This research aims to explore the relative advantages of using employer branding in recruitment process. The research question is raised whether there is some association between the facilitated recruitment scores and in the perceived employer branding score. The dynamics of Employer-branding as effective long-term recruitment strategy was explored. This research was laid out through combination of qualitative case study and with quantitative survey design. The data collection methods were entail interviews, collection of existing departmental record: archival analysis etc. The substantive support was sought from few questionnaires like employer-branding checklist and recruitment resources checklists.
In order to explore the impact of Employer-branding on recruitment and selection, two organizations practicing employer branding and the other following the traditional, customized image building was sought. The cross comparison of the data from both organizations reveal the differences that perception of employer branding carries in different dimensions. For the sake of the differential analyses in both organizations, the independent sample t-test reveal the differences in the consumption of resources for recruitment and selection. The correlation analyses reveal that there is significant positive relationship between employer branding and the facilitated recruiting process. The findings are carried both theoretical and practical implications which are discussed in the light of evidential findings.
Keywords: Employer brand, Selection, Recruitment process
The crucial aim of this research is the exploration of impact of the employer branding on recruitment and selection. The concept of employer brand is quite recent. In developing countries like Pakistan, the term employer brand is not generally understood and practiced in the indigenous and local organizations. The term Employer brand is very recent and was introduced in 1992 when an academic article was published to underline the importance of perception of employer brand in facilitating the process of recruitment and selection.
Researching and Conceptualizing Employer Branding
Brands are an organization's mainly precious resource (Dawson, 2013), brand management is a primary action in most organizations. Even though many organizations, in regard to branding efforts, mainly emphasize on product development and on corporate brands but concept of branding can also be utilized in domain of human resource management (Backhaus and Tikoo, 2004; Ballantyne and Aitken, 2007; Berthon, Ewing and Hah, 2005; Hulberg, 2006; Ito, Brotheridge and McFarland, 2013; Saini, Rai and Chaudhary, 2014). Employer branding is the appliance and use of branding philosophy to human resource management. Many organizations are using employer brandings not only to attract recruits but also to engage current employees in strategy and culture of the organization.
Employer branding can be explained as process of developing the perception of the brand for the audience and make it that much unique that it could be differentiated from their competitors (Ito, Brotheridge and McFarland, 2013; Sokro, 2012; Sparrow and Otaye, 2015; Sullivan, 2004). Employer branding produces a reflection of the organization which portrays the organization as a comfort- able place to work (Sullivan, 2004). More recently Ewing, Pitt, de Bussy and Berthon (2002) emphasize the practicality of employer branding in an progressively knowledge-based economy where skillful employees are often short in supply (Biswas and Suar, 2013; Cable and Turban, 2001; Edwards, 2010; Elving, Westhoff, Meeusen and Schoonderbeek, 2013).
Initially branding was used to discriminate substantial products, but afterwards it was applied to discriminating between different people, organizations, groups and places (Peters, 1999). According to Aaker (1991), recognized brand is supposed as a critical mean for creating differences between different products and generating new advantages for the success of an organization. In addition employer branding has become a way to compete with modern world to keep pace with them. To achieve position in the market it became really important to introduce employer branding and making a brand message of a company by using marketing principles to know about the position of employer's choice (Sutherland et al., 2002). According to Barrow and Richard (2005) employer branding is used to represent the image of a company and its personality to target the employer of own choice.
It is also used to motivate the current employees working in that company. Employer branding is also an emotional attachment between an employer and employee.
Ambler and Barrow (1996) explain employer branding as growth and joining culture of an organization and introducing him as an employer. It is combination of a lot of benefits which are identified with the employing company. It represents the culture of an organization how that people work and move, and its place in the market, to encourage people for achieving their goals and share them with others.
According to the American Marketing Association, a brand is a design, name, sign, icon and combination of all these, which differentiate the company and vendors from the competitors in the market (Jones, Willness and Madey, 2014; Schneider, 1987).
Literature of human resource practitioners defines employer branding as a triad process. First step is to create and maintain the value proposition by the company that is there in the brand. Second is to use information about the management style, culture of organization, current employment image, impressions of product or service and qualities of current employees. Quality managers convey a message about the value, their organization offers to the employees (Cable and Turban, 2001; Davies, 2008; Mokina, 2014; Sullivan, 1999).
In order to develop value proposition, the organization markets it to its targeted potential people, employing agencies and placement counselors. External marketing does not only attract the targeted employees rather it helps to support and increase the employer's product or corporate brands. It is essential to employer branding that particular brand has to be persistent with all other branding efforts (Nolan, Gohike, Gilmore and Rosiello, 2013; Sharma and Kamalanabhan, 2013; Sullivan, 1999).
Another important aspect of employer branding is internal marketing which transfers the brand promise made to recruit into the organization and includes it as part of the culture of an organization (Frook, 2001). Internal promotion is very important because it plays a vital role in developing goals for the company's success. There is similarity between employer brand and the product and corporate brand, but there are differences as well. Product and corporate oriented brands mostly target external audience while proprietor brand target both internal and external audience. It is more employment oriented and it represents organizational identification (Wallace, de Chernatony and Buil, 2013).
Employer branding has got much consideration in professional and practical setups, but little in the academia. That is why the underlying theoretical foundation is not fully developed for employer branding. Resource-based view describes that if your organization has unique features you can get better work force (Barney, 1991; Love and Singh, 2011). Presence of distinctive feature makes it unique among other competitors and gives it different position among others (Barney, 1991; Wayne and Casper, 2012). Among other things plant, tools and assets as resources that create competitive advantage, employer branding is also important as well and can create advantages for the company (Edwards and Edwards, 2013; Priem and Butler, 2001). Employer banding builds image for the external market they attract and wish to join or to attach with them.
Employer branding makes the company different from others and gives it a unique position in the market. Internal marketing is also very important which helps to bind the individuals with the organization. Employer brand helps the individual to adopt unique culture which makes them different among the others in market and gives them a place in the market. It makes them different and gives them more chances to grow (Stamler, 2001). Employer branding gives more competitive environment (Barney, 1991). Employer branding helps to recruit the best workforce and it also helps to maintain their position (Ambler and Barrow, 1996). The use of employee branding helps to make employment more powerful in the company. They show more psychological contract with the organization and bind them with the organization if they get security in return from them. This makes workforce more powerful and strong (Hendry and Jenkins, 1997).
Although there is a current trend of employees outsourcing and downsizing, it is very effective for the employees to make their psychological contract more strong. Employer branding demands for being flexible and requires more efforts (Baruch, 2004). Different companies use employer branding to advertise their benefits, training sessions and chances of personal growth and other opportunities for their development. Mostly organizations failed to do so, they get less chance to get work force (Newell and Dopson, 1996; Hendry and Jenkins, 1997) so employer branding helps to change the general trends in marketing.
Brand equity is also important to explain employer branding. Brand equity is all those resources that are attached to the brand. It is important because it provides the opportunities for the customers to get involved with the organization. It is the success of the organization (Aaker, 1991). Customer based brand equity is the publicity and knowledge of the brand to the customers and how they respond to it (Breaugh, 2008; Keller, 1993).