Does Employer Branding Influence a Candidate’s Job Application Decisions?


Employer branding is mainly concerned with creating and improving the image of an organization as an employer or as a great place to work. The employer brand influences how current and potential employees interact with a company’s brand, and more specifically, the company’s brand image as an employer.

Both firm-level and job-related variables significantly influence a candidate’s job application decisions, such as intention to apply and consideration of the best companies to work for. Firms hoping to attract top candidates should carefully examine the factors that motivate top candidates to apply for positions with a company, and make an effort to improve on those variables.

Interlinked with the concept of employer branding for prospective employees is employment branding, employer knowledge, employment image and employer attractiveness. All of these factors can impact a candidate’s job choices, but improving upon these factors alone may not be adequate to attract top candidates.

Top candidates are also attracted to positions by MLS Covercompetitive salary and a firm’s media presence. Within the means of the company, HR professionals can decide how these two features can be leveraged to increase an organization’s image as an employer. HR professionals should also consider whether adjustments need to be made to recruitment strategies in response to shifts in demographic patterns, shortages of skilled workers in knowledge-based organizations, and rising costs of recruitment, selection, and training due to attrition.

Overall, employer branding is likely to generate several benefits, such as, low employee attrition, high job satisfaction, employee engagement and customer loyalty. Moreover, firms with better employer brand can afford to pay lower wage rates than the industry average. As a result, employer branding proves to be as a useful strategy for companies to maintain a positive reputation and appeal to top talent.

One example of how positive employer branding benefits companies would be a Best Employer Surveys (BES) list like the Great Place to Work Survey, which positively influences candidates’ job-related decisions. Hence, firms should attempt to increase and retain their positions in the BES ranks which will ultimately improve the organization’s image as a brand.

The abstract:

Communication of employer brand to external stakeholders has, in the recent past, seen new developments in the form of best employer surveys (BESs) and a potent form of employer branding lies in the BESs. In this article, we examine the impact of firm-related and job-related attributes on a candidate’s job application decisions by selecting firms from the BES lists. The study is based on the secondary and primary data of 139 companies which have appeared in four major BES lists from 2001 to 2012 (the longest time period for which data is available in an emerging economy—India) and primary data collected from 2,854 respondents.

Click here to read Employer Brand and Job Application Decisions: Insights from the Best Employers for free from the Management and Labour Studies.

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*Featured Career Fair image is credited to University of Michigan School of Natural Resources & Environment (CC).

Book Review: Voice and Involvement at Work: Experience with Non-Union Representation

Voice and Involvement at Work Book Cover

Voice and Involvement at Work: Experience with Non-Union Representation. Edited by Paul J. Gollan, Bruce E. Kaufman, Daphne Taras, Adrian Wilkinson . New York and Oxford: Routledge, 2015. 420 pp. ISBN 978-0-415-53721-6, $135 (Cloth).

Rafael Gomez of University of Toronto recently took the time to review the book in the October Issue of ILR Review, which you can find here. From the review:

The editors spend a considerable amount of time in the introductory chapter not just laying out the structure of the book and offering a redacted synopsis for the time-constrained reviewer, but in really fleshing out where NER [non-union employee representation] sits in relation to the human resource management (HRM), economics, and industrial relations literatures. This chapter also offers arguably one of the strongest defenses of why we should be interested in NER and for abandoning many preconceived notions of what NER does. For too long, as the editors note, employee representation schemes that were either mandated (much work has existed on the rise of statutory works councils, for example) or set up by an employer were deemed to be of second order significance and/or lacked legitimacy in some quarters of the IR discipline. Likewise in the HRM literature, an ILR_72ppiRGB_powerpointoverriding concern was on the bottom-line impact of such schemes and how they linked up to the broader high-performance paradigm. The editors quite rightly point to the real intrinsic value of providing voice to workers (free from any associated efficiency benefits) and how workplaces should still be viewed, by implication, as the crucibles of industrial democracy. The other perspective of course that is given short shrift by the editors is the view held among many traditional labor studies scholars that NER is everywhere and always a trade union substitute. This is indeed one of the motives behind some employer NER designs—the editors acknowledge as much—but equal precedence can be found for seeing NER systems as platforms for employee engagement and eventual trade union representation.

