According to the most recent employer branding data, the number of companies operating in Poland that declare a commitment to EB is around 25%. This means that, statistically, every fourth competitor of yours is investing in building their employer brand to attract valuable employees. These figures should not come as a surprise to anyone – Poland has had a so-called ’employee market’ for a long time, and the days when employers just waited for the flow of CVs from ideal candidates are long gone. So how to develop an employer branding strategy in Poland? Here is a guide from A to Z!
Table of contents:
- Employer branding in Poland – current market situation
- Measuring the company’s initial situation
- Key motivations of Polish employees
- Employer Value Proposition
- Internal employer branding in Poland
- Internal employer branding tools
- How to measure the effects of internal employer branding?
- External employer branding in Poland
- External employer branding tools
- How to measure the effects of external employer branding?
Employer branding in Poland – current market situation
Does your company run a branch in Poland and employ Polish staff? To find the best talent, you will need to invest in employer branding and there is no getting away from it. The Polish labour market is experiencing a real resurgence in 2022 – the biggest in the entire European Union and the second biggest in the world! The result: companies are forced to fight hard for valuable candidates.
According to the report Employer branding 2022: How company employee priorities are changing indeed, as many as 52% of owners of companies operating in Poland believe that they have a clearly defined and systematically implemented employer branding strategy. On the other hand, however, a certain inconsistency can be seen in their actions. Only 17% of employers on the Polish market declared that developing methods to measure the effects of employer branding is on their list of priorities. This may mean one thing – Polish companies (and Polish branches of global companies) are involved in employer branding, but they do it non-strategically and without analysing the effects. This is quite a negligence that you – as their competitor – can turn to your advantage. But how?
Measuring the company’s initial situation
With an employer branding strategy it is like with a classic company marketing strategy – it all starts with a good plan. And it is impossible to create a plan without analysing the situation we are starting from.
Who and what does it say about our employer brand?
If the company has already been present on the Polish market for some time, our starting point should be a meticulous analysis of how, where and what employers say about our brand:
– current employees,
– potential employees,
– the external environment (influential people, journalists, media, etc.).
When analysing the situation within the company, anonymous employee surveys and qualitative research are useful. It is worthwhile for the questions to address topics such as:
- General assessment of working conditions,
- Evaluation of wages and benefits,
- Assessment of the working atmosphere,
- Awareness of work objectives and knowledge of company processes,
- Evaluation of communication within the company (with superiors, subordinates or other departments),
- Assessment of motivation at work.
Particular emphasis should be placed on all negatively evaluated areas. As an agency dealing with employer branding in Poland, we notice that Polish employees – especially representatives of the millennial generation – usually do not like it when an employer does not take care of their work-life balance or forces them to stay at work after hours.
When it comes to analysing the overall reputation of an employer’s brand, it is worth using web analytics tools to capture mentions of the brand online, on individual sites or social media. Current research shows unequivocally: half of all Poles apply to companies based mainly on their image.
What is the current internal communication like?
The baseline audit before starting employer branding activities in Poland should also include an analysis of how the brand is currently communicated within the company. It should analyse what tools we use to communicate with employees and with what effect. These could be:
- notice boards,
- employee newspaper,
- e-mail communication,
- company newsletter,
- internal discussion forum,
- groups (e.g. Facebook),
- video forms,
- applications for employees,
- internal meetings.
What is the current external communication like?
An inventory should be made of all the employer brand’s communication channels with the outside world – both online and traditional. Also, don’t forget to analyse the recruitment process for new employees. It’s worth answering questions such as what the process looks like, what sources bring in the most candidates, where vacancies appear, how they are communicated and what kind of response they get. Pay particular attention to Facebook (including Facebook groups), as this is where most discussions take place on the Polish internet.
How does the brand position itself in the context of the overall market?
Researching the situation of an employer brand against the background of the entire market (e.g. in a given region) is not an easy thing, especially if we are talking about the Polish branch of a foreign company. It is worthwhile to get support here from experts experienced in Polish employer branding. They will help you find information on the general employment situation in the region. Such data can be found in the Central Statistical Office (CSO), local labour offices or reports of external companies that analyse general employment market trends in a given area.
