The role of HR practices in the process of employer branding – a case of UK data centre industry

  • Ruchi Singh

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Extant scholarship has explored employer branding as an entity by developing an understanding on which HR practices make an organisation an attractive employer. With this widespread understanding, organisations have developed themselves into an attractive place to work. However, adopting these established HR practices does not ensure that organisations are capable of attracting suitable candidates. These organisations may not have managed to mark a presence among target audience they intend to attract. An insight into the process perspective of employer branding would be helpful in guiding such organisation on how to reach their target audiences and create a sustainable talent pool. Therefore, the purpose of this research to explore the process of employer branding and facilitating role of HR practices from the employer’s perspective. To gain this understanding, the data centre industry in the UK was selected, as this industry faces the challenges in terms of attracting suitable candidates to meet their growing talent needs. Thematic analysis of 31 semi-structured interviews with major stakeholders within the industry has been conducted to gain an insight on the process perspective of employer branding. Three overarching themes were developed from the data analysis – employer branding content, employer social presence and employer strategic positioning. Interaction between these themes (and their sub themes) has led to propose the employer branding process framework. The proposed framework adds a further dimension to the current literature on employer branding suggesting that beyond the employer branding content and various communication strategies adopted by organisations, the employer branding process adopted by the organisations has a major role to play in attracting suitable candidates. Furthermore, to attract the untapped audiences and create a sustainable talent supply, organisations need to go beyond these initiatives and strategically position themselves as an attractive employer. This can be achieved by engaging with the potential candidates long before they start making their career choices and influence their decision about their potential employer. The suggested employer branding process framework is subjective based on an exploratory approach. A further explanatory research can examine these findings empirically to establish the best practices in employer branding process. Additionally, a comparative study can be carried out to present a comparison between different practices and suggest advantages and disadvantages of different practices in employer branding process.
Date of Award14 Aug 2023
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorMuhibul Haq (Main Supervisor) & Qihai Huang (Co-Supervisor)

Cite this