Original Research

Talent attraction and retention through brand building: An exploration of practices in companies that are top South African brands

Michelle B. Wolfswinkel, Carla Enslin
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 18 | a1443 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v18i0.1443 | © 2020 Michelle B. Wolfswinkel, Carla Enslin | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 July 2020 | Published: 08 December 2020

About the author(s)

Michelle B. Wolfswinkel, Department Online Learning, Faculty Executive Development, Stellenbosch University, Business School, Cape Town, South Africa
Carla Enslin, Department Head of Strategy, Faculty Vega School, Independent Institute of Education, Vega School, Cape Town, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: Companies leverage employer, internal and corporate brand building practices as they compete to attract and retain the rare talent required for organisational success.

Research purpose: To explore, in the context of global leading practice, the talent attraction and retention practices pertaining to employer, internal and corporate brand building in companies that are top South African brands.

Motivation for the study: There is a shortage of South African studies providing relevant current insights into talent attraction and retention through brand building within the local context.

Research approach/design and method: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with strategic-level leaders in human resources and brand and line management across five companies that are top South African brands. Thematic content analysis yielded six themes that provided insight into local leading practices in talent attraction and retention through brand building.

Main findings: Corporate brand building dominated talent attraction and retention, with talent lured by the commercial success of the brand and drawn to purpose-driven brands. Rigorous assessments confirmed whether talent met clearly articulated requirements and offered optimal brand fit. The employer and internal brands were currently under development, with learning and development as a central theme to both.

Practical/managerial implications: This research provided insights from strategic-level leaders across human resources and brand and line management, providing current and practically applicable insights for all cross-functional leaders involved in talent attraction and retention.

Contribution/value-add: South African companies and their leaders gained insight into leading practices in talent attraction and retention from an unprecedented sample of companies that are top South African brands.


Keywords

talent; talent attraction; talent retention; employer brand; internal brand; talent management; brand management; corporate brand; South Africa; qualitative research

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