Do potential candidates know the employer brand?
In order to assess the current level of brand awareness among potential employees in the Polish market, it is necessary to analyse what the level of brand recognition is, as well as how it is perceived by candidates. It is also a good idea to consider whether a sufficient number of candidates are applying for job advertisements and to determine how much spontaneous recruitment is currently taking place. It is also worth analysing the employer brand messages sent to them – are we really reaching the right people and using the right channels (e.g. are we omitting an important medium such as Facebook)?
What does the communication of our closest competition look like?
What employer branding activities are your competitors investing in? There are two issues to look at here. Firstly, your competitors may be both Polish and foreign companies, as well as companies that differ in size from yours. Secondly, it is worth examining companies with a slightly different business profile (just think, marketing experts or programmers can be sought by companies operating in a variety of industries!). The analysis of competitors’ activities should take into account quantitative data (where they communicate, how often) and qualitative data (what is missing in their communication and what they do better than us).
Key motivations of Polish employees
Have you analysed the initial situation? Great! Time for a brief introduction to what Polish employees are like, what they look for in a job, what they dislike and what they value. A better understanding of your employees and potential employees will allow you to more effectively define your EVP (Employer Value Proposition) and select communication channels, as well as reorganise the working environment in such a way that it best meets the needs of candidates.
Polish workers are young workers
Whatever industry you operate in, one thing you can almost be sure of. The majority of your employees or potential employees are likely to be members of the millennial generation, i.e. people born between 1980 and 1996. By 2025, it is estimated that they will make up to 75% of all employees! The entry of this generation into the Polish labour market has meant quite a revolution for employers. Unlike their parents’ or grandparents’ generation, Polish millennials are less loyal to their employer and change jobs several or even more than a dozen times during their career. Many of them are actively looking for a new job all the time.
Poles appreciate it when work develops them
Access to training, courses, symposiums, study grants or participation in conferences – all of these will be valued by your Polish employees. According to the Gromar 2022 report, development is a key value for 87% of Polish employees. The opportunity to expand their competences and professional development are almost as important to them as the salary itself (even though, according to the data, as many as 77% of them are not satisfied with their current salary!). What is more, the lack of opportunities for further development is one of the most common reasons why Poles leave their jobs.
Atmosphere is more important than salary and benefits
What ranks first on the list of most important employer brand attributes according to Poles? It is the atmosphere that prevails in the company. Only in second place are remuneration and additional benefits in the form of subsidies, sports cards or private medical care. Polish employees also pay attention to the company’s overall reputation and organisational culture. Communication problems with superiors are the third main reason for leaving a job (after lack of pay rise and development).
Mental health and work-life balance on the part of the employer
The young generation of Polish employees translates the rat race into work-life balance and their own mental health. Research confirms this – companies that care about their employees need to focus on their mental health. Almost 70 percent of Poles believe that employers should offer them assistance in this area. A medical package, sports or mental support programmes are strongly appreciated by them.
Poles need space at work
Do you have the opportunity to offer your employees from Poland the possibility to work remotely or hybrid? Take advantage of this and they will repay you with greater productivity and loyalty. The option to work remotely is sought by as many as 63% of Poles (in the IT sector, in turn, it is already 93%!). According to the Employer Brand in Poland 2021 report, working from home caused by the pandemic has reduced their work-related stress levels by more than half. What’s more, Poland’s young generation of employees highly values freedom and flexible working conditions. They choose projects and positions where they have a lot of decision-making power and space.
Employer Value Proposition
The Employer Value Proposition is a set of differentiators and values communicated by a company externally, towards potential employees and candidates. As many as 51% of companies operating in Poland declare that they have developed an EVP strategy for their employer brand. EVP should be the result of market research (which is why we have devoted so much space in the article to describing who Polish employees are). However, it must not be solely the result of a desire to align with candidates’ expectations. This is because the Employer Value Proposition will translate into: the language of communication, platforms for communicating with candidates, recruitment advertisements, EB campaign strategy, as well as the selection of KPIs to measure effects in employer branding.
