Employer Attractiveness: A Comparative Analysis of Professionals & MBA Students' Perceptions.

AuthorPingle, Sameer Sudhakar
PositionMaster of Business Administration


Human resources are considered one of the main driving forces of numerous organizations as they have the abundance of financial resources and the state-of-the-art technologies (Shahzad et al., 2011). However, the procurement of best human resources emerges as a major challenge and also a chief business problem (Ramasamy et al., 2009). There is huge competition amongst the organizations for the attraction of best skills because of the talent shortage at the global level (Bergen, 2008).

The complexities of the labor market make this situation more difficult (Hassan & Sassanpour, 2008). There is high inconsistency among the supply and demand for the talent in the market (Birdsall & O'Connell, 1999; Galal, 2002). Organizations must be attractive enough as the employers for candidates by managing the image in their minds (Shahzad et al., 2011). This study attempts to compare the perceptions of the working professionals and the students about the attractiveness dimensions of an employer. The research also aims to check the difference between the gender perceptions about the employer attractiveness, if any.

Employer Attractiveness

In the recruitment and selection process, both the individual and the institution make decisions about the other (Breaugh, 2017). On the recruitment side, organizations choose the people that best suit their needs and expectations. On the part of the applicant, based on past experience, interests, needs, preferences, and personality, individuals evaluate potential employers (Lievens et al., 2001). When applicants find employment in an institution that meets the minimum recruitment criteria, they tend to confirm this choice. In this sense, Berthon et al. (2005) defined employer's attractiveness as "the expected benefits that a potential employee sees when working in a particular institution." Therefore, the higher the attractiveness of the employer for the potential employees higher will they be interested in working for that particular company.

So far, some scholars have tried to identify the attributes of the organization that make the work of a prospective candidate attractive (for example, Newburry et al., 2006; Ng & Burke, 2005). Cable and Judge (1994) found that job seekers prefer organizations with similar values. In this sense, Berthon et al. (2005) identified five types of values (i.e., interest, social, economic, development and application). Other researchers found that the organizational structure (Turban &Keon, 1993), the reward and compensation systems (Bretz et al., 1989), the organization of corporate social services (Albinger & Freeman, 2000), and the organizational image and brand (Sivertzen et al., 2013) are key factors in choosing a job. Aiman-Smith et al. (2001) defined employer attractiveness as "an attitude or expressed general positive affect toward an organization, toward viewing the organization as a desirable entity with which to initiate some relationship." The attractiveness of the employer in recent years has received considerable attention to research (Breaugh & Starke, 2000; Aiman-Smith et. al, 2001; Boswell et al., 2001), which refers to the aids that potential employees expect to be able to get from a particular company they are working with (Pingle & Sharma, 2013, Berthon et. al, 2005,). The employer attractiveness influences the recruitment, selection and retention practices at companies (Helm, 2013).

Various scales have been proposed for the measurement of the employer attractiveness; wide-ranging the attributes denote dimensions offered by Ambler and Barrow (1996), where the concept was very first time introduced. The scale developed by Berthon et al. (2005) named 'EmpAtt' has been used widely in subsequent studies for measurement of this construct (Arachchige & Robertson, 2011; Roy, 2008; Alniacik & Alniacik, 2012; Sivertzen et. al, 2013), signifying a conjunction in classification of various attributes. Hence, we adopted this tool for the present study.

Agreeing with Berthon et al. (2005) the employer attractiveness comprises different value factors as interest, social, economic value, development, and application. First, the value of interest examines the attractiveness of a job seeking candidate for a company which provides a motivating environment for work and where one can use creativity and innovation for the production of products/services (Berthon et al., 2005). Next, social value is the candidate's attraction for organizations that provide a pleasant working environment, enhances the working relationships and team spirit among the members. The economic value represents monetary and non-monetary benefits from the organization. Next, the value of development demonstrates a recognition environment, along with professional development and experience development programs etc. Lastly, the application factor represents the opportunity for the employee to apply practically their theoretical knowledge (Berthon et al., 2005).

Previous research

Gomes & Neves (2010) tested the theoretical model of organizational attributes, organizational attractiveness, and candidate's intention to apply for the job vacancy (IAJV). Findings were that the positive employer branding supports the IAJV. This IAJV is weaker when the applicants carry negative employer brand assessment. Organization attractiveness is the key variable for the recruitment stage and acts as a mediating variable for the prediction of IAJV and Employer brand moderates this process.

Yaqub & Khan (2011) conducted a descriptive study about the part of employer branding (EB) along with talent management for organizational attractiveness. The result of the study indicates that EB has a positive relationship with organization attractiveness and the student would like to work for the prestigious employer. Likewise the study demonstrates that respondents are more disposed to those associations which have general engaging quality like "perfect workplace," and they are intrigued to find out about them. Research also indicates that talent management (TM)is correlated with EB and organizational attractiveness. Therefore, EB and talent management have an association with the attractiveness of organization.

Vaijayanthi, Roy, Shreenivasan & Srivathsan (2011) also explored the research questions like:how employee perceived the EB and its components, how employee perceive the organizational commitment and its component, is there any relationship between EB and organizational commitments?. Furthermore, what is the impact of demographic factors on the aspects of study? The result shows that personal...

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