In healthcare organizations, large or small, marketing and human resources staff typically take a back seat to the clinicians, practitioners, physicians, and other front-line medical and mental health workers. Marketing and HR have more in common than one might think. They’re both responsible for attracting external people to the nonprofit or company. They both use communication, branding, and awareness-building. And they both support the important work of the larger organization.
We’ve been working in the healthcare field for years now, and we’ve seen that the disconnect between Marketing and HR is wider than it should be. But when these two departments team up, they can be more efficient and effective in making their organization stand out.
In many large healthcare organizations, Marketing does marketing and HR owns recruiting and retention. In fact, we’ve worked with clients that had almost a separate brand for employee recruitment (which is not something we recommend).
HR is doing their own thing, trying to operate quickly to fill positions; they’re less focused on the importance of upholding the overall brand. Marketing, meanwhile, is working to promote services and programs to patients. It’s pretty common that they haven’t really crossed streams or collaborated. Even in local nonprofits with small staffs, marketing and HR teams tend to operate in silos, focused on their own projects and their own audiences.
What happens, though, is that communication — and the brand itself — becomes inconsistent and fractured. Marketing reaches out to prospective patients and clients using one style of messaging; HR communicates with prospective employees using another style. This inconsistency comes off as unprofessional and inauthentic, it sows confusion and mistrust, and it dilutes the brand generally. To be effective, all messaging — regardless of subject matter, content, or audience — needs to be cohesive.
At a recent healthcare marketing summit we attended, one of the speakers focused on the importance of collaboration between Marketing and HR. Due primarily to the acute employee shortage in healthcare, providers are recognizing they have to get more creative and persuasive in their recruitment and retention efforts — and so Marketing and HR are starting to cooperate more.
Maybe your organization has walls dividing departments that make coordinating your efforts difficult. Maybe you’re concerned that recruitment campaigns and the job openings page of your website aren’t in sync with the overall brand. Here are a few strategies to build productive relationships with your HR colleagues.
The way you market your brand to patients should correlate with how you market to current and future employees. Jointly, HR and Marketing can help develop a culture that people are attracted to, bringing in the best of of the best to your company. This is extremely important when it comes to healthcare because the more qualified practitioners you bring in, the better access patients have to quality care and better outcomes.
We’ve helped a number of organizations connect the dots between HR and Marketing so the messaging — and the brand — is consistent and effective. Let us know how we can help your team!
Tenth Crow Creative is a brand marketing agency that creates, aligns, and promotes messaging for health and wellness organizations. Through insightful branding, engaging design and compelling marketing campaigns, we help these essential organizations find their identities and effectively communicate with their stakeholders so they can fulfill their missions.