Sjoerd Gehrels (Stenden Hotel Management School, The Netherlands)

Employer Branding for the Hospitality and Tourism Industry: Finding and Keeping Talent

ISBN: 978-1-78973-070-8, eISBN: 978-1-78973-069-2

Publication date: 10 July 2019


Gehrels, S. (2019), "Prelims", Employer Branding for the Hospitality and Tourism Industry: Finding and Keeping Talent, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. i-xv.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019 by Emerald Publishing Limited

Half Title Page

Employer Branding for the Hospitality and Tourism Industry

Title Page

Employer Branding for the Hospitality and Tourism Industry: Finding and Keeping Talent

Sjoerd Gehrels

Stenden Hotel Management School, The Netherlands

United Kingdom – North America – Japan India – Malaysia – China

Copyright Page

Emerald Publishing Limited

Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley BD16 1WA, UK

First edition 2019

Copyright © 2019 Emerald Publishing Limited

Reprints and permissions service


No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without either the prior written permission of the publisher or a licence permitting restricted copying issued in the UK by The Copyright Licensing Agency and in the USA by The Copyright Clearance Center. Any opinions expressed in the chapters are those of the authors. Whilst Emerald makes every effort to ensure the quality and accuracy of its content, Emerald makes no representation implied or otherwise, as to the chapters’ suitability and application and disclaims any warranties, express or implied, to their use.

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

ISBN: 978-1-78973-070-8 (Print)

ISBN: 978-1-78973-069-2 (Online)

ISBN: 978-1-78973-071-5 (Epub)


List of Figures vii
List of Tables ix
Introduction xi
About the Author xiii
Acknowledgements xv
Chapter 1 Introducing Employer Branding: Potential for the Hospitality and Tourism Industry 1
Chapter 2 Employer Branding – A Historical Perspective 17
Chapter 3 Sustainability and Employer Branding 31
Chapter 4 Hospitableness in Human Resources Management 43
Chapter 5 Pelican Hotels & Resorts’ Considerations for the Future 61
Chapter 6 Employees as the Brand: Internal Marketing at the Sanctuary Hotel 75
Chapter 7 Culture Influencing Employer Branding 85
Chapter 8 Developing Employer Branding in Pegasus Hotel 99
Chapter 9 Great Place to Work® 113
Chapter 10 Human Capital a Reality Check 127
Chapter 11 SMEs and Finding Well-educated Candidates 143
Chapter 12 Employer Branding Through Social Media and Websites 157
References 171
Index 189

List of Figures

Fig. 0.1. Overview of EB Book Chapters xi
Fig. 1.1. Components, Effects and Results of Implementing Employer Branding 10
Fig. 1.2. Steps in Employer Branding Process 12
Fig. 2.1. Integrated Brand Model 20
Fig. 3.1. SHRM Perspectives. 36
Fig. 4.1. Hospitality and Tourism Industry Model 45
Fig. 4.2. Hospitality Word Cloud 47
Fig. 4.3. Enlightened Hospitality Principles 52
Fig. 4.4. Company Well-being Principles 53
Fig. 5.1. PHR Employer–Provider–Investment of Choice Model 63
Fig. 5.2. PHR’s Vision, Strategy and Culture 65
Fig. 6.1. Organisational Structure of the Sanctuary Hotel 76
Fig. 6.2. Implementing Phases of the Internal Branding Process 83
Fig. 7.1. Culture Analysis Concept in this Chapter 86
Fig. 7.2. Culture’s Influence on Employer Branding 90
Fig. 8.1. Employee Value Proposition 102
Fig. 8.2. Talent Cycle 107
Fig. 9.1. Trust Index and Culture Audit 121
Fig. 9.2. IiP Model (Created on the Basis of the Standards) 125
Fig. 10.1. Employability 136
Fig. 11.1. The Rational Decision-making Model Applied to a Recruitment Context 146
Fig. 12.1. Facebook Employer Profile Analysis 164
Fig. 12.2. LinkedIn Employer Profile Analysis 165
Fig. 12.3. Career Website Analysis 165
Fig. 12.4. Online Presence Consistency of the Competitive Set 166
Fig. 12.5. Total Online Employer Profile Scores 167

List of Tables

Table 3.1. SHRM Perspectives Applied to PHR 37
Table 3.2. SHRM Perspectives Applied to a Local Small Business 39
Table 4.1. Comparing Cases of Entrepreneurs to the Enlightened Hospitality Philosophy 53
Table 11.1. Results Expert-interviews 150
Table 11.2. SME Representatives Interviews 152
Table 12.1. Coding Diagram Used to Score the Items in the Benchmarking Exercise 163


The hospitality and tourism industry faces challenges in finding and keeping talent. This book discusses the phenomenon of employer branding (EB) in the context of the hospitality and tourism industry. Branding is the art of aligning what a company wants people to think about it, with what people actually do think about it and encapsulates the experiences customers have with the company. EB is a company’s ability to differentiate and promote its identity to current and future employees. Fig. 0.1 provides an overview of the EB book chapters.

Fig. 0.1: 
Overview of EB Book Chapters.

Fig. 0.1:

Overview of EB Book Chapters.

