Winning the War for Talent: Back to Basics
University of Melbourne Business School
Timothy M. Devinney
University of Leeds - Leeds University Business School (LUBS)
Australian Graduate School of Management
University of Technology Sydney (UTS) - School of Marketing
School of Business, University of Western Sydney
January 3, 2012
McKinsey & Company claim to have coined the term the war for talent in 1997. The idea still resonates with managers because it reflects the fact that talented people are a critical driver of corporate success. For those involved in this 'war,' the search continues for fresh ideas about: how to make the recruiting process more desirable, what mix of organizational and job attributes will attract talented people, how to develop more talented managers, and how to design of an attractive workplace environment that retains such people. Recent research, managerial anecdotes and numerous surveys have highlighted the importance of various aspects of corporate and social reputation to winning the war for talent. In this paper - aimed mainly at a managerial audience - we provide an overview of findings from a series of experiments conducted where MBAs and white-collar office workers must choose amongst alternative job contracts. Our findings reveal that while reputation matters, it is marginal, with its effect confined to the bottom and top of the reputation distribution. Hence, for most companies reputation factors have little substantive influence on job choice relative to more functional and utilitarian aspects of the job and company.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 17
Keywords: corporate reputation, social reputation, workplace reputation, job choice, discrete choice modelling
JEL Classification: M12, M14, D2, C9, J00working papers series
Date posted: January 8, 2012
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