I’m a serious student of everything sales and marketing, so I recently attended a B2B sales meetup with the topic “Understand the Buyer Journey”. There was a smart speaker on the panel that did a pretty good job explaining the topic and best practices around attracting customers, selling to them, retaining their business, turning them into evangelists, and optimizing the entire process through analytics to make data-driven decisions.
What I found most interesting about the talk had absolutely nothing to do with sales or marketing, but EVERYTHING to do with HR. Listening to the speaker discuss the various stages customers go through, totally reinforced the almost exact parallel between the customer and employee experience.
Give me a second to explain how similar the process is of managing customers and employees, while highlighting the stark difference in approach of leveraging analytics to increase ROI.
Customer Acquisition is the same as Talent Acquisition
Think about the process of attracting customers through sales people or online advertising platforms such as facebook or twitter. Doesn’t that sound like attracting employees through recruiters or online advertising platforms such as Monster or Indeed?
The one biggest difference in marketing is that they constantly obsess over the analytics to see what ads are actually generating customers, to adjust the advertising campaign.. Is your HR department doing the same by looking to see which recruiting tactics are the most effective and then optimizing the campaign to increase ROI? Are you spending thousands a month on Monster.com that barely generates any candidates that get hired, yet 90% of your candidates come from free sources like Indeed or Simply Hired?
CRM is the same as ATS
What about managing and tracking the stages of customers versus employees. Customers get tracked in a CRM to see if they are in the contract or negotiation stage. Sounds pretty similar to an ATS tracking employees that are in the interview or offer stage.
In this area for sales and marketing, the goal is to move the customer along the funnel as quickly as possible, getting them to the finish line of making a purchase. Analytics are leveraged to shorten the sales cycle by identifying what bottlenecks are taking the most amount of time. Is your HR team doing the same? Finding ways to decrease the time it takes candidates moving through the funnel to cross the finish line as quickly as possible, in this case being getting hired? Do you know your time-to-hire as a company, but also by position type?
Customer Engagement is the same as Employee Engagement
Just humor me with one more example. Look at how companies make products and customer support so amazing that it turns customers into evangelists so that they rave to their peers and refer business with being asked? You like Netflix. You think it’s amazing. You tell 5 friends how amazing it is. Now Netflix gets 3 more customers. How much did they pay for you to tell your friends about the service? They paid in making a kick ass product and providing great support.
Isn’t that what we want to do with employees? Make the product (their career) and customer support (employee service/benefits) so amazing that they refer other like-minded peers to the company without asking, simultaneously decreasing the talent acquisition cost? Is that what you do at your organization today?
I hope this is making sense to you, and resonating with you whether you’re in HR or not. With that being said, let us now talk about why and how you can learn about managing your Employee Cycle as data-driven as sales and marketing is managing the Customer Lifecycle.
The Employee Cycle
So after listening to me rant, what do I mean by the Employee Cycle? I’m talking about all the possible stages an employee can experience at an organization, along with the respective analytics associated with each stage of employment . I’m talking about managing all the stages of an employee experience starting from sourcing a candidate to succession planning and retirement, and everything in between through analytics to do the following:
- Allow HR to make more decisions based on data to streamline operational costs
- Improve the process of attracting, managing and retaining employees
- Change HR from being a cost center to SUCCESS CENTER for its organization
To better understand the Employee Cycle, our series of blogs will dive into the major components that most employees experience, talk about the metrics included in each stage, and explain how HR can become as metrics and process driven as marketing since the process is much more similar than you think!