Academic journal article Indian Journal of Industrial Relations

A Multi-Dimensional Scale for Measuring Employer Brand

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Industrial Relations

A Multi-Dimensional Scale for Measuring Employer Brand

Article excerpt

Introduction

Although recent research is abundant with literature on war for talent (Ready et al., 2008), yet very little research attention has aimed at competitive talent management strategies (Bhatnagar, 2007, 2009) that can act as key differentiators in corporate success. Employer branding is one such long-term innovative HR strategy to attract and retain the best talent anywhere in the world (Wilden et al., 2010).

It is important for the organizations to focus on the pre-organizational entry stage, which is the first phase of recruitment (Murphy, 1986). Any information that prospective employees receive at the initial stage, builds their impressions of the hiring organization, which becomes an important cue for what it would be like to work for that organization (Turban, 2001). An employer brand benefits both the prospective employer and the prospective employees. It attracts the candidates with the right skills who also fit into the values, need and culture of the organization (Srivastava & Bhatnagar, 2008) and at the same time gives the prospective employees an assurance of the expected work experience. When a firm reaches a higher level of external recognition, it becomes much easier for it to attract new talent (Bouchikhi & Kimberly, 2008).

Research has shown that decisions to apply for a job are related to prospective applicants' attraction to the organization (Barber, 1998). Hence, it is important to understand how applicants view the hiring organization from first impressions during the recruitment process. Researchers have initiated a systematic examination of a person's general impressions of a recruiting organization (e.g., Collins & Stevens, 2002; Highhouse et al., 1999; Lemmink, Schuijf & Streukens, 2003; Wilden et al., 2010). Scholars have called for research investigating whether organization-level variables affect applicant pool characteristics (Barber, 1998; Rynes & Cable, 2003). Employer brand could be one such variable with scope for exploration.

It is found that most of the research on employer brand is limited to conceptual papers which either identify and define the concept (Ambler & Barrow, 1996; Backhaus & Tikoo, 2004; Ewing et al., 2002) or borrow the models on consumer behavior to explain brand equity (Andreassen & Lanseng, 2010). There is little research on scale development in employer branding (Joo & McLean, 2006; Moroko & Uncles, 2008).It is also essential to understand which important organizational characteristics or practices contribute most to workplace attractiveness (Fulmer, Gerhart & Scott, 2003). The dearth of an instrument to measure employer brand necessitates an empirical study to develop and validate a measurement scale since any theoretical progress is made possible only by adequate measurement instrument (Schwab, 1980).Thus, developing a scale to measure employer brand is the primary objective of this paper, which addresses the research gap pointed out by earlier research studies in this area (Roy, 2008)

Employer Brand

The term employer brand was coined by Ambler & Barrow (1996) and further conceptualized by Backhaus & Tikoo (2004). An employer brand is about giving an identity (Backaus & Tikoo, 2004), image and distinctiveness to the organization as a desirable employer (Ambler & Barrow, 1996; Backhaus & Tikoo, 2004) and message to the talent pool that the organization is 'a good place to work' (Ewing et al, 2002; Knox & Freeman, 2006) in order to attract its prospective employees and to motivate, engage and retain its current employees (Srivastava & Bhatnagar, 2010).

The employer brand also helps organizations in the process of profiling themselves in the labor market as an employer of choice for future employees as well as to ensure organizational identification among current employees. It brings familiarity with the organization (Heironimus, Schaefer & Schroder, 2005) and enables a quick mental shortlist of prospective employers (Martin & Hetrick, 2007). …

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