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Employer Branding for Consultancies

Written by Ramona Thomas

Paper category

Master Thesis


Business Administration>Human Resources




Master Thesis: Two perspectives of employer branding In order to clarify the problem of this work, I would like to discuss it from the perspective of two parties: the employee and the employer. Let me start from the employer's perspective, which will be the main point of this article: the basic theory of this work or the basic theory that better explains this work is the theory of asymmetric information distribution. The basic problem with this so-called agency theory is that the company cannot specify in the employment contract what returns it will receive from its employees. The literature refers to this as "performance risk" (Akerlof 1970, pp. 488-500). It is impossible to determine in advance whether employees are creative, social, cooperative, and motivated. The organization must make decisions without knowing the results, so it seeks to establish mechanisms to reduce the uncertainty of future employees’ willingness to perform and other important characteristics to avoid unfavorable choices. Employer branding is a possibility to reduce uncertainty before the end of the unfitting contract. On the one hand, it can be described as a signal of the employer's expectations, but it can also be described as a signal of an employer's offer (Arm-brüster 2006, p. 65). Based on the psychological contract theory, the old contract between employers and employees is no longer sufficient to ensure loyalty rather than job security. In the new contract model, employees gain development and new skills through training. In exchange, they must work hard and show flexibility (Backhaus & Tikoo 2004, p. 9). Faced with negative perceptions of this employment reality, companies use employer brands to promote the benefits they still provide, including training, career opportunities, personal growth and development. After I demonstrated the relevance and impact of employer branding issues from the employer’s perspective, I will now switch to the employee side and demonstrate the opportunities employer branding offers employees. As Schneider said: "People are not randomly assigned to real organizations; people choose to enter and exit real organizations by themselves" (Schneider 1987, p. 29). This leads to a big question: "Which parameters will drive the employee's decision to choose her/his entry into the organization?" The possible answers are: First, the company must be perceived. After that, employees must have a certain understanding of the company in their minds, including facts such as organizational culture, organizational processes, and work spirit. Finally, these views must be adapted to the preferences of future employees. For Alvesson, the entire job selection process is part of the personal identity construction process (Alvesson 2000, p. 134). The question of this work is: how does the consulting department present itself, what information does it send directly or indirectly to the job market, and whether this information (or "reason") is suitable for attracting the target group? If not, how can marketing and communication methods help achieve a better match? However, this does not mean that a company can build itself into a brand — or it can attract the people it needs through marketing alone. The basic opinion of this work is that consistency is very important for the long-term attractiveness of employers. This means that the image of the company or branch must be consistent with the prevailing culture and organizational processes in the industry or company. Companies should not underestimate the recruited employees, because once they realize that the reality is different from what was communicated, they will leave again. In short, as a knowledge-intensive service company, a consulting company relies on an excellent human resource foundation. It is important to them in terms of credibility, quality and reputation. This means that the target group of consulting firms is the top 20% of students who have completed their degrees at the top business schools in the country. The key to attracting high-potential talents lies in the correct combination of material and non-material incentives: A key incentive for "non-material aspects" is the company's image, which is called "employer brand" in some articles (see Figure 2.6.1). However, it is possible to attract talent by providing an attractive overall picture of the company. There are many different ideas about the depth of the construction of the "image" and the elements that lead to this attractive image. Ind wrote: “Recruitment is a brand promotion activity and part of corporate brand management” (Ind 1998, pp. 323-329). On the other hand, de Chernatoy believes that “companies need to pay more attention to their culture because These include the values ​​and assumptions of their employees, and these values ​​and assumptions will affect their behavior and thus the perceptions of stakeholders" (de Chernatoy 1999, p. 763). Representing the consulting department as an example of a typical service industry, this study hopes to analyze how the image—including the material and non-material parts of incentives—is constructed, and whether it will lead to the external positioning of consulting and attract the potential employees needed. Special attention will be paid to the role of corporate culture and its role in the positioning of the company in the framework of the employer attraction process. Because companies must be aware of the cultural values ​​that they grew up with, and must incorporate cultural fit into their decisions about target groups and their external communications. Read Less