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Employers branding in Indian organizations with special significance to the social media- A study

Prof. Shakti Awasthi

Asst Professor
Oriental Institute of Management, Vashi

Theme: HRM

The present research paper is a qualitative exploratory work done to asses the role of social networking
sites in developing the employer’s brand and the methodology adopted for the same. The step wise
assessment for understanding employers branding by well known organizations who are making a use of
professional networking sites like LinkedIn, in Indian scenario is done for the purpose. It has been
observed that present employees, new join and the future employees have a major role in building an
employer’s brand where the networking sites are found of have value addition in value chain as is
proved an effective medium for attracting and retaining the quality employees and visible reduction in
the recruitment cost.

Key Words:
Social Networking, Employers Brand

With each passing day as the technology is gaining prominence, we are moving towards transparency. It
is a well known fact that in the dearth of global talent shortage has widened the eye of the organizations.
Organizations today are seeking strategies to attract the talent pool. Every employer agrees that their
presence on social networking sites like LinkedIn is critical to the branding and talent attraction for the
organization. Consumers only wants to buy from the companies, they fully trust and respect. Post
recession, the businesses are fount to be distancing themselves from any appearance of corporate feed,
which has impacted the job seekers priorities as well.
In one of the research done by a company known as “Careerealism” 80% of the job seekers in today’s
world first search about the employer first on Web, which is actually like a consumer taking a decision,
whether to buy anything from you, if you are not good enough.
Recently in one of the interview the Global Head, sales and marketing of DELL has accepted that they
have a strong presence in social networking sites, they believe in making every employee the brand
ambassador for their organization which not only resulted in their strong brand as a preferred employer
and are able to attract the best of the talent.
The present study basically aims at understanding the employers branding efforts by the Indian
companies on social networking sites and the efforts by them to develop their brand. For the purpose the
top 5 employers in India are taken for the study.
According to the survey done by The Economics Times, the best five employers to work for in India
1. TATA Group
2. Reliance Industries
3. Life Insurance Corporation of India
4. State bank of India
5. Infosys

1. To understand the concept of Employers branding from the point of view of Indian
2. To understand the procedure adopted to build the employers brand by the top five employers in
The present study is an exploratory work done to understand the employers branding efforts by the
top 5 employers in India and the strategies adopted by them for attracting, retaining and engaging
them. For the purpose, the data is collected by means of interview and telephonic conversation with
20 employees working in talent acquision in those organizations.

Literature Review:
Barrow in the year 1990, introduced the term Employer Branding in one of his talks at the Chartered
Institute of Personnel Directors (CIPD) at an annual Conference in UK.. Ambler & Barrow, in the
year 1996 defined it as ‘the package of functional, economic and psychological benefits provided by
employment, and identified with the employing company’. Soon it became the buzz word among the
corporate leaders across the world and organizations began their strides to leverage employer
branding for attracting and retaining talented workforce and optimizing their potentials for benefit of
all the stakeholders.
pffelmann, Wagner, & Libkuman, 2010 & Walker, Feild, Giles, Bernerth, & Short, 2011,in their
research have clearly stated that any candidate first see the website before applying for a job. Moh.
Salehan, Dan J.Kim & Changsu Kim 2017, have found that, Social networking services (SNS) are
platforms to form and manage personal connections and create a foundation for human relationships.
Employers branding is a methodology wherein the employer is making itself apparent as a most
preferred employer in its category. In the study Bradwell & Reeves found that there has been a
decrease in the use of corporate website by employer’s post 2007 due to the paradigm shift towards
social networking sites. As per the qualititative report 2017, the change in this trend can be attributed
to the features of the social networking sites which enable the recruiters to maintain a constant
connectivity and long term conversation with the prospective employee.
Through the creation of a valuable employer brand, employers might attain competitive advantage.
To build the employers’ brand, an organization must work from the inside out, with a consistent
substance, voice, and authenticity throughout the employment relationship.. To brand for talent is to
market an organization as a place to work to create demand–as a magnet for talent– to attract, retain,
and engage the right people to do the right work at the right time with the right results.
There are ample of evidence that employer branding and employee engagement, when linked, can
have significant efficiency and commercial impact. Gallup and others provide rafts of data on the
impact on earning per share, Shareholder return, Employee retention, employees value preposition.
.Barney in the year 1991 stated that the possession of resources that are rare, valuable, non-
substitutable and difficult to imitate create competitive advantage for the company
According to an article published in the Wall Street Journal on March 23rd 2009 ‚Companies have
long divided consumers into segments. The employers brand must aim at both the present employee
and the prospective employee as well. ‛Ms. Lara Maroko and, Dr. Mark D. Uncles in their research
article recommend that employers use the same tools and techniques employed to market to
segments of consumers to reach out to potential and current workers. They have also recommended
that it is more profitable to treat certain groups of workers and potential workers differently based on
a segmented marketing approach.

