Business Life in the Changing World

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Customer Experience
Customer Experience
Companies must understand employees' impact on brand value.

Few companies are aware that employees, candidates, and alumni are the core element of their marketing plans, the coefficient of brand value, and their reputation warriors. Companies working to overcome today's challenges should rethink classical techniques of human resource management like performance management, career planning, and balanced score cards.

The global financial turmoil has made a huge impact on companies' balance sheets. There must be some new management techniques for responding today's needs and crisis. It was the "innovation" period before the crisis, now companies have added "sustainable growth" to the agenda. There also should innovative ways of doing business within human resources management in order to be ready for the coming days.

Currently, many companies view employees as internal customers. Too few companies, however, consider potential or ex-employees, i.e. candidates, job applicants, and alumni in the definition of external customers. In most cases marketing and sales departments are responsibles for end user customers and HR departments for potential or ex-employees who might be considered external customers. But there is no linkage or correlation analysis of the relation among them.

There are several do's and don'ts for companies that want to synchronize human resources with marketing and sales.

Business leaders must realize that existing employees, potential candidates, alumni, and retired staff are all loops in an extensive value chain. These loops have different contacts, families, networks, and the like. Word of mouth marketing among this chain and its extended network could be the most dangerous threat against or the most effective way of promoting a company's brand, reputation, and products.

How a company treats potential candidates and alumni impacts its brand and reputation as much as how it treats existing employees and customers does. It's essential to treat different employees-potential, current, and former-differently; the same way a company should treat differenly customers differently. For example, it's both courteous and important to inform senior-level job applicants who have been interviewed and not selected that they weren't selected. Letting them discover it in the newspapers or press is unprofessional.

Companies that do not calculate the effect of current, potential, and past employees on their brand value will sooner or later face the reality of losing trustability and damaging their reputation. Perhaps it is time change "human resources" to "human value chain management."

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About the Author: Cuneyt Dirican, Ph.D., is a customer strategy consultant.

EXPERT OPINION
EXPERT OPINION