Branded Lives

Branded Lives

The Production and Consumption of Meaning at Work

Edited by Matthew J. Brannan, Elizabeth Parsons and Vincenza Priola

Branded Lives explores the increasingly popular concept of employee branding as a new form of employment relationship based on brand representation. In doing so it examines the ways in which the production and consumption of meaning at work are increasingly mediated by the brand. This insightful collection draws on qualitative empirical studies in a range of contexts to include services, retail and manufacturing organizations. The contributors explore the nuances of employee branding from various disciplinary standpoints such as: organization studies, marketing, human resource management and industrial relations. They take a critical perspective on work and organizations and document the lived experience of work and employment under branded conditions. In investigating the extent to which a variety of organizational strategies seek to mould workplace meanings and practices to further build and sustain brand value and the effectiveness of these in terms of employee responses, the authors question whether the attempt to ‘brand’ workers’ lives actually enhances or diminishes the meaning and experience of work.

Chapter 7: Recruitment and Selection Practices, Person–Brand Fit and Soft Skills Gaps in Service Organizations: The Benefits of Institutionalized Informality

Scott A. Hurrell and Dora Scholarios

Subjects: business and management, human resource management, marketing, organisation studies, research methods in business and management, research methods, research methods in business and management

Extract

Scott A. Hurrell and Dora Scholarios1 Introduction Brand management is usually associated with how organizations present themselves to customers or develop product brands (Aaker and Joachimsthaler, 2002), but recent interest in employer branding draws attention to employees and potential recruits as important stakeholders (Gapp and Merrilees, 2006; Lievens et al., 2007; Van Hoye and Lievens, 2005). Identity-based brand management is suggested as essential if employees are to behave in ways that are consistent with a brand philosophy and remain committed to this brand (Burmann and Zeplin, 2005). Within the human resource management (HRM) literature, research has shown employers’ increasing emphasis on recruitment as a vehicle for building an employer brand (CIPD, 2007) and ‘brand image’ is regarded as part of a signalling process which informs potential employees of an organization’s attributes and reputation (Cable and Turban, 2006; Lievens and Highhouse, 2003). In this chapter, we focus on the hospitality industry, which is widely accepted to suffer from high levels of skills deficits and employee turnover, especially in the ‘soft skills’ that are essential for customer service. Within this sector, businesses often distinguish themselves through the creation of service brands. Contrasting two hotel establishments with distinct brand identities and different degrees of reported soft skills deficits (e.g. in social and self-presentational skills), we propose that recruitment and selection practices which lead to closer person–brand fit will result in fewer skills deficits. Based on evidence linking recruitment and selection strategies with person–organization fit, we argue that person–brand fit can...

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