Internal and external HR branding

There are two main directions in HR branding: internal and external. The target audience of internal HR branding is the company’s employees.

It is worth starting to form it by studying the commitment and satisfaction of employees, and identifying the main factors of staff retention.

Analyzing the data, it will be possible to see the priorities – namely, what needs to be corrected in the systems of adaptation, training, motivation, and internal communication, as well as in the “environment”, the atmosphere of the company.

If we talk about the formation of these systems from scratch, then their most effective construction will be tied to the company’s values ​​and characteristics. For example, an important point in a well-built adaptation program is getting to know the company’s top managers. The best basis for forming a corporate culture is first-hand information from the first person.

But without reference books, books or CDs for the new employee, it is also impossible to get by. It is difficult to say what the contribution of individual retention technology is to the overall process: if all systems are adjusted, and in each of them the most effective tools are used (for example, in the training system it can be mentoring, corporate university, e-learning), employee loyalty and engagement. will grow.

Before you advertise yourself on the job market as a wonderful employer, make an effort to make it true. To begin with, you need:

  • Ask your employees what they think of the company as an employer.
  • Clarify what they see as the company’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Find out from them how the company compares to other employers.
  • Find out from new employees what they heard about the company and why they chose it over other potential employers.
  • Ask new hires if they are getting what they expect.
  • Ask employees from different professional and social groups what can be done to become a more attractive employers.
  • To act and change based on this data. The biggest mistake is to get employee feedback and then send it down the “Great Black Hole of Employee Feedback”.

Planning important HR processes with great care and precision. Solicit step-by-step feedback from employees on processes such as hiring, onboarding, any organizational changes, certification, and more.

Use the secret weapon of HR branding: to attract managers who know how to create a favorable work environment. Common sense, supported by research, shows that managers are the single most important factor influencing employees’ work experience. “Employees come to the company but leave because of the managers.” To truly become an employer of choice, not just talk about it, you need to invest in leadership development at all levels.

Creation of a system for evaluating the effectiveness of managers. To translate investments into a strong HR brand, it is necessary to evaluate the application of new management skills in the maelstrom of daily work.

In addition, two processes are of great importance for the formation of the internal HR brand: effective internal communications and the system of personnel training and development.

The following important tasks of the internal communications system are:

  • To form a single information field in the company;
  • To form and constantly maintain the loyalty of the staff;
  • To form, correct, and develop the corporate culture.

Effective internal communications must:

Assist in creating a climate of trust and participation in the company;
To demonstrate that when developing strategies and policies, company management considers the interests of employees at all levels;
To ensure that employees are constantly informed about changes, key decisions, and achievements in the company;
Motivating employees through public recognition of individual successes and achievements.
The role of internal communications has increased especially during the crisis: according to a study by Watson Wyatt, 83% of companies have used the strengthening and activation of internal communications as an anti-crisis way to influence staff participation.

Internal HR branding largely determines the external one

The labor market does not always trust the official information of the company (according to many studies, about 75% of people are convinced that the advertisement is a fraud), but the reviews of current and former employees are much more decisive. How a company appears in the eyes of applicants largely depends on how it appears in the eyes of its employees.

This influence cannot always remain spontaneous, there are quite widespread tools for the mutual influence of internal and external HR branding. Reference: “The five steps to forming the HR brand“,

For example, the referral bonus system. By attracting acquaintances to work in the company, employees strengthen the image of their employer and this is encouraged. The role of working with departing employees should not be underestimated, because it is their feedback that often creates a negative opinion of the company. A properly conducted exit interview, the resolution of all controversial issues, and support for further work turn former employees into loyal conduits of the company’s HR brand.

External HR branding is focused on specialists who are still on the other side of the company – i.e. potential candidates. Reference: “For HR managers: How to start building the employer brand?“, Speaking in marketing terms, the candidates in this case are the target audience. Every company must position itself as an employer: on job sites, in newsletters, in printed publications, in personnel agencies, etc.

However, not everyone does this thoughtfully, following the constructed concept of employer brand formation. Often, companies simply post vacancies on job sites when they need new employees. Or they update the corporate website to attract students. Or they print brochures if they have to present the vacancies at fairs.

The formation of the HR brand is a more labor-intensive and less spontaneous process, requiring carefully checked actions and, above all, a detailed study of the target audience. When developing the concept, following the set goals and objectives, specific tools are chosen to influence the audience: methods, forms, and channels for transmitting the information. Recently, more and more experts are talking about the need to segment the target audience of candidates and place the appropriate emphasis on the HR brand message.

Thus, the research of Employer Brand International shows that such a factor in choosing an employer as flexible working hours is six times more important for women than for men. And the fun atmosphere, the mood of the workplace holiday, “fun” – is three times more important for the youth audience compared to the candidates of the age group over 50 years old. There are no universal and ideal for all employers – the HR brand promises must meet the expectations and needs of the right candidates.

At the same time, companies make a better selection where the flow of inappropriate resumes is reduced, and the number of responses from the “right” people who are highly motivated to work here increases. Candidates, on the other hand, receive maximum information to make the right decision and choose an employer that suits them.

In summarizing, we can say that building a strong HR brand requires a systematic approach and consistency of processes at all stages: from the initial positioning of the company in the labor market to the exit interview with those leaving the company.

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