The growing intensity of employment relations presupposes the development of more flexible and original approaches by employers to effectively differentiate them from other competitors. The present paper examines the role of employer branding in maintaining the highest possible degree of organisational sustainability with the identification of the major opportunities and challenges that exist in this sphere. The relevance of workplace diversity during recruitment will also be evaluated from several perspectives. The importance of workplace diversity for modern organisations will be explained. The analysed topic is relevant both for organisations and employees as it determines the major industry trends that exist in this field and allows identifying the hidden reserves of many organisations. The first section will specify the essence of employer branding and its importance for organisations. The second section will elaborate on the significance of workplace diversity during recruitment and its role for modern organisations. In order to maximise positive effects associated with employer branding and perceived diversity, the holistic approach should be demonstrated by management with the orientation toward creating the synergic effect of employees’ and managers’ collaboration.
Employer Branding and Its Importance
According to Backhaus and Tikoo (2004), employer branding refers to the company’s efforts to promote its positive perception as an employer to effectively differentiate from other competitors from the same industry. The efforts both within and outside the firm should be properly balanced with one another to contribute to its credibility and market reputation. Barbaros (2020) claims that employer branding may contribute to the higher attractiveness of such companies in the long term. At the same time, branding strategies should be complementary in relation to recruitment plans in order to confirm the company’s adherence to the highest ethical and professional standards with the possibility of timely adjusting to unique needs and requests of every employee. The company’s culture should illustrate the respect for the major values and principles declared during employer branding and formulate specific policies that will be beneficial for all internal and external stakeholders.
Theurer et al. (2018) advocate for the systematic implementation of an employer branding value chain model that allows integrating various elements of brand development in a manner that will contribute to the higher long-term results in terms of the company’s brand perception and collaboration with its strategic partners. The following branding dimensions play the major role in this process: conceptual; employer knowledge dimensions; and employer branding strategies and activities (Theurer et al., 2018). Modern companies tend to assign the higher priority to finding the consistent balance between the application of relevant theoretical models and their practical implementation. Brand equity theory and a resource-based view may be helpful for determining the most relevant resources that may be used (Backhaus & Tikoo, 2004). In particular, both human and material resources should be integrated with one another in a way that will contribute to the highest operational effectiveness.
Graham and Cascio (2018) state that employer branding promotion should be organised in a way that perceives employees as brand ambassadors. By maintaining strong reputation, companies may become more effective in attracting and retaining the most talented and productive employees. Such a strategy may allow obtaining additional competitive advantages in their industry, contributing to the higher capitalisation and financial gains in the future. Therefore, employer branding is important both for current industry leaders and other companies that try to improve their industry positions and enjoy the maximum sustainability. All companies should invest in determining the major determinants of employees’ perception of brands in their sphere as well as specify a set of strategic actions that may enable promoting the desired values at different organisational levels, including recruiting and daily performance (Barbaros, 2020). According to Hoppe (2018), target group-oriented communications may be highly helpful in this regard as employees may adequately perceive the company’s prestige and sincerity. The continuous monitoring of their job satisfaction may also identify the major directions of future organisational reforms to be implemented by the management. The increasing complexity of business processes and growing global competition may contribute to the higher role played by employer branding in the following years as it will be recognised as being the major element of organisational sustainability.
Workplace Diversity during Recruitment and Its Importance for Organisations
Workplace diversity presupposes the inclusion of employees of different backgrounds with the creation of optimal conditions for their productive collaboration when working on the assigned projects. Avery (2003) claims that despite the growing racial diversity in corporate recruitment advertisements, significant problems still exist in this field. In particular, White applicants demonstrate no reaction to such recruitment strategies, while members of minority groups are attracted only in relation to superior managerial positions (Avery, 2003). At the same time, the findings by Flory et al. (2021) indicate that the communication of explicit interest in employee diversity approximately doubles the involvement of racial minority applicants, including non-managerial positions. Therefore, workplace diversity should be not only declared by the management and HR specialists but also effectively communicated to the target audience. The impact on gender diversity is typically lower as compared with racial one, and such differences should be properly recognised when planning recruitment initiatives (Flory et al. 2021).
Responsible organisations should contribute to the identity formation of all their employees with corresponding implications for their self-realisation in the current organisational setting. Avery et al. (2013) confirm that diversity recruitment strategies may affect recruitment outcomes with the higher likelihood of attracting the most competent and devoted workforce. Most job seekers positively perceive those organisations that stress the role of diversity as they believe that their identities will be accepted and confirmed. According to Avery and McKay (2006), the growing number of companies assigns the main priority to attracting minority and female job applicants. However, the successful implementation of such plans requires the development of a radically different approach in relation to impression management, psychology, marketing, and other recruitment-related spheres (Avery & McKay, 2006). The collection of empirical information on applicants’ reactions may be helpful for objectively assessing the major strengths and directions of future adjustments.
