A Research Project of Fraunhofer IMW, kununu & XING E-Recruiting

Successful Employer Branding - Step by Step

Press release /

What challenges do companies face in their search for the right candidates? In a joint research project, the Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy IMW in Leipzig and the companies kununu & XING E-Recruiting have investigated how successful employer branding can work. Small and medium-sized enterprises in particular need to take action here: They can increase their employer attractiveness through employer branding, differentiate themselves from competitors and stand out from large companies.

The demands placed on modern recruiting and contemporary personnel management have increased significantly in recent years. Due to the increasing shortage of skilled workers and the high willingness of companies to hire, which is favored by the economic situation, potential employees are being courted intensively. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is addressing this topic in the nationwide Science Year 2018: Under the title " Work Environments of the Future," stakeholders from science and industry are exploring the prospects for modern work.

Employer branding has been the corporate strategy measure for employer marketing for a number of years, but as a field of research in the context of small and medium-sized enterprises it is still in its infancy. Kununu, XING E-Recruiting and Fraunhofer IMW have therefore begun a joint research project to compile existing findings from individual subareas and present them in an overall context. The result of the joint work is a guide with simple yet in-depth recommendations for designing an authentic employer brand.

"Today, strong employer brands are crucial in the battle for the best talented employees. Our aim was therefore to publish a compendium that summarizes the existing literature on the subject of employer branding and at the same time provides new impetus for successful implementation in this area," says Johannes Prüller, Director Global Communications & Brand at kununu and one of the study authors.

Publication analyses, consideration of existing employer branding measures, and interviews with subject matter experts form the basis of the research findings collected and evaluated for the guide by the team led by Prof. Dr. Tobias Dauth, head of the Regional Positioning and Location Development Unit at Fraunhofer IMW. "Our research showed that employer branding does not necessarily require extensive or costly marketing campaigns. Rather, it is possible to strengthen the employer brand even through simple measures and processes in everyday corporate life," explains Prof. Dr. Dauth.

In essence, this requires an authentic employer positioning that signals to current and future employees what internal principles and values a company stands for as an employer.

In the guide, kununu, XING E-Recruiting and Fraunhofer IMW use the employee journey to show companies at which touchpoints the employer brand promise can be consistently defined, communicated and experienced with current and future employees. It also shows how the expectations of employers and employees can be reconciled, in short, which concrete measures strengthen the recruitment, development and retention of employees in their employer.

Contact Persons:

Fraunhofer IMW
Neumarkt 9-19, 04109 Leipzig

Prof. Dr. Tobias Dauth
head of Regional Positioning and Location Development Unit
Phone: +49 341 23 10 39 230
Mobile: +49 173 26 15 145

Dirk Böttner-Langolf
Phone: +49 341 231039-250

About kununu

With more than 2.5 million ratings on over 500,000 companies, kununu is the largest employer rating platform in Europe. Current and former employees, applicants and apprentices rate companies in categories such as working conditions, career opportunities and salary. Through the testimonials, job seekers can get a good impression of what it's really like to work at a company. For employers, the ratings are a good indicator of employee satisfaction as well as topics that are currently on employees' minds. kununu was founded in 2007 and currently employs around 100 people in Vienna, Boston, Porto and Berlin.

About Fraunhofer IMW

The Regional Positioning and Location Development Unit at Fraunhofer IMW supports companies in lighthouse projects that aim to significantly increase their competitiveness. Thus, the unit's projects are part of the range of services offered by Fraunhofer IMW in Leipzig, which looks back on more than ten years of applied, socio-economic research and experience - developing scientifically based solutions to the challenges of globalization in support of customers and partners from science, industry and politics. In 2018, the Fraunhofer IMW is a selected "Future Place" of the BMBF Science Year "Working Environments of the Future", as it scientifically shapes internationalization and strategy development processes, innovation and technology management, among other things.

Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy IMW

The Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy IMW looks back on more than twelve years of applied socio-economic research and experience at its Leipzig location. Around 170 employees from 20 countries support customers and partners from business, industry, politics, research and society to benefit from globalization and digitization as a driver for innovation. The benefits of socio-economic and applied research for people, the dynamics of a knowledge-based society and the future of industrial production are the focus of the Institute's international projects, network activities and analyses. The interdisciplinary research team provides scientifically sound support to companies, organisations, institutions, countries, municipalities and regions in strategic decision-making processes. Originally founded as the Fraunhofer Center for Central and Eastern Europe MOEZ in 2006, the content and strategic realignment of the institute, which is certified according to DIN EN ISO 9001:2015 DNV-GL, has been reflected in the new name Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy IMW since 2016. The institute's competencies are innovation research, knowledge and technology transfer and corporate development in international competition. https://www.imw.fraunhofer.de/en.html