Oct 21

Make It Work: Employer Branding I

Stephan Polomski
Stephan Polomski is director human resources, coach and trainer

What are we talking about when talking about Employer Branding? When we start to talk about employer branding we find two major occasions why to talk about this seemingly unproductive topic. It is the when which leads us right to the definition. The main reasons why to yearn for employer branding are

1. Your people resign and you need them and you start to lose money

and / or

2. You do not find the right people and you need them and you start to lose money

So, we are back to mere profits again, are we? Even in an unproductive way.

These two occasions for claiming employer branding already show the two sides of the coin because employer branding is about

1. The quality of your company as employer


2. The image of your company as employer

It is about

1. Retaining the people who fit your strategy, your culture, your structure

and / or

2. Attracting the right people to fit your strategy, your culture, your structure

Yes, you are right, it is getting complex.

Further employer branding it is about

1. Keeping a brand promise


2. Offering a brand promise

So, it is about integrity, congruence, continuity, consequence, honesty, transparency, participation, interest, curiosity… it is about communication. And if it is about communication, it is about contact and thus leadership…

And you immediately see, employer branding has an

1. Internal face


2. External face

Hence, employer branding requires a so called “holistic” approach, a wide ranged bundle of competencies and a bird´s eye view, dissociated, and your heart´s perception, associated, as you need

1. Internally matching perceptions of greatness in leadership, management, corporate culture, corporate strategy and structure, professional and personal challenges as well as opportunities for personal and professional growth and development, remuneration, performance management, organizational development and change management

2. Externally authenticity and cut edge in your employer marketing communication, integration with your corporate identity and reputation, excellence in your corporate design

… always given the hypothesis, that you want to retain and attract great and excellent people, which means: you as leaders and your company are great and excellent as well…

And you need

3. To see all items featuring under number one and number two as two sides of a coin, and consequently to develop your capacity to turn this coin around like a humming top so that it becomes – by being moved – a sphere showing both faces all the time, heads and tails, whenever you, your employees and your candidates look at it or experience it by having internally or externally contact.

But, back to the beginning, when we start to talk about employer branding: you might lose people or you might not attract them, or both. And: you start to lose money which is sub optimal in a business world.

What to do?

Start to change your mind set, meaning, start to change your paradigms about how to lead.

First go along with your target group or target groups: your already hired employees and the candidates in the employment market you want to hire. Ask, what they need, listen to what they answer. Be modest, even if you do not share view points or beliefs. Collect ideas. Try to find the motivation behind.


Big work. Motivation is the key word. – I know, writing this, it is nothing new. It is banal – but still, even everybody knows it, everybody is preaching it, only a few are really working and leading with it – and like this unlashing potential.

You need to know – with a true interest – what it is that moves people. Listen. Ask. And people means individuals. Everybody different. You need to know and contact individuals of your internal and your external target group. What does people really move – to move, there is motivation not far in terms of etymology (the history of words) and emotion as well. And to move and motivate people, we are back to get contact with people, and getting into contact with people means to perceive and to sense which are their emotions.

Ok. Too fluffy? You filter this, meaning, you do a survey internally or a market research externally – and you get some measurable facts out of it like good management, good salary, challenging work content and so on. And now you have to implement it – well. And what you might do is a situation analysis and a gap analysis and then you are right into change management.

And this is the point, where employer branding, this unproductive topic, becomes a tough reality, which for the future we call challenge, because you realize, that you have to change your organization, the culture, may be your strategy, may be your structure, the performance of employees, of course – however, the whole thing starts with yourself as manager in charge, being, whatever, director, leader, CEO, HR manager, whatever. You are the role model. You are the change. You are the living brand promise. You are the daily proof, you and your behavior, your attitude, – the proof what your employer brand promise is worth.

Basically, that it is already :-)

In my next blog concerning the topic “Make it work”, I will refer to some technical ideas how to implement employer branding in your company.

And you will be able to execute these technical terms when you are ready to start with yourself. Starting with yourself is leaving the comfort zone.

So, think about it.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 21st, 2009 at 20:41 and is filed under Human Resources, Leadership. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

Print This Post
Email This Post
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • MySpace
  • LinkedIn
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Technorati
  • MisterWong

Leave a comment

  1. Dear Stephan
    thank you for this article, I sincere enjoyed reading your perception on values withing “employer branding”. We should all get this message across while we teach, walk, talk….
    Have a great day!