Therefore, in addition to the candidates’ expectations of the position, the Employer Value Proposition must also take into account:
- Real information about the organisation’s culture and its real values.
- The opinion of current employees about working for the company.
- Language and communication style tailored to both the company itself and the candidates.
- The company’s long-term development plans and potential changes.
- Material and non-material values associated with working for the company.
- The working environment and organisational culture.
- The career opportunities the company offers.
Internal employer branding in Poland
Before you start focusing your employer branding activities outside your company, it is a good idea to start with what you already have – that is, to take care of your current employees. Interestingly, this is also the general trend in Polish employer branding. Year after year, employers operating in Poland increase their activity in the area of employer branding, and internal employer branding is more important to them than the external one.
Internal employer branding tools
Among the most effective tools for effective internal employer branding in Poland are:
Organisational culture and working conditions
Poles like to feel like an important part of the company, and they like to build bonds with their co-workers. This not only makes for a more pleasant atmosphere (and as you already know, atmosphere is the most important aspect by which Poles judge work!), but also strengthens productivity and loyalty to the company. In Poland, it is popular to organise events, team-building trips, company parties or just frequent get-togethers with employees.
Developing internal communication
On the one hand, this involves informing employees about decisions made or important activities within the company (e.g. by means of mailings or newsletters). Such activities keep employees up to date with what is happening within the organisation. On the other hand, it is about relations between employees at different levels. Poles appreciate transparency in communication, as well as the absence of rigid rules (e.g. communicating by ‘You’ instead of ‘Mr/Mrs’).
Onboarding programme for new employees
Onboarding is the process of introducing a new employee to the company. Today, as many as 80% of large Polish employers use an onboarding programme, as it speeds up the process of adaptation to the entrusted duties. Such a programme should include: the assignment of an internal mentor, the establishment of clear communication channels, the process of familiarisation with the specifics of the company’s operation, the presentation of the company’s structure and procedures, initial training, as well as a description of the rules concerning the promotion system, evaluation interviews and raises.
Benefit and allowance systems
Regardless of the size of the company or industry – benefits and perks systems are still the most popular internal employer branding tool in Poland. Those most commonly used include life insurance, private medical care, sports cards and discounts, subsidised training, studies or courses, subsidised family trips (e.g. the so-called ‘winter holidays’), as well as Christmas bonuses (mainly on the occasion of Christmas).
Incentive and referral systems
Studies show that incentive systems increase commitment at work and also increase employee productivity in the long term. Those commonly used in Poland include internal competitions with prizes or employee of the month programmes. An employee referral system is also a very effective tool, rewarding employees who help the company attract new talent.
How to measure the effects of internal employer branding?
So what should be measured in internal employer branding in Poland, and which indicators should be taken as the most valuable? We know from experience that it is certainly worth looking at the percentage of employee turnover, as well as the average duration of employment per employee. It is also worth analysing financial issues, i.e. what is the average cost of hiring an employee. It is also a good idea to systematically use questionnaires to gauge how employees feel about working for the company, e.g. their level of job satisfaction, trust in the employer or identification with the company’s activities and values (e.g. on a scale from 1 to 10).
External employer branding in Poland
External employer branding refers to everyone outside the company – not only potential employees (although to them in particular), but also contractors. These activities are designed to make the company an ideal employer in the eyes of the candidate and to make them apply to the company of their own volition and not just because an offer has appeared in a list of advertisements on the web.
External employer branding tools
Among the most effective tools for effective external employer branding in Poland are:
Although most external employer branding activities in Poland have now moved to the virtual world, it is not worth overlooking the potential of offline tools. Especially if we are looking for young candidates who will join our ranks in the near future and for whom this will be the start of their professional career.
Popular offline activities in Poland can include participation in career days at universities, faculties or secondary schools, attendance at job fairs, ‘open days’ at the company, educational projects, internship and apprenticeship programmes or competitions. It also pays to invest in advertisements on job portals, such as the popular Pracuj.pl portal in Poland.
