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Employer branding

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Title: Employer branding  
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Employer branding

Employer brand is an organisation's reputation as an employer.[1] The term was first used in the early 1990s, and has since become widely adopted by the global management community.[2][3][4] Minchington (2005) defines employer brand as "the image of your organisation as a 'great place to work'". The process of employer branding is concerned with talent attraction, engagement and retention strategies deployed to enhance your company's employer brand.[2]

Just as a customer brand proposition is used to define a product or service offer, an brand management have been increasingly applied by the human resources and talent management community to attract, engage and retain talented candidates and employees, in the same way that marketing applies such tools to attracting and retaining clients, customers and consumers.


  • Origin 1
  • Employer branding 2
  • Employer brand management 3
  • Employer brand proposition 4
  • Employer branding and internal marketing 5
  • Brand-led culture change 6
  • References 7


The term "employer branding" was first publicly introduced to a management audience in 1990,[5] and defined by Simon Barrow, chairman of People in Business, and Tim Ambler, Senior Fellow of London Business School, in the Journal of Brand Management in December 1996.[6] This academic paper was the first published attempt to "test the application of brand management techniques to human resource management". Within this paper, Simon Barrow and Tim Ambler defined the employer brand as "the package of functional, economic and psychological benefits provided by employment, and identified with the employing company". By 2001, of 138 leading companies surveyed by the Conference Board in North America, 40% claimed to be actively engaged in some form of employer branding activity.[7] In 2003, an employer brand survey conducted by the Economist among a global panel of readers revealed a 61% level of awareness of the term "employer brand" among HR professionals and 41% among non-HR professionals.[8] The first book on the subject was published in 2005,[1] and the second in 2006.[9] In 2008, Jackie Orme, the Director General of the UK Chartered Institute of Personnel Directors confirmed the growing status of the discipline in her opening address to the CIPD annual conference, with the observation that: "When I started out in the profession, nobody talked about employer branding. Now it's absolutely integral to business strategy—resonating well beyond the doors of the HR department". Similar recognition of the growing importance of employer brand thinking and practice has also been recently in evidence in the USA,[10] Australasia,[9] Asia,[11][12][13] and Europe,[14][15][16][17] with the publication of numerous books on the subject.

Employer branding

While the term "employer brand" denotes what people currently associate with an organisation, employer branding has been defined as the sum of a company's efforts to communicate to existing and prospective staff what makes it a desirable place to work,[18] and the active management of "a company's image as seen through the eyes of its associates and potential hires".[19]

Employer brand management

Employer brand management expands the scope of this brand intervention beyond communication to incorporate every aspect of the employment experience, and the people management processes and practices (often referred to as "touch-points") that shape the perceptions of existing and prospective employees.[1] In other words, employer brand management addresses the reality of the employment experience and not simply its presentation. By doing so it supports both external employee engagement and employee retention.

Employer brand proposition

As for consumer brands, most employer brand practitioners and authors argue that effective employer branding and brand management requires a clear Employer Brand proposition,[1] or

Employer branding and internal marketing

  1. ^ a b c d Barrow, S. and Mosley, R. The Employer Brand, Bringing the Best of Brand Management to People at Work, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester.
  2. ^ a b Minchington, B (2010) Employer Brand Leadership – A Global Perspective, Collective Learning Australia.
  3. ^ Martin, G (2009) Employer Branding and corporate reputation management, The Peak Performing Organisation, Chapter 13, pp 252, Routledge, London.
  4. ^ Edwards, M. R., (2010), An integrative review of employer branding and OB theory, Personnel Review Vol. 39, No.1, pp.5-23
  5. ^ Barrow, S. (1990), 'Turning recruitment advertising into a competitive weapon', Paper delivered at the CIPD Annual Conference, Harrogate, UK.
  6. ^ Ambler, T and Barrow, S. (1996), The employer brand, Journal of Brand Management, Vol. 4, pp. 185-206.
  7. ^ Dell, D and Ainspan, N (2001), Engaging employees through your brand, Conference Board Report No. R-1288-01-RR, April, Conference Board, Washington, D.C.
  8. ^ The Economist (2003), Employer Branding Survey.
  9. ^ a b Minchington, B (2006) Your Employer Brand – attract, engage, retain, Collective Learning Australia.
  10. ^ Sartain, L and Schumann, M. (2006), Brand from the Inside, John Wiley & Sons, San Francisco.
  11. ^ Baid, P and Rao, A.R. (2006) Employer Branding, Concepts and Cases, ICFAI University Press, Hyderbad.
  12. ^ Budhwar, P.S. and Bhatnagar, J. (2008) Employer Branding as a differentiator,The changing face of people management in India, Routledge.
  13. ^ Zhang, Liu & Zhao (2008) 张学良 / 刘长春, 赵杰 [Employer Branding], Beijing.
  14. ^ Schuhmacher, F and Geschwill, R. (2008) Employer Branding – Human Resources Management für die Unternehmensführung' Berlin.
  15. ^ Petrovic, M (2008) Employer Branding, Rainer Hampp Verlag, Munich.
  16. ^ Engelund, H and Buchhave, B. (2009), Employer Branding Som Discipline, Samfunds Litteratur, Copenhagen.
  17. ^ Rosethorn, H (2009) The Employer Brand – Keeping Faith with the Deal, Gower, Farnham.
  18. ^ Lloyd, S (2002), "Branding from the inside out," Business Review Weekly, Vol 24 No 10, pp64-66.
  19. ^ a b Martin, G. and Beaumont, P. (2003), Branding and People Management, CIPD Research Report, CIPD, London.
  20. ^ Papasolomou, I and Vrontis, B (2006), 'Using internal marketing to ignite the corporate brand', Journal of Brand Management, Vol 14, Nos 1/2, pp177-195.
  21. ^ Kotler, P. et al (2005), Principles of Marketing, Fourth European Edition, Pearson, Harlow, England.
  22. ^ Mitchell, C. (2002), 'Selling the brand inside', Harvard Business Review, Vol.80, No.1, pp99-105.
  23. ^ a b Mosley, R (2007) 'Customer experience, organisational culture and the employer brand', Journal of Brand Management, Vol 15, October Issue pp123-134.
  24. ^ Collins, J and Porras, J, (1995), Built to Last, Random House, UK.
  25. ^ Machtiger, B. (2004) 'Beware the pitfalls that kill branding efforts' Marketing News, Vol.38, No.4, pp21.
  26. ^ Smith, S. and Wheeler, J. (2002), 'A new brand of leadership', Managing the Customer Experience, FT Prentice Hall, UK.


[23] Compared with the more typically customer centric focus of

Brand-led culture change

. Psychological contract This is the gap that employer brand thinking and practice seeks to address with a more mutually beneficial employment deal / [23]

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