Internal and External Employer Branding and Success in the Job Market

Building a brand image as an employer is based on two aspects: internal and external employer branding. In times when companies are competing for talent, effective management of these two dimensions is essential to attract, engage, and retain high-potential employees. Read more.

What is Internal and External Employer Branding?

Employer branding is a process that involves a range of activities aimed at building a company’s image as an employer. Organizations that engage in employer branding activities experience increased team retention and improve their standing in the eyes of stakeholders, resulting in better business outcomes. However, to achieve this, they must act both internally and externally. This leads us to the important concept of internal and external employer branding.

Internal Employer Branding

Internal employer branding focuses on building a positive employer image among employed staff. The goal of this approach is to promote organizational culture, create added value, and integrate employees around company values. Within internal employer branding, companies should consider the following elements:

Organizational Culture

Every company has its unique organizational culture, and it determines how current and future employees fit into the organization and whether they feel like a significant part of it. To achieve this, the company should promote its culture by highlighting values such as teamwork, a dress code allowing for wearing slippers to work, individual work for a common goal, etc. This fosters loyalty and attachment to the employer and increases employee job satisfaction.

Engaging Internal Communication

Employees should receive information about company events in an appropriate manner, using precisely tailored channels for the target group, as well as have the opportunity to express their opinions through active participation in communication. The language used should be adjusted to the target audience, such as blue-collar workers, and the available communication channels. A prime example of this is Umicore, a company whose communication is aligned with the company’s values that its employees identify with.

“Engaging internal communication is a key element in building a strong employer image. Umicore shows great initiative through a range of actions, such as quarterly newsletters and multi-channel informational campaigns about internal company activities. Such communication is important because it allows employees to stay informed about any changes within the company, enabling them to better understand the organization's strategy and goals. Moreover, it is a good way to integrate employees around important topics such as sustainable development, charitable initiatives, and events related to local culture and community.”

Natalia OberskaAdministrative Generalist at Umicore

Training and Development Programs

Companies can invest in the development of their employees by offering training programs, development initiatives, and internal advancement opportunities. Such actions make already employed workers feel valued and motivated to continue their work.

Company Events and Activities

Company events and activities, such as picnics, team-building meetings, or holiday parties, allow employees to get to know each other better outside of the workplace and enhance their sense of belonging to the company.

Comprehensive Benefits Package

A company can offer various employee benefits, such as private healthcare, health insurance, or sports cards. While these benefits are undoubtedly attractive, experience shows that modern candidates have high expectations and look for something that will particularly satisfy them, such as additional days off, pet healthcare, menstrual leave, Askhenry services, or workation culture.

See how you can further enhance employee engagement.

External Employer Branding

On the other hand, external employer branding focuses on building the employer’s image in the job market to attract the best candidates. Here are some examples of how to do it:

Online and Outdoor Advertising

Within external employer branding, companies create the employer’s image through recruitment and branding campaigns. These campaigns can be conducted online or in the public space, such as billboards and bus stops.

When planning online campaigns as part of employer branding activities, it is crucial to accurately define the target audience in order to direct the message to the right recipients. With this knowledge, targeted advertising tools can be utilized to reach individuals with specific skills and interests.

Another important aspect is message consistency. Whether in online or offline campaigns, it is essential for our messages to align with the company’s values and reflect its work culture. Regardless of whether we use the internet or public spaces, it is important for our campaign to have a consistent aesthetic and tone of communication.

An element that can also be considered is interactive and unconventional offline advertising. For example, instead of traditional billboards, we can use 3D billboards or  interactive bus stops.

Social Media and Company Blog Content Marketing

External employer branding is not just about advertising and promoting the company, but also about how the company treats its employees, the values it represents, and the goals it sets. These elements contribute to the company’s image as an employer and influence the decision of potential employees to submit an application. Everything that the company offers can be shared on social media or the company blog.

Companies are increasingly using social media and blogs to build their employer brand. The ability to create company profiles, such as on LinkedIn, and publish industry-related posts and updates about the company’s activities allows for closer engagement with potential employees and encourages them to apply. A great example of doing this well is Umicore.

“At Umicore, we know that effective communication in the form of dedicated content on our company website and social media profiles can play a crucial role in attracting talent. Platforms like LinkedIn enable direct contact with potential candidates and building the image of an attractive employer. By sharing inspiring stories of our employees, as well as emphasizing our unique features, benefits, and values, we not only strengthen credibility but also demonstrate that our company is active, cares about its people, and is open to dialogue.”

Magdalena GraczykSenior HR & Employer Branding Generalist at Umicore

Participation in Industry Events and Conferences

Participating in industry events such as conferences, hackathons, or trade shows can bring many benefits to a company. Primarily, it allows for networking with potential employees who have interests and qualifications that align with the desired employee profile. It is also an excellent opportunity to present the company as a leader in its field, showcase job opportunities, and offer a vision of development for potential employees.

To ensure that participation in conferences and events yields the desired effect, the company should properly prepare for the event. Firstly, they should define the goals they want to achieve through participation. Secondly, they should develop appropriate marketing materials.

Recruitment Programs

Organizations that aim to attract new talent can organize recruitment programs that allow candidates to get to know the company and its work culture, such as internships, apprenticeships, or development programs for students and graduates. These programs enable the acquisition of young and ambitious employees and help build long-term relationships with candidates. However, to achieve this goal, proper promotion of the programs externally, including appropriate marketing materials, is necessary.

In summary, both internal and external employer branding approaches are interconnected and complement each other as essential tools for companies that aim to retain the best employees and attract new ones. However, for the employer’s image to be credible, it must reflect what happens within the company. If you’re unsure how to do this, we’re happy to help. Just reach out to us.