Social media sites are undoubtedly one of the main places in Poland where companies conduct external employer branding activities. Of all the platforms, Facebook reigns supreme, although the presence of the employer brand (especially in the financial, HR, legal or marketing sectors) is also well taken care of on the more corporate LinkedIn or the slightly looser Instagram and even TikTok. When creating an employer brand strategy on social media, the focus should be on building a positive long-term image and systematically communicating the chosen EVPs.
What posts are worth making to attract job candidates from Poland?
- Presenting employees (not only what they do in the company, but also describing their stories or passions).
- Writing about development opportunities within the company and career paths.
- Reporting on successes and events related to company life.
- Adding reports (photo or video) of company events or team-building trips.
- Systematic posting about the daily life of the company and showing the atmosphere or relationships between employees.
- Writing about employee benefits.
- Recognising employee promotions and welcoming new people who have joined the team.
- Creatively encouraging people to apply to the company.
- Communicating available vacancies (but in an enticing, creative way).
- Telling about initiatives (e.g. charity, community) that the company undertakes or is involved in.
Career tab on the company website
As many as 89% of Poles indicate that the ‘careers’ tab on a company website is the first place they visit when looking for information about an employer’s brand and vacancies. Not only should it not be neglected, but what is more, it is a good idea to maximise its potential. Especially since, unlike social media, your own website is an internal communication channel over which you have total control.
It is therefore imperative that the website is clear and easy to read, that it is UX-compliant and mobile-friendly, and that it has recruitment forms (for a given position and for spontaneous recruitment). When it comes to listing the vacancies themselves, it is a good idea to spend a little more time on this and describe the requirements for the candidate, the responsibilities that fall under the job or the benefits of the job. And don’t forget to list the next steps in the recruitment process.
With job adverts, it is similar to the career tab – without a solid description of the profile of the ideal candidate or a list of the responsibilities of the position, it will be difficult to attract the most valuable pearls in the employee market. What’s more, here it is also necessary to ensure the attractiveness of such an ad itself. Unlike a website (which candidates go to of their own accord), ads on social media or job boards need to stand out from the competition.
How do you do this? First and foremost, avoid writing generalities that carry no specific content. Spare yourself the mention of a young team or fruit Thursdays. Be sure to include information on remuneration. In some industries, you can also go a bit wild with the form of your ad. Loose language, a meme, an eye-catching photo or video will do the job if you are looking for a creative graphic designer or a young programmer for a modern IT company.
Employer branding campaigns
Time-limited employer branding campaigns focused on a very specific objective (e.g. seeking employees for a particular department) and measured with very specific indicators (e.g. the number of CVs received) are able to work incredibly effectively on the Polish market. They can cover only the online world (or even a single social media platform), as well as combining online and offline activities. It all depends on the objectives that the company has adopted and the strategy it chooses to pursue.
Regardless of the plan, the place of communication and the duration of the campaign, we may notice certain trends here. According to a report by the HRM Institute, Polish job candidates do not pay attention to numbers, facts or lists of advantages of working for a given company. So if you are planning an employer branding campaign, feel free to skip them. Instead, focus on story-building (stories told by the company’s employees themselves work particularly well) and messages that stir emotions.
How to measure the effects of external employer branding?
Which KPIs you will adopt in external employer branding should be decided from the very beginning. These indicators should differ depending on whether we are measuring general and continuous activities or perhaps the effects of a one-off campaign that is geared towards a specific objective.
For general activities, it is certainly worth monitoring quantitative data: the monthly number of spontaneous applications, the number of CVs collected, hits on the careers tab, ad conversions (if any) and their cost, the number of media citations, web mentions, and presence in employer rankings. If the employer brand communicates on social media, it is a good idea to analyse the number of clicks on adverts, visits to the company website and the level of engagement with published content on an ongoing basis.
The current situation on the labour market in Poland means that today it is not people who are looking for jobs, but companies are actively looking for valuable employees. If you, too, want to constantly attract new talent that will influence the development of your company on the Polish market, investing in employer branding is actually a must. If you are looking for help from an experienced agency that supports global corporations and foreign brands looking for Polish employees, contact us. We have experience in employer branding in Poland!