Researchers and human resource professionals alike are turning to the marketing literature to understand how to effectively “brand” organizations in an attempt to win the talent war. This chapter will review the history of employer brand image, present strategies for branding employers, and discuss future directions in employer branding research and practice. While there are many human resource practices that can influence the quality of human capital, one of the most important is recruitment (Barber, 1998; Terpstra & Rozell, 1993). With dramatic technological advancements over recent decades, however, the manner with which organizations approach recruitment has changed. E-recruitment has become an increasingly popular method to attract a larger pool of applicants. This is evidenced in the rise of online career search engines such as Monster.com or Careerbuilder.com, both widely used vehicles for advertising job openings and relaying pertinent information to job candidates. Technological advances and the rise in e-recruitment activities have also affected the ease with which applicants can acquire information about an organization. Access to organizational Web sites, Web logs, and other news media enable applicants to make judgments about an organization before ever having direct contact with an organizational representative.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment is expected to increase 13% by 2014 (BLS, 2005). A post-secondary degree is required for 23 out of 30 of the occupations projected to have the fastest growth potential. However, as qualified talent is becoming more of a hot commodity many industries are finding themselves with fewer high quality job applicants. As reported in a yearlong study conducted by McKinsey and Company “…the most important corporate resource over the next 20 years will be talent…And even as the demand for talent goes up, the supply of it will be going down” (Fishman, 1998). Organizations are increasingly realizing to succeed in this “war for talent” it is imperative they market themselves to stand out among their competitors. Marketing research on product brand image offers insights into how organizations can better establish and market an identity.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Brand Equity: The differential effect of product knowledge on individual response to the marketing of the product. Brand equity suggests that brands influence choice decisions by creating points of differentiation among objects with similar functional/instrumental attributes. The value a product offers a consumer.
Culture: Values that support the organization’s purpose, strategy, or identity. Ambler et al. and Barrow (1996 AU6: The in-text citation "Barrow (1996" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ) suggest culture is in place as a result of the employment image developed by the organization, and serves to help promote the employment image.