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Employer branding: Your not-so-secret weapon in the competition for young workers

Human Resource Management International Digest

ISSN: 0967-0734

Article publication date: 9 May 2016




The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of employer branding on company attractiveness to younger workers.


The paper analyzes the relative importance attached to symbolic and functional company attributes using a survey conducted at a large North American university. It considers the impact of differing levels of work experience on responses to employer branding.


The best employers get nearly twice as many job applications compared with other organizations. So when they are recruiting, they can pick and choose from a bigger talent pool and select the very best applicants. The “baby boomer” generation is retiring from the workforce, and later generations are smaller in size. The result of these demographic factors has been to increase fears of labor shortages. Competition for a shrinking talent pool of younger workers means that employers need to focus on the things that make their company attractive to potential applicants.

Practical implications

The study suggests ways in which human resources professionals can maximize the effectiveness of employer branding as a means of attracting job applications from young workers.

Social implications

It notes that symbolic attributes are more strongly predictive of company attractiveness than functional attributes and that this effect becomes more marked with work experience.


This paper aims to show how marketing concepts can be applied in a human resource context.



Drury, P. (2016), "Employer branding: Your not-so-secret weapon in the competition for young workers", Human Resource Management International Digest, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 29-31.



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