Strengthening the Employer Branding

Elaboration, 2020

45 Pages, Grade: 1,0


Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of tables

1. Introduction

2. Description of the elements
2.1 Financial advantages
2.2 Non-monetary advantages
2.3 Mode of operation
2.4 Appraisal of the company
2.5 Career-related and personal supports

3. Presentation of the influence matrix

4. Presentation of the impact analysis

5. Presentation of the network model

6. Recommendations for action
6.1 Location
6.2 Performance culture
6.3 Training and further education
6.4 Company car
6.5 Career perspectives

7. Final review
7.1 Summary
7.2 Outlook


List of Figures

Figure 1: Influence Matrix

Figure 2: Simple Impact Analysis

Figure 3: Cumulative Impact Analysis

Figure 4: Network model

List of tables

Table 1 - Allocation of elements to the main categories and provision of empirical evidence

Table 2: Overview - advantages and disadvantages of location change for the employees and the employer

Table 3: Pros and Cons of a company car program for the employer

Table 4 Pros and Cons of a company car program for the employee (Süß, 2019)

1 Introduction

In the past, employers have been in a privileged position of selecting suitable candidates among a high number of applicants. In recent years, the balance between employers and applicants has changed significantly, thus, skilled individuals are often in the position to select between potential employers, while the demand for talents on the employer side is rising. Root causes for this development are globalization, demographic changes and especially the shortage of skilled professionals, which as well as changes in the availability of personnel, put companies into competition for employees leading to the so called “war for talents”. (Personio, 2019)

In 2019, the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce has conducted a survey with 23.000 German companies from different branches and sizes on the topic of securing needed workforce:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: Own representation based on DIHK e.V. (2019), p. 5

As result, nearly half of the companies are not able to fill their vacancies, since they cannot find suitable workforce. Moreover, 84 percent of the participants with issues to fill vacancies are anticipating negative effects on their businesses in future, due to the lack of skilled professionals. (DIHK, 2020)

The ability to hire and keep skilled professionals is a competitive advantage. The concept of marketing the own brand to attract and retain skilled employees is comprised by the term employer branding. This term includes all strategies, processes and tools to improve a company’s external and internal reputation as employer and to emphasize attractiveness among competitors. The main objectives of employer branding can be distinguished by external and internal perspective (Personio, 2019).

From external point of view, employer branding has the objective to promote a company as preferred employer for a defined target group of candidates, in order to attract and recruit them. Because of that, important positions can be filled and secure innovation and overall future viability of the company. From internal perspective, the motivation and loyalty of existing employees shall be maximized. Only satisfied and motivated people are able to deliver the desired level of performance and will promote a positive and reliable employer brand at the same time (Kanning, 2017).

Nowadays, more and more companies realize that skilled and motivated employees are key factors for a company’s success. Therefore, employer branding can be considered essential to secure a company’s long-term success and the awareness for employer branding is rising.

The main objective of this academic elaboration is the identification and evaluation of the most important elements influencing the reputation of an employer and to provide concrete measures to strengthen employer branding. To manage the underlying complexity, the method of networked thinking will be applied. This method aims at reducing the complexity of the topic and at providing a consistent picture of the reality. Following the introduction, relevant elements for employer branding shall be identified and categorized. Next, the relations and interdependencies between these elements are analyzed and illustrated by the influence matrix, graph of effects and network model. Finally, recommendations for measures to strengthen employer branding will be derived based on the results of previous analysis.

2 Description of the elements

The first step within the method of networked thinking is to develop a list of elements that can contribute to strengthening the employer brand. Thereby, different influencing factors that are strengthening the employer branding will be identified, categorized and prioritized. Therefore, the creativity method brainstorming and a literature research will be conducted to identify the elements. The aim is to achieve the highest possible level of objectivity within the elements, but this can only be achieved to a limited extent due to the brainstorming. Within the brainstorming process, personal experience, views and knowledge play an important role in the brainstorming process.

As a result, twenty elements have been identified, which have been assigned to the following five categories (see Table 1):

- Financial advantages
- Non-monetary advantages
- mode of operation
- Appraisal of the company
- Career-related and personal supports

In the model, the elements and categories are formulated neutrally. In addition, the list of elements contained only redundancy-free entries. Most elements are applicable to all companies regardless of size and industry. There are only restrictions for certain elements, which only apply to certain types of companies (Busse, 2019).

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Table 1 - Allocation of elements to the main categories and provision of empirical evidence

2.1 Financial advantages

The category “financial advantages” includes the elements that reflects exclusively monetary inflows for employees. The individual financial benefits vary from company to company. For this reason, not all characteristics of each element can be considered in detail.

Above all financial benefits is the salary. If a company is known for not paying a good salary, it is of no interest to most qualified workers. Nowadays, it is no longer sufficient to build up a certain employer branding if only average salaries are paid. Since almost every company uses flexible compensation models, the salary is considered in this paper as a combination of basic and variable personal compensation. The basic compensation is the salary that the employee is entitled to, the variable compensation is a payment that is only paid if employees achieve certain goals (Gutmann, et al., 2005).