You can read the rest of the review from ILR Review for free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Like what you read? Click here to sign up for e-alerts and have all the latest research and reviews like this sent directly to your inbox!

Special Issue on New Perspectives on Virtual Human Resource Development From Advances in Developing Human Resources

computer-4-571234-mWhat role does Virtual HRD play in a 24/7 work environment? Can VHRD help virtual teams overcome swift trust development barriers? How does an intranet provide opportunities for learning organizational culture? The answers to these questions and more can be found in Advances in Developing Human Resources new Special Issue on New Perspectives on Virtual Human Resource Development.

Elisabeth E. Bennett of Northeastern University prefaced the issue with her article, “Introducing New Perspectives on Virtual Human Resource Development.”

New perspectives on VHRD have been advanced by this article, and the articles following this introduction offer their own insights into VHRD. One theme that crosses several of the articles is the need to balance the social and the technical in VHRD. Thomas (2014) and Bennett (2014) draw on theories of organizational culture for understanding organizational values for learning and performance, as well expectations for access through corporate information systems. Fagan (2014) recommends viewing technology as a combination of the social and material, which is a more holistic approach similar to the gestalt of VHRD described in this article.
ADHR_72ppiRGB_powerpointNovel applications of VHRD are also addressed in this issue. McWhorter and Lynham (2014) present an initial conceptualization of how constructs in VHRD and the scenario planning process inform VSP. VSP is one way to build present and future learning capacity, helping to prepare leaders for potential future realities. Germain and McGuire (2014) model barriers and identify enablers of swift trust in virtual teams, including the role of prior cognition in developing trust when no close relationship exists among team members. Ausburn and Ausburn (2014) review theories and capabilities of screen-based virtual reality environments, which are 3D applications in which users control actions. Their article highlights the need for fidelity in virtual technologies to foster motivation to engage and experience VHRD. Fidelity, or similarity to the real world, helps people suspend disbelief in simulated and virtual settings (Bennett, 2011) and it is designed into technology during development. Each contribution in this issue addressed technology development in some form or fashion, and themes across the articles are analyzed by McWhorter (2014) in the culminating article. McWhorter (2014) found that each of the articles in this issue of Advances gave further support for VHRD and emerging themes therein suggested Technology Development is a valuable contribution to the field of HRD.

The Evaluation of Potential Employees through Social Media

It’s not surprising that employers use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to gather more information about a potential employee, but there’s little research exploring this practice. Philip L. Roth at Clemson University, Philip Bobko at Gettysburg College, Chad H. Van Iddekinge, Florida State University, and Jason B. Thatcher, Clemson University recently published their findings in the article,Social Media in Employee-Selection-Related Decisions: A Research Agenda for Uncharted Territory,” in Journal of Management.  From the abstract:

Social media (SM) pervades our society. One rapidly growing application of SM is its use in personnel decision making. Organizations are increasingly searching SM (e.g., Facebook) to gather information about potential employees. In this article, we suggest that organizational practice has outpaced the scientific study of SM assessments in an area that has important conjom coversequences for individuals (e.g., being selected for work), organizations (e.g., successfully predicting job performance or withdrawal), and society (e.g., consequent adverse impact/diversity). We draw on theory and research from various literatures to advance a research agenda that addresses this gap between practice and research. Overall, we believe this is a somewhat rare moment in the human resources literature when a new class of selection methods arrives on the scene, and we urge researchers to help understand the implications of using SM assessments for personnel decisions.

Read the entire article, free for the next month, here and don’t forget to sign up for e-alerts to receive the latest from Journal of Management.

Staying Lean

The phrase, “Lean In” has been on everyone’s lips since the popular book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg came out. While emphasis is usually placed on the day-to-day grind, how can meaning and not just success be reinserted back into the workplace? Using Jungian and post-Jungian theories, Dr. John M. Dirkx of Michigan State University in this month’s issue of Advances in Developing Human Resources, explores this question and how human resource professionals, teachers, and trainers might be able to better serve their employees in whichever way they lean.

