‘Living the Brand’ : A Qualitative Study on how Swedish Startups should Implement Employer Branding to the Core of their Business to Attract and Retain Top Talent
Sammanfattning: Abstract Background: In today’s talent-driven marketplace, money is no longer a top priority. Instead, it is a company’s reputation - its employer brand - that speaks volumes to the current and potential workforce. A business with a strong employer brand that recognizes the needs of its target group will better achieve differentiation and sustain a competitive position in the labor market. Hence, this study aims to investigate employer brand in a startup context. Problem: Low organizational awareness, high levels of uncertainty, and limited public recognition are some of the significant competitive disadvantages that startups face when expanding their business. There is limited research on employer branding within startups, yet one of the major challenges for startups is to attract and retain talented employees. Purpose: This study sought to create an understanding of how startups should implement employer branding to attract and retain top talents. Simultaneously, the authors aimed to fill the research gap while at the same time, contribute to the existing body of literature. Method: To answer the research question and fulfill the purpose of this study, a qualitative research approach was applied. Five experts of employer branding were interviewed through semi-structured interviews in order to gather empirical data. The collected data was later analyzed with a thematic analysis process in six different steps. Results: The findings of this research highlighted the importance for startups to implement employer branding in the initial stage when developing their business. Attributes of an employer brand should be unique, distinctive, and true to allow for attraction and retention. If the implementation is done accurately, startups will successfully compete with already established companies in the war for talent.
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