Within the financial benefits for employees, there is also often the use of comprehensive bonus payments. These are payments to all employees who receive a certain bonus depending on their salary. Often the amount of the bonus depends on the profit, but it can also depend on total sales or other key figures of the company (Hardes, et al., 2004).

Another financial benefit that employers can offer their employees are employee benefits. These are internet platforms of different providers (e.g. corporate benefits1 ), where employees receive discounts from different companies. These include companies that sell everyday products, which enables employers to save their employees money on purchases.

Private limited companies still have a separate opportunity to strengthen their employer branding by offering stock options. Stock options give employees the opportunity to buy company shares at a discounted price (Heywood, et al., 2006).

For many employees, financial aspects have a major role in finding a suitable employer. For this reason, employers must consider attractive forms of compensation and additional financial benefits for their employees.

2.2 Non-monetary advantages

In addition to the financial benefits that a company can offer employees to strengthen employer branding, there are numerous non-monetary benefits. In recent years, non-monetary benefits have gained in importance, as more and more employees attach importance to the work-life balance and for that reason attach great importance for potential employers.

It is increasingly important for companies to offer their employees opportunities to maintain a high level of well-being. Therefor leisure activity offers can play a special role here because they can combine the working life directly with the private life of the employees. Leisure activities can include physical and spiritual activities.

In addition to leisure activities, companies could enhance their employer branding through health care platforms. On these health care platforms, employees can take advantage of different offers (e.g. massages) (Haar, et al.).

Another non-monetary offer which companies can offer their employees are team events. These are events such as workshops and regular meetings, but also social events that take place outside of working hours. These events are increasing the identification of the employees with the company (Lueg, 2014).

A classic way to increase employer branding is to provide goodies for employers. The goodies are promotional items which can be used for different purposes.

2.3 Mode of operation

Another category of elements that is essential for employer branding is the category mode of operation. The working conditions in a company have a great influence on the external image of a company and thus also on its attractiveness as an employer (Böckerman, et al., 2008).

The work equipment of every employee has an impact on productivity and satisfaction. Therefore, an appropriate equipment is an important element to increase the attractiveness of the employer branding. In addition to machines and desks, equipment includes items such as laptops and smartphones. Especially during and after digitalization, the latest technologies and equipment are a feature that can positively influence potential employees in their choice of job.

In addition to the typical work equipment, the company car is considered a separate element. A company car is made available to the employee by the company and can therefore be the decisive reason for some employees to choose the company. The company car element is dealt with in more detail in the section 6.4 on company cars.

Apart from the physical equipment, the mode of operation also includes flexible working. In today's world, flexible working is of great importance for employees to maintain a high degree of work life balance.

The location describes the place where the company is located. The location element is discussed in more detail in the chapter 6.1.

2.4 Appraisal of the company

The elements of the category appraisal of the company include all factors that a company generates with its business model and products as such.

Every company is perceived by the public in different ways and, as a result, receives a certain degree of awareness. This depends on the size of the company and the products or services the company offers. In general, large companies are better known because they have more interaction with a larger number of stakeholders. However, there are also some smaller companies that have a certain level of awareness in the market through targeted employer branding measures (Fischer, 2015).

A further element is the future security of a company's business model. This is an important element for an appealing employer branding because it has a significant influence on the attractiveness of the company (Galpin, et al., 2012). Employees do not want to join companies where the future security is not given because then there is also a lack of job security. And exactly this lack of clarity has a negative effect on the satisfaction of the employees. In addition to the negative influence on satisfaction, the uncertainty then also affects the performance of the employees (Yousef, 1998).

In addition to future security, the contribution that a company makes to the system also plays a major role. Over the years, large companies have become increasingly important in the sustainability debate. This is because companies have an influence on the environment and society in different ways. For this reason, it is important for companies to be well presented in order to be seen positively by the outside world and by people (Lozano, 2012).

Finally, in the context of the category appraisal of a company, the element of reputation is examined. Reputation is the opinions or beliefs that exists about someone or something. In the context of a company's employer branding, therefore, there are different opinions about the company itself. Every company has its own reputation within society. However, it depends on the person how he or she views a company and depends on the individual views and ideas of the person.

2.5 Career-related and personal supports

The fifth and last category is made up of all elements relating to personal development of the employees.

One element in this context is the possibility of different career perspectives within the company. The idea is that employees can take up different positions and careers horizontally and vertically and thus gain more freedom in their profession. This element and possible methods of implementation are described in more detail in chapter 6.5 (Kaymaz, 2010).

Another element which can influence the employer branding is the offer of training and further education for the employees. These are individual trainings which improve the personal skills of the employees as well as trainings which are related to the job.

