ArticlePDF Available Weerawardane & Weerasinghe, KJHRM 2018, 13(01)
Kelaniya Journal of Human Resource Management Volume 13 | Issue 01 | Page 21
The Connection of Employer Branding to Recruitment: A Critique
Sonduru Weerawardane1 and Tharindu Weerasinghe2*
1, 2 Department of Human Resource Management, Faculty of Commerce and
Management Studies, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka,
Abstract: The present paper reviews and summarizes the key findings of research on
the connection of employer branding to employee recruitment with the prime focus of
bridging the lacuna in extant literature, due to the inconsistency of aforesaid association
across different contexts. Hence, building on social identity theory and job signaling
theory, a content analysis of relevant research articles up to date was conducted. It is
found that, more the organization/employer looks prestigious the more potentials will
get attracted to the organization as being a member of it will improve the self-image too.
Also found that, more the organizational attributes do match the personality /
personalities of job seeks and communicate it properly, more the potentials will get
attracted. The findings of the current review support the general notion that the
congruence between individual identity and organizational identity plays a critical role
in employer branding which in turn positive outcomes in the domain of recruitment
Keywords: Recruitment, Employer Brand, Employer Branding, Social Identity Theory,
Person-Organization Fit
Attracting the best and the brightest is
vital for a company’s survival and
development since the human capital is a
valuable resource that does contribute for
the organization success (Xie, Bagozzi &
Meland, 2015). As the talent shortage has
been increased within the global context,
to attract and retain the best talent in
organizations the ‘employer brand’ has
been significantly used during last three
decades (Theurer, Tumasjan, Welpe &
Lievens, 2016).
Ito, Brotheringe & McFarland (2013)
claimed that a favorable image; for an
example being granted the award of the
‘best employer award will benefit the
organization to attract the pool of talents.
With the grown importance of this
concept, businesses around the world
have begun to improve in on building
their employer brand or the Employee
Value Proposition (EVP). Further, the
Economist Magazine reported that
effective EVP management can bring
tangible benefits, including a 20 percent
increase in the pool of potential workers,
a four-fold increase in commitment
among employees and a 10 percent
decrease in payroll costs.
In the context of Sri Lanka, the employer
branding has been an outburst concept.
The Mervyn Raphael of People Business
commented on the scope for Employer
Branding in Sri Lanka as:
"Employer branding is a novel concept
evolving in Sri Lanka. We see two
prominent trends. First, there is a
Weerawardane & Weerasinghe, KJHRM 2018, 13(01)
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paradigm shift from the situation when
branding was meant only for external
communication-now the focus is to
enhance employee experience, reduce
image reality gaps and project
differently as an employer to both
internal and external stakeholders.
Secondly, organizations across the globe
maintain consistency in their employer
brand experience and it is reflected in Sri
Lanka too”.
This reflects that in Sri Lanka the same
importance is given to Employer
Branding like in the global context.
Further, it is reported in Central Bank of
Sri Lanka (2017) that the top ten
corporates of Sri Lanka have started
building up their employer brand in order
to attract the best talents. Now, the
majority of companies have become the
victims of the Brain drain that is
prevalent within the country since many
high skilled personnel tend to immigrate.
Further, it had been observed that the
talented individuals tend to give up their
current work place and incline to join
another organization even at a lower
designation as their main concern is
becoming a member of a particular
organization (Theurer, Tumasjan, Welpe
& Lievens, 2016).
The previous research studies which
attempted to establish the association
between employer brand and recruitment
in different countries were found, but
none of the studies were found which
have been conducted in Sri Lanka.
Hence, this review will help to bridge the
gap in the context with more empirical
validations in future.
This review paper provides definitions,
descriptions and previous research
findings pertaining to employer branding
and recruitment. Additionally, the
current paper reports the relevant
theoretical overview to give a clear idea
about the variables under review.
Furthermore, a detailed understanding of
the association between aforementioned
two constructs; employer branding and
recruitment will also be given in coming
sub-sections of this article.
Employee recruitment is a process of
finding and/or attracting applicants for
the employer’s open positions (Dessler,
2014). It includes the practices and
activities carried out by the organization
with the primary purpose of identifying
and attracting potential employees
(Breaugh & Starke, 2000). Further,
recruitment could be defined as
organizational activities that affect the
number and the type of applicants who
apply for open positions (Sivertzen,
Nilesen & Olafsen, 2011). Simply,
recruitment is all about attracting of a
pool of candidates for a position that is
vacant within an organization from
which will select the most appropriate
applicant to fill the vacancy.
The effective recruitment is important
for an organization as it provides
numerous benefits in the long run. To do
effective recruitment Desseler (2014)
emphasized that employers require a
proper brand to differentiate themselves
from other competitors and to gain
competitive advantages in the labor
The recruitment could be done through
internal sources that is current employees
by hiring from within. The internal
recruitment can lead to positive and
negative results. It can motivate the
current employees, the commitment and
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morale can be risen, the orientation costs
will be lower. In the same way, rejections
breed discontent; telling them why you
rejected them and what remedial actions
they might take is crucial, and employers
require managers to post job openings
and interview all inside candidates. Yet
the manager often knows whom he or she
wants to hire. Requiring him or her to
interview a stream of unsuspecting
inside candidates can be a waste of
time for everyone (Desseler, 2014).
