What comes first? Employer branding internally or externally?
To answer that question, we need to first understand what they both look like in the current market.
Employer Brand = Reputation + Image + Employee Proposition.
It tells a potential employee all there is to know about what working at the organization will look like. While informing current employees about the benefits of staying with the organization.
This means employer brand building plays out both within the organization and externally. But how?
What is Internal Employer Branding?
Internal Employer Branding means communicating with the existing employees of the company.
An organization’s culture, values, proposition, policies, initiatives, and experiences are all antecedents to its employer brand. They come together to breathe life into Employer Branding.
Considering the same, organizations must activate their employer branding efforts internally. Unfortunately, many brands neglect to do this. Causing more harm to their external brand communication as well.
By focusing on your internal employer branding, you can align the workplace reality with your brand’s message.
When launching new policies, internal communication can show how the changes are in line with the company’s vision. And how they positively impact employees’ growth and well-being. Or during moments that matter, such as performance reviews, it can help bring your employer brand to life. And emphasize the organization’s commitment to nurturing a supportive and inclusive culture.
Thus Internal branding efforts can help organizations create a cohesive and engaging employee experience. Thereby strengthening their brand identity from within and ultimately influencing their external reputation.
What is External Employer Branding?
It deals with the external communication of the brand’s image, message, and offerings.
In today’s time, External Employer Branding can make or break an organization’s success. Especially considering how candidates refer to testimonials about a company before applying.
Organizations can use their external employer brand to convey transparency. Especially when announcing policy changes. By providing clear information, highlighting their alignment with the company’s values, and showcasing the organization’s commitment to employee well-being, they can foster trust and loyalty among potential employees.
Additionally, external branding efforts help build a positive impression when hiring new talent. These efforts can take the form of:
– Compelling job postings
– Appealing career website
– An engaging social media presence
These help organizations build their identity as an employer of choice. One that values the workforce and offers growth opportunities. And help employers communicate their credibility and propositions to the external market. So they can build and then maintain their reputation as a ‘great place to work’.
Having read these distinctions, you can guess which needs to come first.
It is all about establishing an authentic and purposeful reality in the workplace. Which then can be communicated to the external world. After all, reality must precede marketing and appearance.
Internal Employer Branding efforts must be prioritized. To enable you to lend authority to your External Employer Branding initiatives. But only by understanding their equal place can organizations create a resilient employer brand.
How to Excel at Both?
- Different but aligned: The internal and external audiences are different. And it is essential to keep this in mind when designing strategies. But at the same time, the message, tone, and intent must be aligned with your brand story.
Career-related discussions with current employees focus on the talent’s aspirations. Such as growth opportunities, career advancement within the organization, and personal development plans. The emphasis is on nurturing employee loyalty and satisfaction.
On the other hand, with external communication, the focus shifts towards attracting top talent. Career pages, job postings, and recruitment materials highlight the organization’s unique selling points. The goal here is to showcase the organization as an employer of choice.
- Check the pulse: The talent’s feedback is crucial for an organization’s success. That of both existing and potential employees. It ensures alignment between the organization’s values, employee experiences, and external perception. Leading to a stronger and more authentic employer brand.
Taking feedback from current employees and conducting regular employee audits is crucial. It can give you the information required to improve your efforts within the workplace.
Similarly, tracking responses to your branding campaigns, social media engagement, etc. becomes important. As it can give you a better understanding of your external brand perception.
- It all starts with ‘THE BRAND’: Everything you need to communicate is already there in the brand story. By sticking to it, you can exude authenticity and consistency. Conversely, when it lacks a connection to the brand story, it can appear superficial to the talent.
Let’s consider a brand-story-driven social media post about a “Fun Friday” activity. It should not only showcase the enjoyable event but also link it back to the company’s culture. And include testimonials from employees sharing their excitement about the activity.
Compare this to some generic content with no reference to the company’s values or culture. This post will more likely be perceived as a mere publicity stunt. Rather than a genuine representation of the employer brand.
Both internal and external branding play complementary roles in creating a strong employer brand.
Are your Employer Branding efforts maintaining this balancing act?
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