Internal and external employer branding - or is it an outdated division?

Marketing strategy
Internal employer branding

In today's employee market, building a positive image of the company is essential. Hence, the concept of employer branding itself first appeared in HR guides, and finally internal employer branding. Examples of benefits from image building can be multiplied. 

It seems that nothing ensures a favorable mention in the media as effectively as good employer branding. The internal and external should be consistent and eye-catching. Thanks to this, stories of satisfied employees and legends, such as those about facilities in Google offices, reach the media. This attracts more people to work for the company, and gives those already employed a sense of belonging and community.

Employer branding internal - definition

It is hidden under this concept company image addressed to its interior, i.e. most often to employees. It consists of company values, goals and philosophy. Today it is hard to believe, but for almost the entire history of employees came to work only for the purpose of earning money and were not interested in its image. This changed only in the 1990s, when the term internal and external employer branding was coined. Employer branding internal means brand building company as an employer inside to employees of a given organization. They are the real ambassadors of the company and it is their opinion that echoes widely outside.

Internal employer branding strives to ensure that the company is perceived by the employees it employs in the best possible way. Its main tasks include increasing the level of employees' job satisfaction and maintaining their loyalty and attachment to the company. It is a group of activities aimed at making employees feel good in a given company and perform their duties with full commitment and motivation. The most important tools that can help achieve this goal include: a fair reward and motivation system, a clear bonus system, a training system and assistance in improving the personal qualifications of employees, care for proper team integration and building an organizational culture.

The basis of successfully implemented internal employer branding is listening to the needs of employees. Only honest and open communication, the maximum simplification of bureaucracy and all HR processes is a guarantee of the success of the implementation of other tools.

We already know what employer branding is. However, internal is not the same as external, aimed at job candidates. Inside employer branding activities at the most general level, they serve to better identify with the company and reduce employee turnover. From research on the so-called millennials show that they will endure a low salary or boring duties if the company has an interesting image and the working atmosphere is appropriate. But these are not all the advantages of internal employer branding. Its another advantage is that employees willingly participate in testing and promoting the company's products or services. They are more willing to express their opinion, and based on feedback, you can improve the image or offer. It also saves on opinion polls! Internal employer branding can be part of it rebranding, and this, in turn, will attract candidates who are even better suited to the company's image. 

How to shape the appropriate image of the employer?

Employer branding carried out within the organization are all activities addressed to employees already employed in a given organization. The quality of activities carried out in this area is primarily influenced by: organizational structure diagram, quality and style of management, guidelines for communication and decision-making processes, working atmosphere in the team, type of bond between employees, employee involvement and motivation to work and trust in colleagues and the employer.

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The most important factors deciding that an employee wants to recommend his company to other people looking for employment include: an attractive remuneration system, a system of granting various additional benefits, a friendly atmosphere at work, a sense of employment stability, effective information flow, activities integrating employees, comfort and work safety and real development opportunities.

Shaping the appropriate image of the employer requires the selection of the appropriate HR policy model (sieve model, human capital model or mixed model). The first of them glorifies rivalry and competition between employees, which does not necessarily contribute to building a positive atmosphere, but significantly increases work efficiency.

The second, in turn, makes the organization want to offer its employees appropriate conditions for development, which is conducive to the formation of coherent informal groups and building a positive organizational climate, but at the same time generates higher expenses.

Internal employer branding

The easiest way to understand employer branding - internal and external - is based on specific examples. 

Internal employer branding examples of activities

An example of employer branding (internal and external), which was part of the rebranding, is the metamorphosis of the BP brand. Formerly it was a British Petroleum company. In a world focused more and more on renewable energy sources, the very name discouraged both the brand and the fact of taking a job in it. The company changed its logo and shortened its name. Then, it directed a campaign to employees and customers, in which it avoided associations with gasoline production and declared that it also had other initiatives.

After the campaign for employees was completed, an opinion poll was conducted among them. It turned out that 76 percent. people were positive about the new incarnation of the company, 80 percent supported the new values, and 90 percent. was of the opinion that the company was going in the right direction. Such belief binds the employee to the company and increases his pride in working in a given place. As you can see, rebranding as part of the crisis PR it can bring profits not only outside but also inside the company.