The Recruitment can be done through
external sources too. They are
recruitment via the online sources (such
as; job portals, Linkedn, Facebook,
Twitter), advertising the job positions in
the newspapers, use of employee
agencies, executive recruiters (also
known as head-hunters) which is a
special type employment agency
employers retain to seek out top-
management talent for their clients etc.
Additionally, on-demand recruiting
services which provide short-term
specialized recruiting assistance to
support specific projects without the
expense of retaining traditional search
firms, college recruitment, referrals
could be done to attract the external
candidates (Desseler, 2014).
HR managers need to monitor the
effectiveness of recruitment methods.
First, to ensure the value for money and,
second, to ensure that the pool of
applicants produced by various methods
(either internal or external) is suitable.
Breaugh & Starke, (2000) outline many
possible recruitment criteria against
which recruitment activity can be
measured. They included: (i) the number
of applicants recruited; (ii) quality and
diversity of applicants; (iii) cost per
vacancy; (iv) speed of recruitment; (v)
number of vacancies filled, (vi) ratio of
offers to acceptances (Torrington et al.,
Attraction vs. Recruitment
Employee recruitment and employer
attractiveness have been defined as two
distinct variables in extant literature.
Attractiveness is the benefits that a
potential employee sees in an
employment of a specific organization
(Berthon et al., 2005; Siverston, Nilsen
& Olafsen, 2011). Also, it is identified
that the employer attractiveness is the
aim of the external brand image of an
organization (Arachchige & Robertson,
2013). So, attractiveness is the expected
outcome of the process of employer
Siverston, Nilsen & Olafsen, (2011)
claim that the employer attractiveness
has been measured using the empat
scale. The scale was developed by
Berthon et al. (2005) which was derived
from Ambler & Barrow (1996)
dimensions for psychological, functional
and economic benefits. This scale
consists of 25 items constituting five
dimensions namely:
i) Interest value (innovation and
interest in the product / services)
ii) Social Value (the work
environment and relations to other
iii) Economic Value (the economic
benefits that employee could
iv) Development Value (the
possibility for the future job
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v) Application Value (the possibility
to use what has been learned
earlier in the workplace which is
known as transfer of training)
Yet, these concepts; attraction and
recruitment are defined as two unlike
concepts. Thus, having considered the
evidence in literature it could be reported
that the employer attractiveness is
embedded in the recruitment as it is
identifying and attracting the potential
candidates to the organization. As both
the concepts are associated with the
attractivity to the external parties and get
them attracted to the organization, it can
be stated that both concepts are similar in
the real-world situations even though
different in theory.
The Concept of Brand in
Corporate World
“Your brand is what people say about
you when you have left the room”; the
statement stated by Larry Ellison, the
founder of the Oracle does express the
importance of having a powerful brand
name for an organization (Robertson,
The American Marketing Association
defines brand as “a name, term, sign,
symbol, or design, or combination of
them which is intended to identify the
goods and services of one seller or group
of sellers and to differentiate them from
A powerful brand should be memorable,
meaningful, protectable and adaptive to
changing situations. The more the brand
name is powerful it will provide a higher
competitive edge within the industry;
especially in market capturing.
Within organizations there can be
various brands existing in various
aspects such as; consumer brand,
company brand, employer brand etc.
Wilden, Gudergan & Lings (2010)
mentioned that managing these brands
for various stakeholders is a challenging
task for any organization.
Nevertheless, these brands do have
interconnections among each other. For
an example, the companies which have
low consumer awareness may find it hard
to attract highly skilled human capital as
potential recruits are less aware of the
employer. Similarly, if the product
brands are seen attractive in consumer
markets, the potential recruits may have
positive associations with the company
and willing to join the company (Wilden,
Gudergan & Lings, 2010). Hence, having
considered the above evidence, the
current researchers could interpret the
brand as an exclusive measurement that
does differentiate themselves from
another in order to obtain the competitive
lead in the market or industry.
Employer Brand
Employer branding is a topic that does
popular within the corporate world
among the employers and as well as
employees as a tool to attract and retain
the human capital within the firms.
Hence, the employer branding can be
considered as the intersection of the
Human Resource Management and
Marketing Management. Similarly, it is
the prime approach for recruitment
challenges. Even though the concept has
evolved from decades, the importance
for this area has enhanced currently in
the knowledge based economy where
there’s a shortage of skilled workers
(Backhaus & Tikoo, 2004).
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As per the definitions of Ambler and
Barrow (1996), the founder of employer
branding, defines the employer brand in
terms of the benefits calling it as “the
package of functional, economic and
psychological benefits provided by the
employment and identified with the
employing company”. Further, it was
emphasized by the Ambler and Barrow
(1996) that employees can maintain
closer relationships with employers
through employer brand, just like
consumers do with product brands.
Similarly, employer brand establishes
the identity of the firm. It encompasses
the firm’s value system, policies and
behaviors toward the objectives of
attracting, motivating and retaining the
firm’s current and potential employees.
