SMEs gaining ground: How employer branding could be used as a strategic tool for competitive advantage
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Background: In a world that is becoming more knowledge-based and where it gets harder to find value-adding employees, employer branding could be used as a way to attract and retain employees, which later can create competitive advantage.
Research Question: In order to experience competitive advantage, how do SMEs use the strategies and tools of employer branding as a way to attract and retain value-adding employees?
Purpose: The purpose with this study was to explore how employer branding is used by SMEs as a way to experience competitive advantage.
Method: A qualitative research method with six case studies of SMEs located in different industries was adopted. Primary data was based on semi-structured interviews with respondents at the different SMEs.
Theoretical framework: With the basis of the RBV, theories about this and the human capital as a resource as well as a competitive advantage, is presented. This continues with theories about the employer brand, attractive attributes about employers, employer branding strategies, and what the outcomes of employer branding is.
Findings and Conclusions: SMEs do not use the strategies and tools of employer branding in the generic way. Instead, much communication is carried out first when the recruitment process starts, with the aim to find employees who could deliver competitive advantage through their fit with the organization. Once onboard, different benefits are provided in order to retain them. Involvement and engagement are the most prominent ones, due to SMEs ability to offer cross-functional management.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 65 p.
Employer branding, Competitive advantage, SME, Human capital, Value-adding employees, Resource-based view
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-26836OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-26836DiVA: diva2:756310
Subject / course
Ulvenblad, Pia, UniversitetslektorWictor, Ingemar, Universitetslektor
Andersson, Svante, Professor