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Employer branding: A way to retain young employees

A qualitative study on how SMEs use employer branding in order to retain young employees in their organization and how it is perceived

Written by T. Krona, E. V. Kronqvist

Paper category

Bachelor Thesis


Business Administration>Human Resources




Bachelor Thesis: Employer brand The foundation of the employer brand is closely related to corporate branding and communication and marketing (Backhaus & Tikoo, 2004; Ambler & Barrow, 1996). It combines the principles of human resources, marketing, organizational behavior, strategy, and psychology (Backhaus & Tikoo, 2004; Edwards, 2009). As the employer brand emerges from the marketing principles in the field of personnel recruitment and retention, it is increasingly recognized by academia and companies. The growing interest can be used in the field of talent attraction, management and retention. (Cable & Turban, 2001) According to Ambler and Barrow (1996, p. 187), the employer brand is defined as "a package of functional, economic and psychological benefits provided by employment and consistent with the employment company." Ambler and Barrow (1996) pointed out that the employer brand is related to the participation, attraction and retention strategy of human resource development to strengthen and increase the employment opportunities of the organization. Employer branding focuses on managing the company's identity by establishing an image within and outside the company as a unique and ideal employer (Maheshwari et al., 2017). It is used to create and portray a great image of the company as an employer (if not the greatest) in the minds of potential employees as well as current employees. (Porter & Gartner, 1985) Gaddam (2008) believes that employer brand has become prominent in human resource management. In this fast-developing technological era, it is used as a communication tool to acquire and retain talent. Some people further believe that in order to win the talent war, organizations need to differentiate (Gaddam, 2008). In this case, the employer brand can be used as a tool to create a strong and clear identity among employees (Michaels, Handfield-Jones, and Axelrod, 2001), because the employer brand can be effectively used to stand out in the talent market (CIPD, 2007 ). According to Foster, Punjaisri and Cheng (2010), employer brand and consumer brand are closely related. The latest research on employer branding emphasizes the combination of marketing principles and recruitment practices. It reveals the similarities between potential customers who form a preference for a brand and potential employees who assess the attributes of competing jobs and employers. (Wallace, Lings, Cameron, and Sheldon, 2014) For a long time, corporate branding literature has viewed brands as an organization's commitment to customers (Olins, 2004). This can also be seen in the field of employer branding, because Moroko and Uncles (2008) believe that employer branding can be regarded as a psychological contract between employers and employees. Similar to Rousseau (1990), he pointed out that when a person is employed by a company, both parties will reach a psychological contract. The change in attitudes and values ​​towards work from school to work is accompanied by many adjustments. As an individual, you must consider economic reality and available employment opportunities (Jokisaari & Nurmi, 2005). When shifting from the school environment to the work environment, the feedback will change from academic performance to actual work performance. This may affect a person’s self-efficacy beliefs and outcome expectations, including work values. (Lent, Hackett, & Brown, 1999). Both Gen Y and Gen Z like teamwork, but don't like monotonous work tasks because they quickly get bored (Bencsik, Horváth-Csikós, and Juhász, 2016). These generations appreciate the functional attributes of work (Myrdén & Kelloway, 2015; Drury, 2016), such as technical solutions (Singh, 2014), career opportunities, and salary (Bencsik et al., 2016). Although these are important, symbolic attributes are more important to these generations, such as the culture within the company (Myrdén & Kelloway, 2015; Drury, 2016). Both Gen Y and Gen Z value and appreciate companies that are committed to improving the environment and society. They appreciate the diversity of senior managers (Deloitte, 2018). It is very important for Gen Z to feel happiness and joy in the workplace (Singh, 2014; Ozkan & Solmaz, 2015). They like teamwork and an environment with a social background, and are embraced by a good and pleasant organizational culture (Ozkan & Solmaz, 2015). It is well known that Gen Y and Gen Z appreciate flexibility in the workplace (Singh, 2014; Deloitte, 2018; Thompson & Gregory, 2012). Having a flexible work schedule and being able to choose how and where to work within the organization is considered very positive (Singh, 2014). Both Gen Z (Deloitte, 2018) and Gen Y (Winter & Jackson, 2016; Deloitte, 2018; Thompson & Gregory, 2012) appreciate the flexibility of the balance between life and work. For Generation Y, the balance between work and life is essential for long-term work. If the workload is too large and there is no time to recover, they will not be able to perform at their best level. (Winter & Jackson, 2016) According to Thompson and Gregory (2012), technology is a factor in this generation's appreciation of work flexibility. The same author stated that technology is one of the reasons that people can switch between work and life at any time of the day (even at night), something that this generation is used to and therefore appreciates in the workplace. Compared with previous generations, feedback is very important to Generation Y (Thompson & Gregory, 2012; Clausen & Borg, 2010; Cahill & Sedrak, 2012) and support from managers (Winter & Jackson, 2016). Gen Z who want to hear their opinions also appreciate the feedback and support (Ozkan & Solmaz, 2015). Read Less