Manfred Auer, together with Gabriele Edlinger and Andreas Mölk, has just published an article addressing the question “How do Potential Applicants Make Sense of Employer Brands?” in the newly merged Open Access journal of the German Academic Association of Business Research (VHB):
The aim of this paper is to investigate processes of subjective employer brand interpretations. We draw on the first-person perspectives of sought-after applicants who articulated their thoughts while being exposed to employer brand material and on subsequent in-depth interviews with the study participants about their assessments of the various employers’ attractiveness. Sensemaking as a theoretical framework to understand meaning-making in processes of actors’ engagement with artifacts is employed to analyze this qualitative data. Based on our empirical findings, we present a process model that illustrates how potential applicants make sense of employer brands. This dominant sensemaking journey includes three different stages: exploring the employer brand material, constructing a plausible employer image and assessing employer attractiveness. However, this trajectory is neither the only possible way nor completely linear and predictable since deviations, particularly the complete breakdown of making sense of employer brand material, are possible.
Check out the full text here.