Springer Nature is making Coronavirus research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Workplace Branding: Leveraging Human Resources Management Practices for Competitive Advantage Through “Best Employer” Surveys

  • 4602 Accesses

  • 47 Citations


Workplace branding has generated more attention in the practitioner community than academia. A contributing factor for the sparse academic research is the fact that the theoretical foundation of workplace branding has not been fully developed. In addressing this need, this article outlines how workplace branding uses a similar approach used in marketing a product or service to build an effective workplace brand. An increasing potent form of workplace branding lies in the new popular annual “best employer” surveys. In reviewing various “best employer” surveys, we identify eight common themes in terms of human resources best practices associated with outcomes ranging from high levels of retention to increased rates of growth in sales and profit. Finally, this article presents several research issues and questions that should be addressed in the future.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Aaker, D. A. (1991). Managing brand equity: Capitalizing on the value of a brand name. New York, NY: The Free Press.

  2. Australian National University. (2006). Social identity theory and social-categorization theory. School of Psychology, Faculty of Science. Retrieved December 11, 2009, from

  3. Backhaus, K., & Tikoo, S. (2004). Conceptualizing and researching employer branding. Career Development International, 9(4/5), 1–5.

  4. Barrow, S., & Mosley, R. (2005). The employer brand, bring the best of brand management to people at work. London: Wiley.

  5. Campbell, M. C. (2002). Building brand equity. International Journal of Medical Marketing, 2(3), 208–218.

  6. Caplan, J. (2004). Building a winning employer brand, China Staff, Hong Kong, Dec 2003/Jan 2004, 10(2) 1–5. Retrieved March 8, 2011, from

  7. Conference Board. (2001). Engaging employees through your brand. The Conference Board, New York, NY.

  8. Douglas, M. J. (2007). 50 Best employers in Canada 2007, Monster, Career Centre. Retrieved January 6, 2010, from

  9. Franzen, G., & Bouwman, M. (2001). Mental world of brands: Mind, memory and success. Trowbridge, Oxfordshire, UK: Cromwell Press.

  10. Great Place to Work Institute of Canada. (2009). Retrieved December 12, 2009, from

  11. Hewitt. (2010). 50 Best Employers in Canada. Retrieved January 10, 2010, from

  12. Hoeffler, S., & Keller, K. L. (2003). The marketing advantages of strong brands. Journal of Brand Management, 10(6), 422–424.

  13. Joo, B. K., & McLean, G. N. (2006). Best employer studies: A conceptual model from a literature review and a case study. Human Resources Development Review, 5(2), 228–257.

  14. Keller, K. L. (1993). Conceptualizing, measuring, and managing customer-based equity. Journal of Marketing, 57(1), 1–22.

  15. Keller, K. L. (2003). Brand synthesis: The multidimensionality of brand knowledge. Journal of Consumer Research, 29(4), 596–597.

  16. Keller, K. L. & Lehmann, D. R. (2003). How brands create value? Values emerges through a unique chain of events. Marketing Management, 12, 28–29.

  17. Looi, P.W., Marusarz, T. & Baumruk, R., (2004), What makes a best employer? Insights and findings from Hewitts global best employers study. Hewitt Associates LLC, New York.

  18. Miles, J. S., & Mangold, W. (2005). Positioning southwest airlines through employee branding. Business Horizons, 48, 535–545.

  19. Raaijmakers, J. G. W., & Shiffrin, R. M. (1981). Search of associative memory. Psychological Review, 88(2), 93–134.

  20. Rosethorn, H. (2010). Members of the Bernard Hodes Group and Contributors. The Employer Brand. Keeping Faith with the Deal. Retrieved February 2010, from…/Employer_Brand_Rosethorn_Ch1.pdf.

  21. Rubis, L. (2007). 50 best small & medium companies to work for in America. HR Magazine, 52(7), 43–61.

  22. Sartain, L., & Schumann, M. (2006). Brand from the inside. San Francisco: Wiley.

  23. Supphellen, M. (2000). Understanding core brand equity: Guidelines for in-depth elicitation of brand association. International Journal of Market Research, 42, 319–338.

  24. Tajfel, H., & Turner, J. C. (1986). The social identity theory of inter-group behavior. In S. Worchel & L. W. Austin (Eds.), Psychology of intergroup relations. Chicago: Nelson-Hall.

  25. Yerema, R. (2004). Canada’s top 100 employer. Toronto: Mediacorp Canada Inc.

  26. Zinheim, P. K., & Schuster, J. R. (2001). Creating a powerful customized workplace reward brand. Compensation and Benefits Review, 33(6), 1–5.

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Linda F. Love.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Love, L.F., Singh, P. Workplace Branding: Leveraging Human Resources Management Practices for Competitive Advantage Through “Best Employer” Surveys. J Bus Psychol 26, 175 (2011).

Download citation


  • Workplace branding
  • Best employer
  • Best employer surveys
  • Best human resource practices
  • Human resources competitive advantage