Employer brand targeted, the long term
strategy to manage the awareness and
perception of employees, potential
employees, and related stakeholders with
regards to a particular firm (Backhaus &
Tikoo, 2004). Similarly, Arachchige &
Robertson, (2013) mentioned that
employer brand as the wholesome
picture created within the employees and
respective future employees’ mind of the
package of psychological, economic and
functional benefits provided by
employment and identified within a
particular employer.
As identified by Backhaus & Tikoo
(2004) the employer brand does differ
from the product brand based on the two
key attributes. One, the employer brand
is employment specific characterizing
the identity of the employers, and two is
employer brand does represent both to
the internal and external parties whilst
the product brand does concern the
external audience.
Hence, the employer brand is considered
as a portrait of psychological, economic
and functional benefits of an
organization that is reserved in the
thoughts of the existing employees and
potential applicants.
Attributes and Perspectives of the
Employer Brand
The employer brand does associate with
the symbolic and instrumental attributes.
The symbolic attributes involved with
the perceived company reputation and
perceived organizational identity. The
employer brand convey a meaning
beyond the tangible benefits. The
symbolic associations, the ideas
presented by the brand play a significant
role in providing the meaning in a
person’s social world.
The instrumental attributes are described
as the job or organization in terms of
objective, concrete and factual attributes
that the job or organization either has or
does not have (Xie, Bagozzi & Meland,
2015). The examples for the instrumental
attributes depicted are pay, bonuses,
benefits, and possibility for career
development. In developing the
employer brand, it is required to pay
attention to both the instrumental and
symbolic attributes and include them
appropriately by maintaining a trade-off
between the both.
According to Theurer, Tumasjan, Welpe
& Lievens (2016) the employer branding
is viewed based on three perspectives.
First, in the job market perspective: that
is employer branding is suggested to be
used in the highly competitive job
markets. Second, from a functional
organizational perspective: that is the
employer branding has been suggested to
serve as a framework for career
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management programs as a novel
concept in talent management. Third,
from an HR cycle perspective: that is the
employer branding target group has been
generally considered to be both the
potential employees for the recruitment
and current employees for retention. In
simple terms it conveys that the
employer brand does help in the
recruitment, retention, career
management and act as a competitive
edge in the job market where it could be
concluded that employer branding is an
essential tool for a proper functioning of
the HRM activities within an
organization now a days.
Process of Building an Employer
Backhaus and Tikoo (2004) describe the
employer branding as a three step
i) Developing a value preposition
that is embodied in the brand.
That includes the information
about the organization culture,
management style, qualities of
current employees, current
employee image and impressions
of product.
ii) The Value Preposition should be
marketed to its targeted potential
employees; recruitment agencies
etc. external marketing of the
employer brand is done primarily
to attract the target population.
iii) The third aspect of the employer
branding is internal marketing.
This is important as it carries the
promises made to the recruits
and incorporates as a part of the
culture of the organization.
Employer Branding Activities and
Theurer, Tumasjan, Welpe & Lievens,
(2016) elaborated the employer branding
activities and strategies as follows.
Early Recruitment Activities
Job seekers employer knowledge can be
influenced by multiple different
information sources. Firms must
however strategically seek to
communicate the specific image to bring
the employees image in line with the
projected images by the organization.
This is basically done by the
sponsorships and mainly through the
word of mouth which is the strongest
media and that can be basically done
through the internal employees.
High and Low Involvement
The low involvement practices require
little consumer search and less
involvement. As defined in the literature
the low involvement practices are
general recruitment ads, sponsorships. In
opposition the high involvement
practices requires more consumer search
efforts. The High involvement practices
are detailed recruitment plans, employee
endorsements were best suited for
companies that are generally well known
and have positive image. For an example
when a company does have an
unfavorable reputation high information
messages are powerful in changing the
adverse applicant perceptions.
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The Media Richness and
The media richness and the source
credibility is important in developing the
Employer Brand. The channels that
consist with low media richness such as;
print and the channels that does have
high media richness such as; internet
should be used appropriately. The use of
high media rich channels will allow the
timely feedback and greater variety in the
language. Further, it has been found out
that the use of recruitment websites
provides high media richness and have a
strong impact on applicant attraction. As
today, the potential candidates of
generation Y are looking for the
information on Google, Job boards and
social networks it is important to manage
these channels well, by updating them
continuously in order to manage the
attributes of the employer brand in a
strategic and proactive manner.
Employer Branding Value Chain
Theurer, Tumansjan, Welpe & Lievens
(2016) introduced an employer
branding value chain model, which
depicts the employer branding as a value
chain. It does consist with overall
framework on employer knowledge
development and investment, applicant,
employee mindset, firm performance and
how the brand gives competitive
advantage whilst enhancing the
shareholder value. Figure 01 depicts the
employer brand value chain model.
As the first stage of the model, the
employer should concern on building the
employer brand based on the three-step
process that has been explained above by
Backhaus & Tikoo (2013). The employer
brand should be positioned correctly
among the potential and the current
employees. Further throughout the
model the consistency and clarity of the
brand is emphasized. The brand should
be consistent in every channel that is
communicated and the message that is
being conveyed by the brand should be
transferred properly without any
misalignment. Further, as stated above
through the branding strategy the media
that is used to convey the message should
be strategically selected as it should be
rich and credible.