Internal employer branding - people are the strength of the company

Internal employer branding can also focus on inspiring employees by showing them a motivating pattern. Such a role model at Uber was Bozoma Saint John. The charismatic and recognizable head of the branding department was on the covers of newspapers (in Poland - "Wysokie Obcasy") and inspired women around the world. It acted as a magnet for potential employees, but also motivated those who were already in the company. 

The image of the company among employees can also be improved through trips, gadgets or properly arranged office spaces. Part of branding is also the corporate dress code and work culture. 

Currently, more and more companies are introducing a command model when they are looking for an employee. One of the largest Polish developers asked employees to recommend friends who might be interested in the work. In return, they could count on a financial bonus. If it were not for the correct (internal) employer branding, employees would not be willing to persuade anyone to hire in this company.

Internal employer branding

Social media and blogs meant that the roles of a client, journalist or employee began to intertwine. Today's client can become an employee tomorrow, and the current employee can start a blog and become an influential journalist. This is why it is so important to maintain both employer branding internal and external at the appropriate level. Thanks to this, each group that comes into contact with the marketing message will have a consistent image of the company. Increasingly, employees give feedback to the company online while they are still working for it. Positive ones will encourage clients, investors and job candidates. 

Internal employer branding - the most common mistakes

Company image building specialists, as employers, indicate the 5 most common mistakes in conducting internal employer branding:

  • Lack of openness to the needs of employees. How you deal with the people you employ is widely echoed in the market. Listen to requests, feedback and comments from your employees - they are your best ambassadors.
  • No action strategy. You cannot conduct employer branding activities based on random and one-off actions. All your activities must be part of a comprehensive strategy, the implementation of which will allow you to achieve your goals step by step. Employer branding takes time. Your every move should be preceded by reliable research, and the effect of each action should be carefully measured.
  • Lack of skillful use of available tools. It is not enough that you provide employees with tools that will improve communication within the company. You have to show them the opportunities they get thanks to them and the ways to make their daily work easier. Show good and bad practices and teach them how to build their personal brands on social media.
  • There are no developed schemes of action. Remember that communication in employer branding is based on dialogue. Each of your actions triggers a reaction for which you must be properly prepared. All employees should have full knowledge of the rules that you apply to them. Perfect organization, organizational culture and a transparent pay and reward policy is your recipe for success!

No teamwork. The strength of your team is the ability to "score one goal". Teamwork allows for much better results than individual work of individual units. However, effective teams are not a coincidence. Observe and draw conclusions about the strengths and weaknesses of your employees, who perfectly complements the work of others, and who generates unnecessary tension. Take care of team integration and encourage teamwork. This will not only result in an increase in job satisfaction, but will also increase the self-control of employees.

Internal employer branding

Key areas in internal employer branding

Internal employer branding is aimed at current employees. Its aim is to reduce employee turnover and increase the team's satisfaction with the employment conditions offered by the company and with the overall functioning of the brand. We distinguish several areas of the internal EB. The most important of them is easy and trouble-free communication. Efficient communication at the highest level is an important element of the functioning of any company. It enables effective building of internal commitment. It enables the company to do more. He dynamically solves problems, effectively performs all tasks and ultimately achieves spectacular successes on the market. Superiors should take care of a positive, friendly atmosphere at work - it is worth switching to "you" with employees, having casual conversations from time to time, quickly discharging all tensions.

Another important area of internal employer branding is the system of social and additional benefits - i.e. good medical care (e.g. in a private clinic), holidays under the grove, financial benefits and Christmas packages, MultiSport card, employee discounts for specific services or products, etc. for the needs of employees - only then will they be an effective method of building a positive image of the company. The offer must be well thought out and properly structured. A wide range of services is not the best solution. Employees may perceive it as "eyewash". Quality over quantity!

Are you using the right motivation tools?

We will take care of employer branding in your company.

