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Millenials’ Employer Brand Perception in a German Retail Context

Krummel, Daniel and Siegfried, Patrick and Michel, Alex (2020): Millenials’ Employer Brand Perception in a German Retail Context. Published in: Journal of Human Resource and Sustainability Studies No. 8 (22 December 2020): pp. 396-418.

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Abstract

Since tangible assets of companies are becoming increasingly insignificant, emphasis should rather be placed on human capital as an essential source of competitive edge. This paper, accordingly, pursues the purpose to shed light on the major demands that the Millenials place on their prospective employers. In consequence, the work aims to identify attractiveness factors that German retailers should particularly promote in order to succeed in the war for talents and attract the most promising candidates among the German GenY. This work is based on a mixed-methods approach. First, interviews with German retail experts as well as generational keynote speakers were conducted in order to obtain a deep understanding and assessment of the German retail landscape from a professional perspective. The insights gained were subsequently used to design a questionnaire, which distribution led to a final sample of 216 useable responses by Millenials. Furthermore, the data obtained by interviewing experts and the survey was subsequently compared in order to evaluate to what extent the expectations of the Millenials correspond to the experts’ assessment. This study reveals Millenials to be driven by the need for growth, such as wide offers of development opportunities or scope for decision when choosing an employer. Among the relatedness needs, a harmonious working environment is particularly important, whereas a weekend off ranks first among the existential needs. Moreover, male Millenials consider Media Markt is the most popular employer in the German retail sector, while dm is preferred from a female perspective. Overall, employers of the German retail sector provide the majority of factors required by the Millenials, yet are only considered the 4th most popular industry behind the automotive, IT, art and entertainment industries. Our findings provide valuable practical implications as the research results might serve companies to build up a target group-specific employer brand. Marketing strategies can be aligned with the identified attractiveness factors to efficiently and cost-effectively attract and bind Millenials to the company. Customized recruiting campaigns enhance the appeal as well as the attractiveness of an employer driving the likelihood of obtaining the strived status: Employer of Choice. To the best of the author’s knowledge, no study has yet dealt specifically with the attractiveness factors demanded by the Millenials in the context of the German re- tail sector as well as their most aspired employers in this industry. Furthermore, the attractiveness factors identified in the literature were embedded in Aldefer’s ERG theory. This work also offers a bilateral perspective through the widely conducted survey carried out among Millenials, which was additionally expanded through the lens of experts.

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