The Abstract from “Leaning in and Leaning Back at the Same Time: Toward a Spirituality of Work-Related Learning”

The Problem. The spirituality of work movement placed emphasis on the importance of meaning and purpose in work and the workplace. However, the spiritual dimensions of workrelated learning remained largely undeveloped. Given recent economic developments that threaten to undo any gains achieved by this movement, it is important that human resource development (HRD) help individuals and organizations learn to engage in the inner learning that creates deep meaning and purpose in our work.

The Solution. This article locates work-related learning within the spirituality of work context. Using Jungian and post-Jungian psychology, the article provides a theoretical perspective for thinking about meaning and purpose in work-related learning and the key features of educational and organizational environments that foster such learning and development.

TheADH cover Stakeholders. The perspective developed in this article will be helpful to teachers, trainers, and HRD practitioners involved in formal work-related learning programs, as well as coaches and developmental managers who seek to foster learning and development among their workers.

Together, Management INK and SAGE Publications have made this article free to our readers for the next month. Don’t forget to sign up for e-alerts to stay up-to-date on the latest research from Advances in Developing Human Resources!

Get Published!

Do you have a paper to submit for Compensation & Benefits Review?

Compensation & Benefits Review is accepting bylined articles from experts and practitioners on the following topics:

    • Pay plan design
    • Performance pay
    • Incentive plans
    • Sales compensation
    • Executive compensation
    • Performance management
    • Performance appraisals
    • Job evaluation
    • Compensation communication
    • Case studies of pay programs
    • Salary surveys
    • Legal compliance with any legislation or regulation concerning pay, including FLSA, EPA, EEOC, OFCCP, Fair Pay Act and Davis Bacon
  • Health care benefits
  • Retirement plan benefits
  • Workers compensation
  • Work/life benefits
  • Benefits communication
  • Legal compliance with any legislation or regulation concerning benefit plans, including ERISA, FMLA and ADA
  • Case studies of benefit programs
  • Metrics, benchmarking and program evaluation

Articles should help readers address current or anticipated problems and be unpublished. Discussions of theory should be limited to supporting program changes. Evidence that changes were successful is important.

Articles must be a minimum of 2,000 words and can be as long as 10,000 words. The length is whatever is needed to tell the story. Please use accepted business writing style – shorter, simple sentences, active voice, and limited-length paragraphs. Keep in mind that the target audience includes business executives. This is not a blog but that style is now widely acceptedCBR cover

Ideas for articles should be submitted to the Editor.

Authors sign a standard publishing agreement and receive a copy of the journal. Additional reprints of the Contribution may be purchased from SAGE at its regularly scheduled prices.

Send a brief proposal of your article to CBR editor Howard Risher at

For more information, visit

Make It Work For You

There are very few good things that can come out of a recession. Extreme couponing aside, Dr. Emily C. Bianchi of Emory University seems to have found a new one: overall job satisfaction for new graduates.

Here’s the abstract from her new paper “The Bright Side of Bad Times: The Affective Advantages of Entering the Workforce in a Recession” published in Administrative Science Quarterly:

This paper examines whether earning a college or graduate degree in a recession or an economic boom has lasting effects on job satisfaction. Across three studies, well-educated graduates who entered the workforce during economic downturns were more satisfied with their current jobs than those who entered during more prosperous economic times. Study 1 showed that economic conditions at college graduation predicted later job satisfaction even after accounting for different industry and occupational choices. Study 2 replicated these results and found that recession-era graduates were more satisfied with their jobs both early and later in their careers and even when they earned less money. A third cross-sectional study showed that people who entered the workforce in bad economies were less likely to entertain upward counterfactuals, or thoughts about how they might have done better, and more likely to feel grateful for their jobs, both of which mediated asq coverthe relationship between economic conditions at workforce entry and job satisfaction. While past research on job satisfaction has focused largely on situational and dispositional antecedents, these results suggest that early workforce conditions also can have lasting implications for how people affectively evaluate their jobs.

Read the full article here, free for the next month! Don’t forget to sign-up for e-alerts to get the latest articles from Administrative Science Quarterly.