Employers Branding is the process of promoting a company, or an organization, as the employer of
choice to a desired target group, one which a company needs and wants to recruit and retain. It
shapes employees' behavior so that they project the brand identity of their organization's products
through their everyday work behavior. It’s a most sort after strategy adopted by the organizations to
describe its organization's reputation as an employer, and its value proposition to its employees, as
opposed to its more general corporate brand reputation and value proposition to customers.
Backhaus & Tikoo in the year 2004 accessed that ‚Employer Branding represents a firm’s efforts to
promote, both within and outside the firm, a clear view of what makes it different from the
competitors and desirable as an employer‛. This definition gave a new view to look up into elements,
internal and external branding, are under the top block of the pyramid, Employer Branding. Sartain
and Schumann believes that the employers’ brand can be the most powerful tool a business can use
to emotionally engage employees they further expanded their discussion of employer branding
including branding for talent acquisition
Srivastava and Bhatnagar in the year 2010, suggest eight factor that augment employer attractiveness
in Indian context namely caring .i.e. the concern of the organization for its employees, enabling .i.e.
enabling the employee to contribute her or his own abilities, career growth .i.e. advancement
opportunities, being credible and fair, being flexible and ethical, customer brand image .i.e. the
image of the organization in the mind of customers, positive employer image .i.e. the image of the
organization among its current employees and global exposure
Chhrabra and Mishra in the year 2008, have defined Employer Branding as the process of creating
an identity and managing the company’s image in its role as an employer. An organization brand
lives in the minds of its customers –its employees. The customers may have positive or negative
association with the brand.
Davies in the year 2008 defined Employer Branding shortly as the set of distinctive associations
made by employees with the corporate name which can be actual or potential .i.e. internal and
external marketing both gaining from branding .

Analysis & Interpretation:

Since Employers branding is a concept showing unification between HR & Marketing, the Hr
executives and the marketing people involved in recruitment process in top five organizations were
asked questions relevant on employers branding and specifically about their presence in social
networking sites for the purpose. The reply obtained by them is summed up on the following points.
The responses so obtained are sufficient to give the idea about the direction in which their strategy is
taking shape. Clearly indicate that this concept is bringing a drastic change in recruitment market.

Sample size = 20

a. Company have official social networking

yes No
20 0


 100% people agreed that they have official Social Networking


b. Do you agree that social media is a good medium to showcase company.

strongly Strongly
agree Agree Neutral Disagree Disagree
14 1 1 4 0

strongly agree
Strongly Disagree

c. Recruitment through Social Media has reduced the cost of recruitment.

strongly agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly

16 1 0 3 0
strongly agree
Strongly Disagree

d. Development of Employers Brand is Crucial for every organization seeking quality employees

strongly agree
Strongly Disagree

strongly Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly
agree Disagree

18 0 0 2 0

strongly agree
Strongly Disagree Questions Strongly Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Weighted
Disagree agree Avg

