Is hiring really an HR task? Or bolstering employee satisfaction?
But consider this – Marketing owns the brand. Marketers are adept at generating interest. And marketing professionals have honed top-notch communication skills that are key to find employees (and keep them happy).
To give you ideas to get your Marketing department or agency more involved in people operations, in this article we bring you case studies from Bank of America, Mint Mobile, and a digital agency (plus a free thought tool).
This article was published in the MarketingSherpa email newsletter.
Marketing isn’t only a department. Or a job role. It is a set of skills – valuable skills that have the power to do much more than sell a product. Empires rise and fall because of marketing. Viruses surge or surrender thanks to marketing.
And organizations can find and keep employees (a major pain point for many organizations in today’s tight labor market) using marketing tools like advertising, surveying, and value identification.
Not to mention, marketers are adept at another skill when it comes to hiring – understanding other people. As Flint McGlaughlin said in a recent session about Customer-First Objectives (video embedded below), “If we don’t start with the ‘other,’ we can’t experience what we are doing wrong with our message.”
To further inspire your employee recruiting and satisfaction efforts, we bring you three quick case studies in today’s article. First, Mint Mobile’s use of print advertising to attract 10x more resumes. Then, a look at Bank of America’s customer surveying operation that helps increase employee (and of course, customer) satisfaction. And last, a digital agency that uses its core values as a driver to retain employees.
“While it may seem like a ‘no-duh’ concept, the first step in successfully recruiting is to start with a plan –– more specifically, a marketing plan. Just like you might construct a marketing plan for your product or service overall, you need to build a similar plan in order to sell employment at your company. So many organizations forget the importance of marketing themselves,” said Aron North, Chief Marketing Officer, Mint Mobile.
Applications to work at the telecommunications company slowed to a trickle during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, the team got intentional with its efforts and marketing Mint, the company, became a key priority.
“Our marketing effort started with ‘EmployMint,’ a full-page ad in The New York Times penned by Mint owner, Ryan Reynolds. This alone increased our resume pool by 10x –– the very same day. Yes, the day the ad dropped, we received 10x as many resumes as we had the month before,” North said.
Creative Sample #1: Mint Mobile print advertisement that appeared in The New York Times
But the advertising only generated awareness. Once potential employees became interested in the company, the team had to make sure they were delivering a value proposition for working there. The company has enhanced its offering at both at headquarter and for those working from home:
These are all in addition to the company’s core offerings – 401(k) matching, generous healthcare plans, parental leave, and stock options.
For those who are in the office, they also offer/provide:
“Beyond the print ad, we are very active on LinkedIn and have a robust employee referral program,” North said. The company shares accolades, awards, and recognition publicly – tagging employees and bringing attention to their wins. The company also leverages employee’s social networks by offering cash incentives for referrals, and many new hires are referrals from current employees.
“When it comes to marketing talent, let’s be honest, great marketers don’t want to work for a company who’s marketing is crap. Marketers want to work with and for brands that set out to do great work. We want marketers who push the envelope. They see how we are breaking category norms and get psyched. They sense that the environment here is special, and they are right, because we operate with an ‘it’s okay to fail’ mentality. We talk openly about our failures so we can learn from them and get even better. Fail fast, fail cheap, fail smart = fail forward,” North said.
These efforts have helped make Mint Mobile the fastest-growing brand in telecom and one of the best places to work according to Orange County Business Journal.
To deliver exceptional experiences for every one of its 66 million clients, the team at Bank of America works to get to know its customers at a personal level. This is in part carried out through a sophisticated real-time customer interaction mechanism called Voices. Since its inception, Voices has collected more than 60 million surveys from retail and small business customers following an interaction they had with a Bank of America employee – whether at a branch or digitally – and plays a pivotal role in embedding a culture of customer care at every level of the organization.
According to Ashley Ross, Client Care Executive, Bank of America, “Client feedback should be early, often and ongoing. We want to get feedback directly and efficiently in the hands of team members because client expectations are always evolving. Voices makes it possible for teams in the field to understand what customers are saying through real-time feedback at the touch of a button.”