Internal employer branding also means choosing the right ones motivation tools. To create an effective incentive system, you need to listen carefully to your employees. An ideal solution for some will be cyclical competitions with prizes (e.g. financial), which will diversify everyday duties, and for others - a bonus program based on clear, legible rules. A system tailored to the needs of employees will bring the expected results.

In internal employer branding, it is also important to show employees that each of them can have a real impact on the company's development. An example is the employee referral program. You may be entitled to an extra bonus for recommending the person whom the company will eventually hire.

Internal employer branding - benefits for the company

Carrying out employer branding activities brings a lot of benefits. First, it is worth mentioning communication. Effective internal communication is the foundation of a company that is spectacularly successful on the market. A team that can get along, efficiently performs all official duties, easily solves all problems arising on the way to the goal and knows how to use the potential of each member of the company's staff. As a result, the company is successful and has a stable market situation, and under favorable conditions it can join the best in the industry and even become a leader.

In a company that consistently adheres to the principles of internal employer branding, there is a friendly, positive atmosphere that fosters productivity and creativity. Employees feel well in the company, their work gives them satisfaction, and thanks to this, they have greater motivation to act and are willing to engage in the company's development. Staff turnover is lower. Members of the company's workforce are loyal to the employer who provides them with excellent working conditions. The company has a chance to keep the best people in its group of employees.


A good atmosphere inside the company means not only excellent results, but also a positive image of the company outside. Such a company is a "good player" on the labor market. A desirable employer who easily attracts talents, fantastic employees who can contribute a lot to the company. Another advantage is the referral system, thanks to which more people can learn about the company and the excellent employment conditions. The consequence of the natural commands of satisfied employees may be the acquisition of new customers or contractors.

Well-conducted employer branding is an excellent marketing tool. It can be described as an element of building a positive image of the company on the market and one of the important steps for the development of the company - which can lead it to the very top. Employees are an important pillar of the company's operations. A well-coordinated team that works on favorable terms has a better chance of being successful.

The importance of external employer branding

External employer branding is an excellent PR tool. The benefits of using it can have a significant impact on the brand's position in the market. However, in order for the external EB to bring the expected results, it must be thoughtful and logical. The strategy should include activities tailored to the profile and nature of the company - in line with what it can actually offer potential employees. They cannot be artificial, too intrusive, and not reflecting reality.

One of the elements of external employer branding is participation in job fairs and career days organized at universities. Such an event is a great opportunity to present the company and show the development opportunities it offers its employees. Participation in such events is a way to attract valuable apprentices who will bring new energy, great ideas and a breath of fresh air to the company.

An important area of external employer branding are recruitment processes - especially the publication of clear, aesthetic advertisements that detail employment conditions, the profile of the ideal candidate and the scope of duties - without "rubbing your eyes" with a lot of irrelevant benefits (information about real earnings will always be better than the one about fruit Thursdays or sandwich Fridays). Advertisements should also contain information about the brand, its vision and goals. The appearance of advertisements is of great importance - their adjustment to the nature of the employer's business. A professional advertisement should contain the brand's logo, its company colors or the slogan that is advertised - that is elements of visual identificationthat distinguish the company from the competition. An interestingly constructed advertisement will be remembered.

PR tools

External employer branding can also be created in social media. The company should ensure that it is active in social media, publishes regularly and is committed to creating consistent, long-term relationships with its recipients. Thanks to social networking sites, potential candidates for employees have a chance to get to know the company better - from a different, looser side. The company has the opportunity to acquire employees who have been customers of the brand for a long time, know it, its services and products and want to be part of the team.

Online activity in the area of employer branding is also the "Career" tab on the company's website, which will show the atmosphere in the team, present the employer and his subordinates. The subpage may contain films with the participation of employees presenting working conditions, recordings of trips or other integration events, etc.

The benefits of external employer branding are:

  • more applications (including high-quality ones) in recruitment processes,
  • more applications from people who, despite rejection, will be willing to take part in further recruitments,
  • easy job interviews related to the high awareness of the candidates,
  • high recruitment efficiency,
  • expanding the group of customers and contractors and greater trust in the brand.

Does splitting branding make sense?