1 Effective Medium 0 4 1 1 14 4.25

2 Reduction in recruitment cost 0 3 0 1 16 4.5

3 Crucial for quality Employees 0 4 0 0 16 4.4


4 Quintessential in Attracting and 0 2 0 0 18 4.7

retaining of employees

h. The HRM personal from all the five organizations agreed that they are using social networking
sites as a major tool for recruitment and showcasing their achievements.

i. Along with various answers obtained , the major three reasons for spending on employers brand
 Lower their cost of attracting the candidates
 It helps them to differentiate themselves from heir competitors.
 Instead of competition define their brand they must do it by themselves
j. The company must be aware about its reputation in the market as accompany of choice. Both
the internal and external sources can be a good source. The major sources that can provide
the inputs are:
A. Internal Source:
 Employees opinion survey
 New hire surveys
 Informal employee meetings
 Exit interviews
B. External Source
 Company rating on sites such as LinkedIn
 Employees reviews
C. The company must convey its employers value preposition in a sensible and understandable
way, since the audience is highly differentiated. The major ingredients in Employers
Branding message must include:
 The philosophy of the senior leadership
 The consolidated feedback obtained from the employees
 Always try to connect the employee’s value preposition with the goal of the
organization for easy understandability of the appropriate candidate.
K. The most impactful message is circulated through three ways . The major three which are
accepted by all the HR personal and marketing executives are :
 Articles on the company
 Audio &
 Videos
L. At the end all the companies have some strength and weaknesses. Thus it is important for the
companies not only to share their strength, but the reality at the workplace. By providing a
realistic and authentic job preview a company earns the trust of the job seeker before they
apply. Thus Employee engagement begins during the recruitment process. Candidate gets
realistic ideas from reading reviews given by the current employees about what it is like to
work at
M. Social and mobile recruiting are a must for a company’s employer brand strategy.
N. Associations in the industry, Local Community Events, Chambers of Commerce and
Awards are the mediums which helps a company to make themselves visible to the
prospective employee and to retain and engage the current employee with the organization.
O. Turn every employee working in the organization into the brand ambassador.
P. The employers brand position needs to be continuously monitored. The various methods for
monitoring include:
 Retention of employee
 Employee Engagement
 Cost Per Hiring
 Quality of Hires
 Number of Applicants per job

Conclusion & Scope for further research:

The present work clearly gives the idea of how the employers brand has obtained its place in the
organizations. The employers are working extensively to get the best of the talent from the
market for which they are leaving no stone unturned. The exploratory work done in the present
study can further be tested on the employees of the organizations to reach to a consolidated

1. Ambler, T. and Barrow, S. (1996). The employer brand. Journal of Brand Management, 4,
2. Lara Moroko and Mark D. Uncles (2009)Employer branding and market segmentation, Journal
of Brand Management Vol. 17, 3, 181–196
3. Srivastava, P. and Bhatnagar, J. (2010). Employer brand for talent acquisition: an exploration
towards its measurement. Vision, 14 (1/2), 25-34.
4. Sengupta, A., Bamel, U and Singh, P. (2015). Value proposition framework: implications for
employer branding. Decision, 42 (3), 307-323.
5. Backhaus, K. and Tikoo (2004) “Conceptualizing and researching employer branding”,
Career Development international, Vol 9, No 5,pp501-17
6. Davies, G.(2008) “Employer Branding and its influence on managers European” Journal of
Marketing, Vol. 42 Nos 5/6 pp667-681

Interview Questions:
1. Is your company having formal social networking officially present?
2. Do you agree that the social media is a good medium to showcase your company to
the prospective employee?
3. Do you feel that the recruitment through social networking site is reducing the cost
of recruitment.
4. Development of Employers Brand is Crucial for every organization seeking quality
5. Is the development of employers brand helpful in attracting and retaining the
6. How you are different from your competitors?
7. What according to you are the essential ingredients of employers branding?
8. What are steps taken by you to develop the employer’s brand?
9. What are your motives or reasons for investing in employers brand?
10. Out of LinkedIn & Glass door, which professional site you would prefer
11. What are your employers branding plan for future?