In the second stage of the model it does
concern on the mindset of the potentials
and the employees regarding on the
employer brand. The potentials will
consider about the image or the
reputation of the company, the person
organization fit and job attributes
pertaining to the organization which are
being communicated through the
employer brand and it will be discussed
in detail in the latter part of the chapter.
The current employees will subject to the
change in the attitudes and actions
through the activities communicated by
the brand.
The third stage the model, emphasizes
the organizational level outcomes that is
gained through the employer brand for
the competitive advantage and
performance. These outcomes can be
quantified through the job acceptance
ratios, retention, or the turnover ratios
etc. Further, in situations where the
employer brand is powerful to the public
such as in the public context, the
employer brand will have spillover
effects to the corporate and product
brand that might affect the consumer
purchasing patterns.
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Figure 01: Employer Branding Value Chain Model
Source: Backhaus and Tikoo (2013)
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In conclusion, in the fourth stage of the
model employer brand value will be inter
connecting with the financial outcomes
of the organization such as to the
shareholder value. They can be stated as
the part of P/E ratio, Stock Price, Overall
Market Capitalization etc.
Hence, when assessing the above model,
the researcher can state that the building
of an employer brand within an
organization is like laying a foundation
stone for an organization that will give
numerous benefits in the long run.
Employer Brand Equity
The employer brand equity is the
outcome of the employer branding
activities. The employer brand equity
propels the potential applicants to apply
and the existing employees to retain. If
the employer brand activities are
successful it will result in the retention
and the attraction of the potential and
current employees too.
Alshathry, Clarke & Goodman (2016)
introduced a model namely employer
brand equity typology that does derives
the stages of the employer brand based
on the two dimensions namely internal
perceived employer brand equity and
external employer brand equity.
Based on the framework the employer
brand comes to a desirable status when
the employer brand perceived by both the
potential and current employees is high.
It is expected to retain and attract
employees possibly and gives the
organization a strong position in the
labor market.
The second stage based on this
framework is overstated employer
brand. That is where the employer brand
is perceived highly by the potentials but
it is low within the existing employees.
In such situations it is likely to attract a
high-level pool of applicants but tend to
retain them lowly. To overcome that the
employer should concern on the
activities such as job redesign and the
activities that will motivate the
The emerging employer brand is a
situation where the internal perceived
employer brand is high whilst the
external potential perceived brand is low.
This do not give an adverse impact to the
organization in long run as the distinctive
employment practices will be
communicated to the external parties.
The situation where the perceived
employer brand is weak in both the
internal and external individuals that is
known as undesirable employer brand’.
In this situation the employer should
begin with the employer brand
composition phase that is emphasized by
the Backhaus and Tikoo (2004) via a
three step process.
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Figure 02: Perceived Employer Brand Equity
Source: The Role of Employer Brand equity in Employer Attraction and Retention: A
Unified Framework (2016)
In simple terms it is required for an
organization to understand the level that
they are in and align their strategies
based on the level of employer brand
equity that they do possess. Further, the
current researcher has identified that
merely by constructing an employer
brand is not sufficient. But it also should
be continuously monitored and
strategically manage in order to obtain
the competitive advantage.
Significance of Employer
As cited by Sokro (2012) the employer
brand does provide economic and social
benefits to the employees. It helps to
attract the potentials and shapes their
expectations about their employment.
Also, it does align the existing
employees to the organizational culture
and strategy.
Arachchige and Robertson, (2013)
mentioned that the employer branding is
considered as a current management
priority in leading companies due to the
following reasons.
i) Shortage of the skilled labor.
ii) More with less; that is to mitigate
the pressure by cutting the
additional costs and increase the
productivity by recruiting the
right people for the right jobs.
iii) Growth and Profitability.
iv) Popularity; that is to increase the
popularity of the employers
through maintaining the
v) Strength; when the employer
brand is attractive it will enhance
the power of organizations to
retain and attract potential
employees to the organization.
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The goal of the employer branding is to
become the employer brand of choice.
To become an employer brand of choice
the company should become a
distinguishable employer connected to
those benefits and employer brand
related predictors that are most important
among the prospect and current
employees (Bellou, Chaniotakis,
Kehagias & Rigopoulou, 2015).
Hence, it can be seen that the employer
branding does provide various benefits to
the organization and to the employees. It
was emphasized that building merely an
employer brand is not sufficient but it
should be polished and improved in order
to gain the maximum advantage of it and
reach it to the society.
Significance of Employer
Branding in Asian Context
As the demand for skilled, specialist,
value adding employees is likely to
increase dramatically because of the
rapid technological advancement in the
Asian region, the building of a proper
employer brand is essential. The
statistics found by the Maccarthy (2016)
depicts that how the skill shortage has
affected the countries due to the
globalization and the technological
Figure 03: Countries Facing the Greatest Skills Shortage
Source: Manpower Talent Shortage Survey via OECD
As depicted in figure 03, Japan, India and
China are the most powerful countries in
the Asian region who are suffering from
the shortage of skilled labor. In order to
get through this problem they have been
focusing on some strategies to overcome
this situation. Building a strong employer
brand is one of those strategies. Further,
it is reported in the Economist Magazine
(2007) as Asians prefer to work for a
well-known organization. So, in Asia,
having a prestigious employer brand
might help to attract the skilled labor.