In ‘Introducing Employer Branding: Potential for the Hospitality and Tourism Industry’ (Chapter 1), EB is highlighted as a major human resources management (HRM) innovation for the hospitality and tourism industry. World-wide research indicates a current and future talent shortage. Adopting EB can lead to improved service quality, reduced costs and increased profits for the hospitality and tourism industry. ‘Employer Branding – A Historical Perspective’ (Chapter 2) presents the development of EB and explains how it can be applied. In ‘Sustainability and Employer Branding’ (Chapter 3), the relevance of sustainability, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainable human resources management (SHRM) for EB are stipulated. ‘Hospitableness in Human Resources Management’ (Chapter 4) presents hospitableness and hospitality as philosophies that can be integrated into EB. Treating employees in a hospitable manner can significantly influence them to better deal with customers. ‘Pelican Hotels & Resorts’ Considerations for the Future’ (Chapter 5) discusses strategic branding of an expanding hotel chain in which important choices are made that influence the company’s employer brand. ‘Employees as the Brand: Internal Marketing at the Sanctuary Hotel’ (Chapter 6) addresses internal branding, talent development, commitment and inspiration. The company goal was to make employees engaged ambassadors of its employer brand. ‘Culture Influencing Employer Branding’ (Chapter 7) looks at how employees from two different countries perceive their companies’ employer brands.

‘Developing Employer Branding in Pegasus Hotel’ (Chapter 8) reports from a relatively new company and its efforts to introduce an EB approach. Employee value proposition (EVP), creating effective job vacancy messages and managing candidates’ expectations are explained. ‘Great Place to Work®’ (GPTW) (Chapter 9) illustrates an initiative that has changed how people look at work and the workplace. The way management and employees work together and the trust that is generated prove to be the distinctive factors in creating an attractive workplace. ‘Human Capital a Reality Check’ (Chapter 10) confirms that (a part of) hospitality and tourism industry practitioners are aware of the importance to develop and train employees needed for increasing the success of companies. ‘SMEs and Finding Well-educated Candidates’ (Chapter 11) explains which arguments small businesses use to choose their recruitment sources and how they assess their effectiveness. ‘Employer Branding through Social Media and Websites’ (Chapter 12) provides a critical analysis of how international hospitality and tourism companies communicate their employer brands online. Employer brand presence and effectiveness on websites, professional networks and social media are evaluated and turned out not to be optimal.

About the Author

Dr Sjoerd Gehrels started in higher education in The Netherlands in 1989, after working for 10 years as apprentice, sommelier and operations manager in Michelin star restaurants. In Stenden HMS, he was course leader for the MA/MSc in International Hospitality & Service Management and in December 2014 he was appointed as Professor of Applied Sciences. Sjoerd holds an MSc (Surrey 1999), MBA (Oxford Brookes 2004) and a Doctorate (Stirling 2013) and was acknowledged as Certified Hospitality Educator by the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Educational Institute for 20 consecutive years.


Writing this book would not have been possible without the involvement of many people. Firstly, I thank my wife Marga for her (almost) endless patience and our children/grandchildren who provided their encouragement and notions to put things into perspective. Joachim de Looij (Managing Director at BUNK Hotels), I would like to thank for his early interest in employer branding in hospitality and tourism in his masters study. His determination to put employer branding into practice at INK hotel a few years later was inspiring, and Accor Hotels must be grateful to him. Maja Livic (Senior HR Business Partner Novartis Business Services FRA Operations), Anne-Mieke Mulder (HR & Strategy Consultant Bureau Negentig Tien HR & Organization Advice), Praew Sapuripong-Janssen (Customer Service Executive at, Natascha Wienen (Supervisor events at B. Building Business), Irene Bolt (IT-auditor & Advisor at Qbit Cyber Security), Sanna Hoogcarspel (HR Officer Pluripharm); thank you all so much for researching together and sharing your views on employer branding. Many thanks to Dr Hans Otting (one of the two Founding Fathers of the Hotel Management School Leeuwarden) for his contributing of academic research in the human resources management field and his proof-reading of the manuscript and feedback.

Betty Dekker (Lecturer Human Resources Hotelschool The Hague), Dr Ian Elsmore (Senior Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University) and Dr Joseph Hegarty (International Consultant Hospitality Education, Founding Co-Editor, Journal of Culinary Science and Technology), I would like to thank for their feedback on the original book setup and Joseph in particular as my old friend and mentor/inspirator in research. Inspiration for writing the book also came from conversations and joined research endeavours with: Dr Michel Altan (Senior Lecturer/Researcher at NHTV Breda and Sheffield Hallam University UK), Geesje Duursma (Hospitality Consultant and Entrepreneur Restaurant & Catering De Pleats Burgum), Walter Roovers (Academy Director at HZ University of Applied Sciences), Javed Suleri (Management Project Supervisor NHL Stenden University), Margot Tempelman (Coordinator Research Centre Coastal Tourism HZ University of Applied Sciences) and Carmen Willemsen (Policy Advisor Recreation & Tourism at Sluis Municipality). To Great Place To Work® (GPTW) Netherlands a word of thanks is appropriate for Barbara Braak (Business developer at GPTW) for her instant enthusiasm about the book and assistance providing GPTW documents. Finally, I hold fond memories of my former research colleagues at Stenden Hotel Management School, Academy of International Hospitality Research and in particular Dr Craig Thompson (Academic Dean/Head of School), Professor Elena Cavagnaro (Sustainability in H&T) and Professor Conrad Lashley (Hospitality Studies)