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Data from: Employer image within and across industries: Moving beyond assessing points-of-relevance to identifying points-of-difference

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posted on 2023-01-04, 05:49 authored by Filip Rene O LIEVENSFilip Rene O LIEVENS, Greet VAN HOYE, Saartje CROMHEECKE, Bert WEIJTERS

The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request and approval of the HR consultancy firm the data were obtained from. The Mplus code for the CFA and multilevel analyses is available at: https://osf.io/6f47s/


This study draws from brand positioning research to introduce the notions of points-of-relevance and points-of-difference to employer image research. Similar to prior research, this means that we start by investigating the relevant image attributes (points-of-relevance) that potential applicants use for judging organizations' attractiveness as an employer. However, we go beyond past research by examining whether the same points-of-relevance are used within and across industries. Next, we further extend current research by identifying which of the relevant image attributes also serve as points-of-difference for distinguishing between organizations and industries. The sample consisted of 24 organizations from 6 industries (total N = 7171). As a first key result, across industries and organizations, individuals attached similar importance to the same instrumental (job content, working conditions, and compensation) and symbolic (innovativeness, gentleness, and competence) image attributes in judging organizational attractiveness. Second, organizations and industries varied significantly on both instrumental and symbolic image attributes, with job content and innovativeness emerging as the strongest points-of-difference. Third, most image attributes showed greater variation between industries than between organizations, pointing at the importance of studying employer image at the industry level. Implications for recruitment research, employer branding, and best employer competitions are discussed.


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