Employer Branding:
Sri Lankan Evidence
Employer branding has been practiced
properly by Sri Lankan companies but
the amount and figures are not
documented nor published much in the
research context. However, Robertson
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(2013) has mentioned that the concern is
given only for the product brand rankings
rather than employer branding in Sri
In Sri Lanka various surveys were
conducted to assess the companies with
greater relevance to employer branding.
The Lanka Monthly Digest (LMD)
conducted the Top 100 Most Respected
Entities in Sri Lanka which does
indirectly selecting the organization
based on the power of the employer
brand to the industry. The Neilson
Company (2016) conducted a survey of
800 business people attached within the
greater Colombo region. They were rated
based on the ten criteria’s namely: (i)
financial performance; (ii) quality
consciousness; (iii) management profile;
(iv) work environment; (v) corporate
social responsibility; (vi) honesty; (vii)
innovation; (viii) dynamism; (ix) vision
and (x) nation mindness. Most of these
criteria are related to the image of the
employer brand. But, how much these
are adopted to the employer branding is
questionable as there’s no measures to
quantify how these are adopted to the
employer brand (Robertson, 2013).
Theoretical Overview
Social Identity Theory (SIT) well
supports the current review which
describes the human choices and human
behavior as the extent to which people
identify with a particular social group’. It
will determine their inclination towards
the group membership. Further, the Xie,
Bagozzi & Meland, (2015) cited
evidence from Tajfel, (1978) and defined
social identity as that part of an
individual’s self-concept which derives
from his knowledge of his membership
of a social group together with the value
and emotional significance attached to
that membership. In simple terms, social
identity theory does emphasize on the
recognition that individual gains
emotionally and socially when they
obtain membership in a certain
Social identity does constitute three parts
namely cognitive, evaluative, and
emotional components. The cognitive
component is the cognitive awareness of
one’s membership in social group, which
is the self-categorization. The evaluative
component can be defined as the positive
and negative value implication attached
to the group membership. Simply it can
be termed as group self-esteem. The
sense of emotional involvement with the
group or the affective commitment is the
emotional component of the social
identity theory (Ellemers et al. (1999) as
cited in Xie, Bagozzi & Meland, (2015)).
Backhaus & Tikoo (2004) mentioned
that the social identity theory provides an
additional support for the link between
the employer brand and the recruitment.
It does emphasize that the humans tend
to derive their identity through the
membership in certain social groups.
When referring to the above theoretical
explanations the researcher can identify
the social identity theory as a theory that
provides the basis for which the
individuals categorizing into different
groups and how their self-esteem is built
based on the impact that they gain by
being a member of a particular
Job market signaling also provides the
foundation for this current study of
employer branding. The job market it
does signal about the various aspects of
the organization through the employer
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brand and it does helps potentials to take
decisions regarding their job.
Sending appropriate signals via the
employer brand is one of the means that
prospective employers can reduce
potential employee information costs
associated with the job information
search as they do not need to invest in
other sources (Wilden, Gudergan, Lings,
Determinants of Employer Brand
Employee Reputation of the
Employer reputation can be defined as
the job seekers beliefs about public’s
affective evaluation of the organization.
The Empirical research claimed that the
employee reputation does associate with
the corporate reputation and the
employer familiarity.
Reputation also can be defined as the
perceptual judgement of an
organizations’ past actions developed
over a period of time (Jain & Bhatt,
2014). Simply the reputation is how well
the society knows about the organization
based on the past actions.
Further, it can be stated that reputation is
the symbolic aspect of the employer
brand as it does indicate the aspects of
the organization based on the past
actions. Higher the company reputation
higher the employer brand which is
popular among the job markets.
As the employer brand does
communicate the reputation or the image
of the company to the corporate world it
could be considered that the reputation
does benefit the organization to attract
the talent to an organization through the
employer brand.
Person Organization Fit (POF)
The individual identity or the personal
identity is defined as the concept that an
individual develops about themselves
that evolves around the course of life.
The organizational identity is defined by
the Albert and Whetten (1985) as the
central, distinctive, and enduring
characteristic of an organization. The
organizational identity is another basis
for the employee identification with the
organization. It raises the question of
“Who am I in relation to the
organization?” (Witting, 2006). In
simple terms, the individual identity is
the uniqueness made for an individual
whilst the organizational identity is how
a firm is distinct compared to other firms
in the industry.
The person organization fit shows the
compatibility between the individual
identity and organization identity and it
does have a positive impact effect on the
job choice decisions. Through the
Employer Branding the characteristics
within the organization should be
effectively depicted in the process of
attracting the potential candidates to the
organization as the job applicants will try
to evaluate whether the organizational
identity will match their identity through
the information that is accessible to
them. As the Employer Branding is an
effort of socialization, it should build up
the organizational identity to match up
the most capable talent identity within
the job market.
Further, the providing of a realistic job
preview will be benefited as it provides
both the positive and negative aspects of
the job and it will attract more potentials
as make the expectations more accurate
and help them to analyze their fit to the
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Kelaniya Journal of Human Resource Management 2018 | Volume 13 | Issue 01 | Page 34
Also, it has been found that through the
job interviews and site visits have
significant impact on subsequent
employment decision as it does help the
applicant to get an idea about the
organization environment and evaluate
whether it does match with their
personality (Alshathry, Clarke &
Goodman, 2016). Hence, it is concluded
that the employer brand depicts the
various aspects of the organization
indicating the person organization fit to
the potential job seekers.
