The Production and Consumption of Meaning at Work
Edited by Matthew J. Brannan, Elizabeth Parsons and Vincenza Priola
Chapter 7: Recruitment and Selection Practices, Person–Brand Fit and Soft Skills Gaps in Service Organizations: The Benefits of Institutionalized Informality
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 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...
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