Employer Branding in the Engineering Industry

WRITTEN BY: Jörgen Sundberg

As the global competition for talent rises all organizations need to do all they can to attract and engage the talent needed for success. Employers need to develop the kind of positive reputation that will help attract talented candidates.

In essence, employer branding unites staff behind common goals to enable success in the workplace and the marketplace. A robust brand inspires them to collaborate, communicate and make effective decisions, nurturing productivity and innovation and driving engagement. EB matters for a lot of reasons but the key is that engineers tend to be attracted to companies that emphasize innovation.

Building for success

Volatility, uncertainty, and complexity are the “new normal” in recruiting according to Dr. Stefan Schmitt, Head of Human Resources Strategy at thyssenkrupp, the German industrial conglomerate which has some 150k employees. Stefan told us how the company stands out in its way of working – keeping the sense of belonging and promoting strong collaboration which, of course, shines through in their employer brand. They have a simplified logo dubbed as “#brandblue” which has proved popular.

As a company the focus on achieving the best results by working together. This is underpinned by a corporate culture with shared values such as team spirit, good communication, motivation, a focus on success, and treating colleagues, customers, investors, and competitors with respect is an essential factor for success.

Stefan says that in terms of talent management the brand seeks to attract people who: work together; are curious; make the change; achieve solutions; act responsibly; and, foster diversity. He made an interesting point that they seek the ‘right’ people and that doesn’t necessarily mean the best qualified, what is important, he says is the mindset and the right fit to their values.

Making it real

Siemens is the largest industrial manufacturing firm out of Europe, with over 300,000 employees, their Global Director Employer Branding Chris Knorn. He told us that they put the emphasis on working collaboratively and encouraging employees to act as if Siemens were their own company – it’s all part of their Ownership Culture. Employee experience is key to their messaging and they aim to overcome silos between HR and marketing/corporate campaigning as this is the baseline for a strong employer brand in the future.

Knorn says that employees are enabled to take responsibility for their career path and are offered individual development paths tailored to their particular needs and professional qualifications, enabling staff to thrive both as individuals and as team players. Siemens wants to be seen as an attractive place to work and believes an employee-centered and personalized approach is key to growing the business for the long-term.

Siemens has created a culture that prizes curiosity and innovation, with an environment that encourages employees to work flexibly, collaboratively, in ways that suit them. Everything they do has a human dimension – referred to as “making real what matters”. For Chris Knorn this means showing the real Siemens, with an employer brand that belongs to the employees and is projected from the inside out. He says when working on employer branding – be aspirational and be brave.

Keeping it real

Engineering enterprises need to reflect the diversity of the communities they serve, so the shortage of female engineers remains an issue; in addition, higher starting salaries in other careers, make certain types of engineering a less attractive option for new graduates.

A clear employer brand image attracts high-quality applicants from target candidates and a positive employer brand encourages a high level of employee advocacy and referral activity.


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