The Job Attributes
The organizational attributes are a key
factor in applicant attraction and an
applicant’s positive first impression.
Those attributes must be communicated
to the potentials through the Employer
Brand through integrating them to the
same (Chabra & Sharma, 2012).
The potential employee can observe the
attributes of the job when they are
searching for a job. Further, via the
employer brand these benefits are
manipulated to position the firm among
the potential candidates. Those
characteristics are workplace culture,
salary, location etc. Further the
effectiveness of the HR practices also
reflects through the organization making
it appeal and to add value to the
organization (Neetu & Prachi, 2014).
Hence, it is concluded that those
attributes will make the employer brand
more powerful as they are being
communicated through the brand.
Major components of a brand based on
the job attributes are compensation
benefits, work life balance, company
culture and product brand strength.
Amidst of all Neetu and Prachi (2014)
identified that the stability of the
company, work life balance and job
security has been identified as the main
Similarly, Chabra & Sharma (2012)
reported that the common organizational
attributes are compensation, career
prospect and growth, job profile, brand
name, culture, empowerment, training
and development, innovative work
practices, job security, recognition and
appreciation and etc. They further
emphasized the fact that the job portals
should be updated in order to potentials
to learn and get an idea of the same.
These things should be signaled by the
Employer Brand to the candidates.
Employer Branding and
Employee Recruitment
As explained in the social identity
theory, if a company does have a positive
aspects of employee image (brand), the
possibility of candidates being attracted
to the company is higher. Further, Xie,
Bagozzi & Meland (2015) cited that the
studies in the personnel psychology
suggests that company reputation plays
important role in the recruitment process.
Hence, it can be mentioned that the more
the company looks prestigious the more
potentials will get attracted to the firm as
being a member of the company will
heighten its self-image.
The job signaling theory indicates that
the image does signals the potentials
regarding the psychological benefit that
they can gain by being a member of the
well-respected organization (Alshathry,
Clarke & Goodman, 2016). And based
on the Signaling theory, the Employer
Brand will signal the firm’s values,
systems, policies and depict the identity
of the firm in order to the potential to
match the organization for their
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Kelaniya Journal of Human Resource Management 2018 | Volume 13 | Issue 01 | Page 35
requirements and further if these signals
are properly communicated then the
information costs associated with the
search of the potential candidates will
also reduce. (Wilden, Gudergan & Lings,
2010). Simply it can be stated that more
the organization attributes do match the
personality of the individual the more the
potentials will get attracted to the
organization hence the pool of
candidates will rise assisting the
recruitment process.
The congruence on individual identity
and organizational identity plays a part in
the employer branding. This is mirrored
out through the findings of Neetu and
Prachi, (2014) they stated that person
organization fit is one of the primary
mechanisms that contribute in employee
The person organization fit indicates that
potential applicants compare the
employer brand image based on their
needs and asses the match between their
personalities. The better the match the
employee will be attracted to the
organization (Backhaus & Tikoo, 2004).
Further Neetu & Prachi, (2014) stated
that more the job attributes are attractive
for a potential more they will get
attracted to the company.
When considering the above evidences
that were cited by the previous
researchers the current researcher will be
able to construct a relationship between
the recruitment and employer branding.
By making the social identity theory and
the job signaling theory as the underlying
theories the current researcher could
conclude that more the company
reputation and the job attributes are
appealing to the potentials and higher the
person organizational fit to the potentials
the attraction to the organization would
also heightens, which results the pool of
candidates for a particular job within an
organization to rise by assisting the
recruitment process. As the reputation,
person organization fit and the job
attributes are communicated via the
employer brand to the potentials in the
job market it can be concluded that there
is a stronger relationship between
employee recruitment and employer
Having reviewed the reported empirical
findings up to date, and theoretical
explanations, building on social identity
theory and job signaling theory, it could
be concluded that employer branding
does significantly impact on employee
recruitment. Further, it is found that the
congruence between organizational
identity and individual identity (person-
organization-fit) plays a critical role in
building the employer brand which in
turn has a significant effect on employee
recruitment. However, across the
literature the type and the level of
employer brand, and the gravity of the
branding process is not clearly depicted
and consistent. So that, it remains yet to
be studied further in future research in
the same domain with more empirical
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Kelaniya Journal of Human Resource Management 2018 | Volume 13 | Issue 01 | Page 36
Alshathry, S., Clarke, M., & Goodman, S. (2016). The role of employer brand equity
in employee attraction and retention:a unified framework. International
Journal of Organizational Analysis, 413-431.
Arachchige, B. J., & Robertson, A. (2013). Employer attractiveness: comparative
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Human Resource Management.
Backhaus, K., & Tikoo, S. (2004). Conceptualizing and researching on employer
branding. Career Developement International, 501-517.
Bellou, V., Chaniotakis, I., Kehagias, I., & Rigopoulou, I. (2015). Employer brand of
choice: An employee perspective. Journal of Business Economics and
Capturing Talent : The Economist. (2017, October 21). Retrieved from Economist:
Chabra, N. L., & Sharma, S. (2012). Employer Branding: strategy for improving
employer attractiveness. International Journal of Organizational Analysis,
Desseler, G. (2014). Fundamentals of Human Resource Management. England:
Pearson Education Limited.
