HR isn’t a cost centre anymore. It’s a sales and marketing powerhouse.

HR has undergone a significant transformation in recent years. Once considered a cost centre, it’s now a centre of excellence in talent acquisition, employee engagement and retention. HR leaders, in the right organisations, have stepped up to take their rightful seats at executive and board-level tables and discussions as the function’s influence and impact are understood and recognised.

Forward-thinking organisations are reaping the benefits. According to Gallup research, the behaviours of highly engaged business units result in a 23% difference in profitability.

So, what’s next as the perception of HR continues to evolve? For me, it’s about equipping HR with the same access to resources as sales and marketing. After all, they aren’t that different. Here’s why.

1. Employer brand is as important as your company brand

In a world that is increasingly driven by social media, your brand must be aligned across the employee experience and your brand values. Once, a brand’s values could be espoused to consumers, and there was little repercussion if they weren’t held up when it came to their employees. That isn’t the case today, and most job seekers will consider an organisation’s employer brand and market perception before hitting the apply button.

2. ‘Talent share’ is as critical as market share

Just as organisations spend significant marketing budgets to retain and grow their market share, talent share is equally important. With a limited talent pool in many industries, organisations also need to stake their claim – and this takes a concerted marketing effort.

3. Driving the right people initiatives can have a big impact on your bottom line

Unlocking the untapped potential of your workforce is critical – when your people are engaged, magic happens. They go beyond the boundaries of their roles, becoming catalysts for innovation and powerhouses of productivity. This is one area where a fully resourced HR function can make a massive difference to commercial outcomes.

And it’s something Australian organisations may need to work on. According to Gallup Employee Engagement research, only 20% of Australian employees report being engaged, 67% not engaged, and 13% actively disengaged.

4. Maintaining and improving culture is just as important as your marketing

Your HR function can have an incredible impact on the company culture – who you hire matters! In the same way marketing teams have a range of tools to inform campaigns and measure performance, your HR team should be equipped with the tools to hire strategically and monitor and improve cultural indicators.

Investing in HR on par with sales and marketing is a strategic imperative for organisations committed to sustainable, long-term growth. The line has been drawn – HR is no longer a cost centre but a catalyst for driving organisational success. Give it the resources it deserves, and watch your organisation thrive in an increasingly competitive landscape.