The HR Connection
Branding involves many components – from a company’s logo and internal culture to its tagline, social media, and product packaging. The HR department, however, is the most overlooked branding asset critical to every organization. Each employee and interviewee who has had contact with a particular business deals directly or indirectly with the HR department. Wise companies never underestimate that individual’s ability to remember and act – indefinitely into the future – on how they were treated.
HR & the Story Behind the Story
Branding is about storytelling, and no story is more powerful than that of your Aunt Sarah describing to the Thanksgiving table about how she was ghost interviewed by a leading advertising agency in New York City. Or how Aaron, your cousin from Wisconsin, quit his job working for your favorite cheese brand because HR couldn’t explain the downgrade in his benefits. Or how your sister Heather, who just graduated from UCLA, feels objectified by the culture at her current tech job. There is an HR department behind every brand identity and public reputation.
HR & the Power of the Individual
HR professionals are uniquely trained to consider people as individuals with unique minds, souls, personalities, creative sensibilities, challenges, talents, families, and friends. Many companies – particularly the larger ones – tend to focus on people as numbers: website traffic data, monthly sales and profits, industry growth rates. This perspective creep undermines the focus on individuals, and once businesses stop valuing the power of the individual – whether they are employees or customers – they lose perspective on the very core of their business and livelihoods.
The Invisible In-House HR Branding Firm
HR departments and professionals are irreversibly intertwined with every business’s branding strategy. People, after all, are what companies and workplace cultures are comprised of – and HR finds, interviews, hires, and manage the happiness of those people. Brands spend billions promoting their value and promise to customers, but the true value and personality of every brand is set and promulgated by its HR professionals. In many ways, the HR department serves as a boutique branding firm inside of every successful business, ensuring the humanity of its people becomes an authentic extension of the brand’s identity.
(Photo courtesy of World Relief Spokane.)