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Jain, N., & Bhatt, P. (2014). Employment preferences of job applicants: unfolding
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& HRM Family, University of Sri Jayewardanepura .
Sivertzen, M. A., Nilsen, R. E., & Olafsen, A. H. (2011). Employer branding:
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Wilden, R., Gudergan, S., & Lings, I. (2010). Employer Branding: strategic
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This study seeks to contribute in the field of the ideal employer, by determining the Employer Brand of Choice and its core components. In doing so, a pilot study was initially conducted to delineate these components. Evidence from 896 working adults that participated in a field study support the multi-dimensionality of the construct Employer Brand of choice, highlighting the role of “Remuneration”, “Relationships”, “Opportunities for Self Development”, “Recognition”, and “Corporate Image”. These findings not only offer a concrete and holistic theoretical base of Employer Brand of Choice, but they can also serve as a managerial guide towards enhancing companies’ ability to attract, retain and motivate talented individuals.
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In many countries the employer brand is fast becoming an integral facet of an organisation " s resources aimed at attracting and retaining the employees best able to contribute to the successful attainment of its vision and goals. This study expands on an earlier survey in Sri Lanka of the employer attributes most important in attracting job-seekers, drawing on the perceptions of Sri Lankan undergraduate Business/Commerce students in their final semester before graduation and comparing those findings with the results of a similar survey of MBA students who have had varying periods of employment experience. While the findings reveal a difference in the degree to which the two sample groups are attracted or otherwise to a range of employer attributes, they nonetheless have similar perceptions as to which of these are most and least preferred. A close alignment between the dimensions of attractiveness relevant to each group is also identified. The implications of these findings for HRM managers are discussed.
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to extend research on employer branding in the recruitment context. The authors develop a model that integrates research from employer branding, social identity theory, and person-organization fit in order to investigate the impact of company reputation and identity congruency between organizations and their job applicants on the attractiveness of an employer brand. Design/methodology/approach – An online survey was conducted to test the theoretical model in a recruitment context in the Norwegian offshore industry. Structural equation modelling is employed in the data analysis. Findings – A key finding is that a company’s reputation and identity congruence between applicants’ self-identities and their perceived organization identity affect job applicants’ job pursuit intentions through mediation of cognitive social identity. Moreover, identity congruence predicts applicants’ cognitive identification with the company. Practical implications – The study suggests that managers should try to map and understand central characteristics that describe job applicants’ identities and strive to provide applicants With access to necessary information about the company to form cognitive identification with the company. Originality/value – The authors extend research on employer branding by incorporating social identity and attitude as mediators between symbolic and instrumental attributes of an employer brand and its attractiveness. This study also deepens research on social identity by including explicitly a comparison process between applicants’ self-identities and their perceived organizational identity, which leads to applicants’ identification with the company.
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Purpose – The aim of this study is to investigate which factors employers should focus on in their employer branding strategies. The present study tested the employer attractiveness scale (EmpAt) and analysed relationships between dimensions in this measurement scale and the use of social media in relation to corporate reputation and intentions to apply for a job. Design/methodology/approach – Electronic questionnaires were distributed to students at three higher education institutions in Norway. The proposed model is analysed on the basis of 366 responses related to three well-known Norwegian engineering firms. Findings – The results indicate that several employer attributes are positive for corporate reputation, which again is related to attraction of potential employees. Specifically, the results suggest that innovation value, psychological value, application value, and the use of social media positively relate to corporate reputation, which in turn is positively linked to intentions to apply for a job. Psychological value, which is the strongest predictor, is also directly related to intentions to apply for a job. Furthermore, the validation of the EmpAt scale resulted in different dimensions than in the original study. New dimensions and a re-arrangement of indicators are proposed. Originality/value – The research is original in the way it combines employer branding and social media, and this will be of value to employers in their recruitment processes.
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In many developed economies, changing demographics and economic conditions have given rise to increasingly competitive labour markets, where competition for good employees is strong. Consequently, strategic investments in attracting suitably qualified and skilled employees are recommended. One such strategy is employer branding. Employer branding in the context of recruitment is the package of psychological, economic, and functional benefits that potential employees associate with employment with a particular company. Knowledge of these perceptions can help organisations to create an attractive and competitive employer brand. Utilising information economics and signalling theory, we examine the nature and consequences of employer branding. Depth interviews reveal that job seekers evaluate: the attractiveness of employers based on any previous direct work experiences with the employer or in the sector; the clarity, credibility, and consistency of the potential employers’ brand signals; perceptions of the employers’ brand investments; and perceptions of the employers’ product or service brand portfolio.