The contribution of workplace diversity to the company’s strategic sustainability is generally recognised by the majority of leaders and managers from different industries. The study by Graham et al. (2017) illustrates the close association between the commitment to diversity and presence of minority members in managerial positions. As a result, such companies may become more effective in utilising all diversity opportunities that may affect their performance and financial results. At the same time, Hirsch et al. (2020) report on considerable risks of the higher turnover among employees as the reduced similarity may lead to the desire to change their employer. However, such risks can be systematically addressed by promoting the corporate culture that creates mutually beneficial conditions for employees with additional incentives for their close collaboration with each other. Moreover, more efficient companies may be able to offer better conditions to their employees, thus, increasing the likelihood of long-term collaboration.
Workplace ethnic diversity may allow designing original solutions that will promote the emergence of the synergic effects among members. Thus, the impact of their collaboration on the company’s productivity and performance outcomes may exceed the sum of their individual contributions. Valenzuela et al. (2020) claim that such considerations are also applicable to immigrants who may contribute to the higher operational outcomes in the future. By focusing on deep-level attributes, additional similarities in employees can be identified with corresponding implications for their job satisfaction and collaboration with each other. Thus, workplace diversity may be relevant not only in the context of higher productivity but also potential conflict prevention. Those companies that successfully utilise all opportunities created by workplace diversity may achieve the maximum flexibility that will contribute to the higher quality of strategic decisions under the conditions of global and industry uncertainty (Flory et al., 2021). As diversity directly affects all operational and managerial functions, its significance is critical to almost any company.
The provided analysis indicates that employer branding plays an important role in recruiting the most talented and productive employees by successfully differentiating the company from its competitors. Brand equity theory and a resource-based view may assist in rationally allocating the available resources in a manner that will contribute to the maximum long-term effects. The company’s HR specialists should also pay considerable attention to the way the main ideas are communicated to the target audience as it affects potential responses and the company’s reputation. Although workplace diversity positively affects the company’s strategic positions in the industry, it does not significantly affect the behaviour demonstrated by Whites. However, the involvement of minority groups can be substantially stimulated in this way. When recruiting females and members of ethnic minorities, new approaches to impression management, psychology, etc. should be developed to reflect their unique preferences and needs. Workplace diversity is important for maximising companies’ sustainability and conflict resolution effectiveness. The holistic approach demonstrated by management may facilitate the transformation of the workplace environment in a mutually beneficial and socially responsible manner. Overall, the significance of employer branding and workplace diversity may continue to increase in the following years.
Avery, D. R. et al. 2013, “Examining the draw of diversity: How diversity climate perceptions affect job-pursuit intentions”, Human Resource Management, vol. 52, no. 2, pp. 175–193.
Avery, D. R. 2003, “Reactions to diversity in recruitment advertising – are differences black and white?” Journal of Applied Psychology, vol. 88, no. 4, 672–679.
Avery, D. R., & McKay, P. F. 2006, “Target practice: an organizational impression management approach to attracting minority and female job applicants”, Personnel Psychology, vol. 59, no. 1, 157–187.
Backhaus, K., & Tikoo, S. 2004, “Conceptualizing and researching employer branding”, The Career Development International, vol. 9, no. 5, 501–517.
Barbaros, M.C. 2020, “Does employer branding beat head hunting? The potential of company culture to increase employer attractiveness”, Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Innovation, vol. 16, no. 4, pp. 87-112.
Flory, J.A., Leibbrandt, A., Rott, C. & Stoddard, O. 2021, “Increasing workplace diversity: evidence from a recruiting experiment at a Fortune 500 company”, The Journal of Human Resources, vol. 56, no. 1, pp. 73-92.
Graham, B.Z. & Cascio, W.F. 2018, “The employer-branding journey: its relationship with cross-cultural branding, brand reputation, and brand repair”, Management Research, vol. 16, no. 4, pp. 363-379.
Graham, M.E., Belliveau, M.A. & Hotchkiss, J.L. 2017, “The view at the top or signing at the bottom? Workplace diversity responsibility and women’s representation in management”, Industrial & Labor Relations Review, vol. 70, no. 1, pp. 223-258.
Hirsch, B., Jahn, E.J. & Zwick, T. 2020, “Birds, birds, birds: co-worker similarity, workplace diversity and job switches”, British Journal of Industrial Relations, vol. 58, no. 3, pp. 690-718.
Hoppe, D. 2018, “Linking employer branding and internal branding: establishing perceived employer brand image as an antecedent of favourable employee brand attitudes and behaviours”, The Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 27, no. 4, pp. 452-467.
Theurer, C.P., Tumasjan, A., Welpe, I.M. & Lievens, F. 2018, “Employer branding: a brand equity-based literature review and research agenda”, International Journal of Management Reviews: IJMR, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 155-179.
Valenzuela, M.A., Jian, G. & Jolly, P.M. 2020, “When more is better: The relationships between perceived deep-level similarity, perceived workplace ethnic diversity, and immigrants’ quality of coworker relationships”, Employee Relations, vol. 42, no. 2, pp. 507-524.