Performance culture is an element that deals with the culture within a company. A performance culture is built up individually in companies and contains values and measures that should lead to the best possible performance of the employees in a suitable environment for the company.

The last element is the element of appreciation of the employees within the company. This is about the respect and recognition that is given to each employee by the management and the environment (Berthon, et al., 2005).

3 Presentation of the influence matrix

The elements presented in the previous chapter were transferred to an influence matrix in the next step. There each element was then compared individually with every other element, so that a total of 190 evaluations were carried out.

To understand the principle of this matrix in more detail an example shall be given: If we compare element 1 with element 2, we could say, that element 1 has a big influence on element 2. In this case we would enter the evaluation in the second column of the first row. The field in the first column of the second row is left blank. With this knowledge, some of the fields will now be examined in more detail and it will be explained why these fields were filled the way they were filled.

The whole matrix can be seen in Figure 1, where a 1 is a small influence and a 3 is a strong influence.

The first relations refer to flexible working (Chhabra, et al., 2014). For employees to be able to work as flexibly as possible, various basic conditions are necessary. However, some of these conditions have a stronger influence than others. First and foremost, trust is a very important asset, so that the employee can, for example, use flexible working time models. Trust is usually a part of a healthy performance culture, but also elements such as Taking responsibility and acting as a team are important elements. Since these elements also have an influence on the possibility and applicability of flexible working, this field was given a 3, which means that the performance culture has a strong influence on flexible working.

Another aspect of flexible working is the location and availability of a company car. In terms of flexible working, it is of no use to the employee to work on the edge of a beautiful forest if this means that he or she may not be able to travel by train or that there is only one train every 2 hours. However, this can be a reason why employees are provided with a company car for private use. If the employee can either travel very flexibly by train or make the same journey by car in the same time, then the possibility of flexible working is guaranteed. Therefore, the influence of the location and a company car can also be rated as high. If no company car can be made available, the location again plays an important role, as a stressful journey to work can otherwise lead to psychological stress, which is less severe, especially when travelling by train. The least stress and the possibility to work flexibly would be if the journey to work could be made on foot or by bicycle (Brutus, et al., 2017).

In contrast, technical equipment is also an important component so that employees can also work from home. A laptop with an Internet connection on the employee's side is usually enough for this purpose, and only when there are very regular home office appointments is further equipment recommended. Therefore, this relation is only evaluated with a moderate influence.

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Figure 1: Influence Matrix

When looking at the matrix, 4 columns stand out, since an unusually large number of influences were found there. These are the influences on the salary, recognition of the company, awareness of the company and recognition of the employee. What this means in more detail is to be explained in chapter 4, some outstanding elements of these 4 columns are nevertheless to be explained here more exactly.

In addition to hard factors such as location and contribution to the system, the company's reputation is also strongly influenced by employee appreciation. If the location is in a central known place, more and more people will see the company at some point and if it manufactures products for the system, more and more people will inevitably get to know it.

However, the influencing factor of the appreciation of the employees needs a short explanation. If an employee is treated very well and has various private and professional benefits from the company, it is more likely that he or she will also enjoy talking about work in their spare time and possibly recommend the employer to others. Of course, this effect can also occur in reverse if the employer treats his employees particularly badly, but this negative side will not be considered further here.

However, employee appreciation does not otherwise affect any of the other categories. According to the evaluation, it only receives impact from other categories, with the greatest influence coming from bonus payments, salary, a company car, flexible working time models, a healthy and functioning performance culture and preventive health promotion (Chhabra, et al., 2014).

One of the best examples of some of these points is the elderly and nursing care system in Germany. In Germany in 2019, the average salary of all employees was about 48,870 € gross per year, while the average salary of all nursing staff, at 23,337 € gross per year, was only about 48% of the national average (PMSG Personalmarkt Services GmbH, 2019) which makes this job statistically unattractive (Chhabra, et al., 2014). Looking at current discussions about this job description, the focus in the keyword attractiveness of the profession is almost always on salary. On

Furthermore, an employee can feel valued by the fact that he or she is given the confidence to work at flexible working hours. As a result, he is less stressed in his work-life balance and can therefore look forward to work more. If the employee is not guaranteed flexible working hours, he or she can also be overworked quickly and look forward to work less, which in the long term can lead to psychological damage, which in turn leads to a negative reputation for the employer (Böckerman, et al., 2008).

As already mentioned, this trust should be part of a healthy performance culture. Besides trust, however, it is also important to demand and promote team play in the company in order to increase the effectiveness of the employees, thereby achieving better results and thus more recognition of the employee (Tan, 2019).



Excerpt out of 45 pages


Strengthening the Employer Branding
University of Applied Sciences Bergisch Gladbach
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ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
Employer Branding, Networked Thinking, Recommendations for Action
Quote paper
Christian Henke (Author), 2020, Strengthening the Employer Branding, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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