Winning the War for Talent: Back to Basics

17 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2012  

Pat Auger

University of Melbourne Business School

Timothy M. Devinney

University of Leeds - Leeds University Business School (LUBS); University of Leeds - Division of International Business

Grahame Dowling

Australian Graduate School of Management

Christine Eckert

University of Technology Sydney (UTS) - School of Marketing

Nidthida Lin

School of Business, University of Western Sydney

Date Written: January 3, 2012

Abstract

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.

Keywords: corporate reputation, social reputation, workplace reputation, job choice, discrete choice modelling

JEL Classification: M12, M14, D2, C9, J00

Suggested Citation

Auger, Pat and Devinney, Timothy M. and Dowling, Grahame and Eckert, Christine and Lin, Nidthida, Winning the War for Talent: Back to Basics (January 3, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1979145 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1979145

Pat Auger

University of Melbourne Business School ( email )

200 Leicester Street
Carlton, Victoria 3053 3186
Australia
+61 3 9349 8194 (Phone)
+61 3 9349 8133 (Fax)

Timothy M. Devinney (Contact Author)

University of Leeds - Leeds University Business School (LUBS) ( email )

Maurice Keyworth Building
Leeds LS2 9JT
United Kingdom
+44 (77) 9302 3516 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://leeds.academia.edu/TimothyDevinney

University of Leeds - Division of International Business ( email )

Leeds LS2 9JT
United Kingdom

Grahame Dowling

Australian Graduate School of Management ( email )

Gate 11, Botany Street, Randwick
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia

Christine Eckert

University of Technology Sydney (UTS) - School of Marketing ( email )

P.O. Box 123
Broadway, NSW 2007
Australia

Nidthida Lin

School of Business, University of Western Sydney ( email )

Locked Bag 1797
Penrith, NSW 2751
Australia

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