Internal itself employer branding this is a relatively recent phenomenon. Some experts from the HR industry say that the division between the image of the company inside and outside is not enough. We have already covered this topic in the article "Employer branding and recruitment marketing". In addition, it is sometimes difficult to define what the "interior" of the company it is supposed to go to is employer branding. Theoretically it's obvious - it's about employees.

In practice, however, this is not the only group interested in the company's image. Others are:

  • former employees,
  • shareholders,
  • contractors,
  • management.

Internal employer branding

These are just a few examples, and depending on the specifics of the company, there may be more of these groups. Each of them could receive a different internal employer branding, which would require the creation of several narratives. In companies with a diversified scope of activities, even among individual groups of employees, employer branding could be diverse. All of this shows how complex a deadline you are dealing with. It is definitely worth introducing employer branding to the company's marketing activities as soon as possible, but you do not have to stick to rigid divisions and one image. 

Internal employer branding - quotes

Richard Branson said, “The customers are not the most important thing. Employees come first. " And this is the perfect motto of internal employer branding. The author of these words continues the thread by emphasizing that "People are strength. It is the real engine of any business. Good people are not only crucial to the company, they are the company! Finding them, managing them, inspiring them and keeping them with you is one of the most important challenges business leaders face, and whether you can meet it or not , in the long run plays a decisive role in the success and development of your business. (…) Those in the front lines can decide whether a business succeeds or fails.

One of the elements of internal employer branding is the ability to search for talents and help employees learn to see their strengths themselves. Terry Pratchett said, “The greatest tragedy of this world is the people who have not discovered what they really want to do and what they are capable of. Sons who become blacksmiths because their fathers were blacksmiths. People with a talent that they will never know. "

internal employer branding is as important as external

One of the internal employer branding tools is a transparent and fair remuneration and bonus system. When implementing them, the business owner should always keep the words of Ludwig von Mises in the back of his mind, an Austrian economist who warns that “The employee does not owe his employer servility and obedience. He only owes him a service for which he is paid, which is not a grace but a well-deserved reward. ”

When formulating the assumptions of internal employer branding, we must remember that for many employees, "Work is an extension of personality. These are achievements. This is one way to define yourself and define your own value ”(Peter Drucker). Their needs, preferences and dreams should be the only point of reference for the employer.

Worth knowing:

What is internal and external employer branding?

Today, employer branding is not only a trending turn in HR circles, but also a tool that is gaining in importance for business. Internal employer branding means constantly taking care of the company's image among employees and shaping positive opinions about the workplace. An important element here is visual identification and communication style. On the other hand, external employer branding concerns building the employer's reputation on the labor market in order to reach potential candidates for positions. In both cases, the key is true commitment to company values and employee involvement in creating a positive image that benefits both themselves and the company.

What specific actions can be taken as part of internal employer branding to build a strong organizational culture and employee engagement?

Nowadays, internal employer branding has become an inseparable element of effective management in organizations. In order to build a strong organizational culture and employee involvement, many specific actions can be taken. One such way may be to develop training and employee development programs. Investing in their education and developing their skills will be a valuable statement of the employer, and will help build a positive image of the company. Creating employee benefit programs can also bring significant results. Offering health care, leasing or lunch vouchers will be an additional benefit for employees, which will increase their satisfaction and commitment to work. However, the effects of internal employer branding are not immediate. Building a strong and positive image of the company as an employer requires time and consistency in the actions taken. Therefore, it is worth approaching this process with patience and regularity, which will pay off in the future by improving employee satisfaction with work and improving the quality of performed activities.

What are the key differences between internal and external employer branding, and what are their interconnections and impact on the perception of the employer?

Employer branding is a concept that is becoming more and more relevant in today's business world. There are two basic aspects of employer branding: internal and external. The key difference between the two is that internal branding refers to the way employees see their employer, while external branding is how the outside world sees the company. Although internal and external employer branding are separate concepts, they are interconnected and influence the perception of the company as an employer. Ultimately, a positive assessment of the company - both from employees and customers - can lead to an increase in the company's reputation and its ability to attract talented employees.

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