Academic journal article The South East Asian Journal of Management

Employer Branding : An Islamic Perspective

Academic journal article The South East Asian Journal of Management

Employer Branding : An Islamic Perspective

Article excerpt

The concept of employ er branding, a combination of marketing and human resource management, emerged and gained ground during the 90s. Although various scholarly discussions can be identified on the practice of employer branding, none provide the Islamic stance on the same. As such, this paper attempts to portray the Islamic perspective on employer branding. The paper is arranged by firstly defining the term 'employer branding', followed by its importance. The process of employer branding is presented for a clear understanding in the succeeding section. In order to provide systematic, in-depth understanding, the research questions have been developed according to the theoretical framework. The paper concludes with few suggestions and recommendations on instilling Islamic values for effective employer branding.


Definition of Employer Branding

Employer branding originated through the application of marketing principles to the field of personnel recruitment (Maurer et al., 1992). Ambler and Barrow (1996) are the first authors to coin the term "employer brand." One of the specific types of corporate identities is employer branding, in that it creates both an inside and outside image of the organization in two forms - first, as a desirable employer (Ambler and Barrow, 1996; Backhaus and Tikoo, 2004) and second, as a conducive workplace (Bergeron, 2001). The various definitions of employer brand as identified through literature are summarized in Table 1. (Srivastava and Bhatnagar, 2010)

To sum up, from the stated definitions, it is understood that an employer brand is about owning an identity, image, and distinctiveness as an employer in order to appeal to prospective employees and to inspire, involve and maintain its current employees.

Importance of employer branding

Employer brand, according to the summary by Fernon (2008), is:

"Its ability to deliver organisational success by attracting and retaining the right people, providing an environment in which employees live the brand, improving organisational performance in key business areas of recruitment, retention, engagement and the bottom line and differentiating employers from each other, creating competitive advantage." (p. 50)

It is considered an advantage for individuals, as well as the organization (Bergeron, 2001). It provides a clear framework for management to simplify and focus priorities. It also raises productivity and improves staffing, retention, and pledge (Keefe, 2007; Ambler and Barrow, 1996; Backhaus and Tikoo, 2004).

From the employees' point of view, being an employee of an organization enhances their self-esteem and strengthens their organizational identification that has a strong employer brand (Lievens et al., 2007). Continuous delivery of the brand promise leads to trust and loyalty ensuring a steady supply of prospective employees (Holliday, 1997) Further, it can maintain high commitment and high performance among employees. By promoting the organization's credibility with employees, organizational effectiveness will increase (Burack et al., 1994). It attracts the right candidates with the value fit, and at the same time, gives potential employees a guarantee of the work experience they expect (Bhatnagar and Srivastava, 2008).

Employer branding communicates the unique employment suggestion of the organization to the potential hires, current employees, and society as a whole. It does so by creating an image of a distinct and desirable employer, both inside and outside the organization (Ambler and Barrow, 1996; Backhaus and Tikoo, 2004; Balmer and Greyser, 2002), and of a good place for employment (Bergeron, 2001). It requires an employer to recognize what is unique about them compared to their competitors and to promote it to the aimed population. The result is assurance that prospective employees have a clear idea of the employment value proposition offered by the employer (Bergeron, 2001a). …

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