ( HR 2.0 Manager ar RATP – Paris Public Transportation Agency), two seasoned practitioners who have been  exploring the field for ages.

The impact of the web on organizations is still poorly understood

The book starts with an overview of how the web and social media changed things in people’s lives, changed the balance of power between individual and businesses and explains what’s at stake for businesses. At first sight I wondered if this first part was necessary since the matter has been trendy for at least half a decade. Then I realized to what extent the authors were true : a lot of business functions and most of all HR (at least in France) are still considering the ongoing revolution as someone else’s concern and something that may happen one day while we’re already “the day after”. So it’s useful to repeat once again what happened and show how critical it is to find the right response, most of all for the many HR practitioners who are still convinced that it’s not their job.

The rest of the book is made of three parts : what a HR marketing strategy is, how to design one’s, how to put it at work. An approach that goes from strategy to practical implementation and covers everything one would want to know,.

Through HR marketing that’s the whole HR offering that’s revisited, not from a social media perspective but regarding to what’s at stake for a business in the connected and digital world that’s ours in 2014, social media being only one part of the issue. An HR offering to build, explain, sell and deliver to employees, candidates and stakeholders in a context characterized by talent shortage, high demand for transparency and a new balance of power.

What I learned from the book.

• It’s not about communication and new postures. All HR processes are impacted. Of course those related to the relationship with employees and candidates but also learning, training, talent management, workforce planning etc.. Behind Digital there’s also the raising importance of data that will play a major role in the next year.

• It’s the end of HR processes designed for and around the enterprise and deployed towards employees and candidates. It’s now a matter of employee/candidate experience, of people experience since the impact also concerns stakeholders of any kind, influencers and. Everything must be though based on employee/candidate experience all along their life-cycle as such. Process efficiency matters but not as much as how people live and feel it.

HR Processes focused on people experience

•I rencently announced the return to grace of business practitioners and that’s exactly what the book shows. The two authors have, of course, a strong digital background, a field in which they experimented a lot, but they’re seasoned HR practitioners before all. The unavoidable transformation of enterprise functions won’t come, as often heard, from the outside and digital skills that will break in. It will come from having business practitioners understand a new paradigm in order to find the right balance between accomplishing a kind of kingly mission in a regulated field and make the most of the evolutions of technology, society and people. This book could have been titled “HR 2.0” or “Social HR” that that would have been a pity. It’s about HR before being about digital. As a matter of fact, if most of the philosophy as digital roots, the implementation is omnichannel, both in the digital and physical world.