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to present a conceptual framework for Employer Brand Equity (EBE) that combines both perspectives of employer brand customers into a unified framework for employee attraction and retention. Design/methodology/approach This paper extends previous conceptual work on employer brand equity by identifying the role of EBE antecedents in internal and external employer branding. In addition, it recognizes the interactive nature of employer-employee relationship. Findings The framework incorporates employee experience with the employer, which relates to the interaction between employee and employer and recognizes the internal and external perspectives simultaneously. Further, the unified framework helps to develop a four-cell typology for the strategic management of an employer brand. Originality/value Existing research has failed to integrate the two perspectives of employment customers in a clear model and thus offered limited applicability to an employment setting. The EBE framework goes beyond existing models by providing a conceptualization that aims to reflect the employer brand relationship from the perspective of existing and potential employees. Further, it provides theoretical and empirical rationale for a set of propositions that can empirically be examined in future research.
Purpose – In the ever increasing competition in the employment market, an organization’s need to become a “great place to work” has gained significant momentum. Employer branding has thus emerged as an essential management practice employed by the organization to create its image as desirable employer in the eyes of prospective employees. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the understanding of employer branding through the eyes of “potential” young employees in Delhi and North Central Region, India. The results presented in this paper throw light on the perceived importance of employer branding among the prospective employees via analysis of various branding factors chosen for the study. The study results report that the perceived significance of employer branding factors differs mainly across gender and age of prospective employees. Notably, public and private sectors are being perceived significantly different by the potential job applicants on employer branding factors. Thus, this paper presents important findings enabling employers to build brand value and an attractive reputation in the job market so as to attract and retain the best talent. Design/methodology/approach – Survey methodology was used to test the hypothesis. The sample was selected from Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR) primarily from the students of business schools who were randomly selected to fill in the questionnaire. As they are the potential hires, it seemed appropriate to know their preference of employer branding factors. They are ready to join the corporations therefore, data extracted would be much more suitable as they can throw light on their immediate preferences and provide insight into the research study. For collection of data an online structured questionnaire was administered. A total of 270 questionnaires were administered and 239 filled questionnaires were received. Findings – From the results it can be seen that private sector emerged as preferred sector of choice for the majority of potential employees. However, there are some factors which are handled well in private sector as compared to public sector and vice versa. There are some factors like – stability of the company, work-life balance and job security which potential employees perceive as important and therefore, need to be addressed by both public and private sector organizations. Research limitations/implications – Limitation of this study is that the findings cannot be generalized therefore, provide opportunities for further research. Moreover, the sample included only students as prospective employees seeking a new job or a career change. Thus the results obtained on a sample of relatively inexperienced job seekers, might partially reflect commonly held stereotypes of attractive organizations. Hence, it is interesting to use other samples such as experienced job seekers or those who are currently employed. Another limitation is that the study is restricted to Delhi and NCR region hence, the data is not representative of a wider population. Further research may expand the scope in terms of sample size as well. Future research may also explore the extent of employee attraction and retention vis-à-vis employer branding factors in organizations. A final avenue for future studies consists in exploring the processes which underlie the organizational choice decisions of prospective applicants. Practical implications – This study has added to the growing body of research on employer branding factors by generating more knowledge and arguments in favor of certain employer branding factors in the workplace. If organizations truly want to attract good talented people then management needs to bring about the necessary organizational support and infrastructure at the early and middle stages of an employee’s career which are most often the stages where important choices are made. They need to be more considerate toward employee needs. Efforts can be made to build a good work culture by paying heed to their preferences. Therefore, this study helps establish a foundation for implementation of various employer branding factors which are perceived important by the potential job applicants, especially in Indian context. The findings are of particular important for human resource (HR) managers and policy makers in both public sector as well as private sectors in these times of increased inter-sectoral personnel movement. These findings can be utilized as a guiding instrument while inter-sectoral recruitment is being made. These would also enable employers to take appropriate action in order to build their employer brand based on certain discussed employer branding factors so as to attract talent which in turn would also help them in retaining talent. Social implications – There are many employer branding factors which tend to affect the mindset of potential employees in selecting their prospective employer. Employers can therefore, endeavor to understand those factors at length so as to attract talent which in turn would also help in retaining talent. Originality/value – Results throw light on the perceived importance the potential employees give to various employer branding factors taken for the study. Perceived significance attached to employer branding factors differs across gender, age, education background, etc. It was also found that for some important employer branding factors public and private sectors are being perceived significantly different by the potential job applicants. Thus, paper presents important findings that would enable employers to take actions in order to build their employer brand so as to attract talent which in turn would also help them in retaining talent.
Purpose – To examine the organizational attributes that attract final-year management students towards organizations. The paper aims to study the already adopted employer branding strategies and the preferred channel through which organizations should promote employer attractiveness. Based on previous studies and current findings, a conceptual model on employer branding process has been developed and presented. Design/methodology/approach – This article is based on semi-structured interviews, survey results and review of academic employer branding models. Findings – It was found that among the students, most preferred organizational attributes were organizational culture, brand name and compensation. Students rated job portal to be the preferred channel for employer attractiveness. The study showed that there exists a significant and positive correlation between strong brand image and likelihood to apply. Research limitations/implications – The survey sample was limited to private business schools only. Practical implications – One of the sources for hiring on which corporate rely heavily is private business schools. This study provides the employers an insight to make their strategies for employer branding more effective. In the process, it benefits the prospective employees as well. Originality/value – The study provides valuable inputs for formulating effective employer branding strategies. The novelty of the study is the conceptual model on the process of employer branding. One of the highlights of which is preferred communication channel for effectiveness of the strategies.