The benefits of Voices are multifold. “First off, listening to clients’ feedback in real-time enables us to implement multiple streams of feedback to quickly identify and mend gaps in the customer experience,” says Ross. “It gives employees the real-time touch points of how they’re doing with clients, and we use that all the way up the organization as a benchmark for how we're doing.”
Survey responses automatically populate to a Voices dashboard and are seen by team leaders as well as by the employee the client was working with. Team members can then “close the loop” and respond more quickly to the customer’s survey response.
In 2021, the financial services company received 13.8 million client feedback surveys, which have been critical in informing the bank’s approach and personalizing different offerings. No two clients are the same, so leveraging client feedback and data enables a better understanding of individual needs and improves customer satisfaction. “We are committed to providing education, resources and personalized guidance to help our clients pursue their unique financial goals,” said Aron Levine, President, Preferred and Consumer Banking & Investments, Bank of America.
Customer feedback can improve the employee experience and allow the team to celebrate wins. According to Ross, the number one theme from Voices during the pandemic came from clients commenting on how appreciative they were of associates during this difficult time. This kind of feedback enabled leaders to share the good news with associates that they were really making an impactful difference. “Especially as the company redeployed employees to support higher call volumes, it was extremely rewarding to hear that Bank of America was meeting clients where they are during a time of change and uncertainty,” shares Ross.
This effort also helped Bank of America rank number one nationally for retail banking advice, according to J.D. Power. “This latest recognition demonstrates our commitment to helping clients establish a solid financial foundation, build their financial health, and succeed on their financial journeys,” said Holly O'Neill, President of Retail Banking, Bank of America.
Br8kthru Consulting centers its mission around creating a sustainable structure of team growth and development. Two ways it does this are through core values alignment and professional development.
Br8kthru’s full team developed its core values, which are also used as a framework when interviewing potential candidates. How candidates answer these questions helps determine whether they’re aligned with the team and whether they will be a strong long-term fit. The digital marketing and technology firm also shares its 10-year vision with interviewees so they can gain a sense of the direction and buy in from the start. The core values provided a framework for 360-degree reviews to instill them into its culture and create a helpful feedback loop.
One way the digital agency lives its values is by investing in professional development, by setting aside a fund for each employee from the day they start. Team members can use the funds at their discretion to purchase books, courses, virtual events, and more with the approval of a manager.
“We’re continuing to evolve our work environment based on what’s most important to our team. Leaning into our core values helps us create a culture that is stronger, more cohesive, and more distinct for potential candidates and clients alike,” said Jon Lenz, Managing Director, Br8kthru.
Br8kthru has successfully staffed up as it has grown, and the cost is low – professional development funds range between $750 to $1,000 a year per person.
In addition to these two specific examples of how Br8kthru attracts and retains employees, additional benefits that tie into its core values include:
“Quarterly Rocks” is terminology from the Entrepreneurial Operating System® program. Rocks entail employees teaming up to take ownership of one aspect of the business for one quarter. By including employees in work on the business, the company gains buy-in for the organization the team builds together. “For example, I was responsible for documenting standard operating procedures for content production last quarter, and this quarter I am setting up our hybrid work experience,” said Michelle Peterson, Senior Content Strategist, Br8kthru Consulting.
The agency’s average employee tenure is 2.5 years among a team of about 15. This is 20 percent longer than the national average benchmark the agency uses to measure the success of its efforts. “According to Conductor's 2021 report on Top Career Paths in Performance Marketing, the average tenure of non-management positions in SEO, content marketing, PPC, and digital marketing is just 1.9 years,” Peterson said.
“Employees want meaning at work more than they want the highest salary. Primary sources of meaning are professional development and a match with organizational values. Provide clear meaning, and you’ve got a competitive advantage,” said Bruce Alfred, Founder and Senior Coach, BolsterUp (Br8thru’s workplace consultant).
Do you have a marketing case study you would like to share on MarketingSherpa? Email Daniel.Burstein@MECLABS.com and tell us about it.
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