This qualitative phenomenological research studied the role of generational differences and applicant perception of employer reputation. The data collection was from semi-structured interviews with 18 participants from a location in the southeast United States, stratified across three generational cohorts (millennial, generation X, and baby boomer). Analysis using the NVivo software program identified work value differences between the cohorts baby boomer and millennial in primary clustering while differences were more subtle at the secondary level. The disparity was most evident between millennials and baby boomers, and present was dispersion with generation Xers, millennials, and baby boomers. Of the 18 participants, 10 (one millennial, three generation Xer, and all six baby boomers) considered employer reputation important and eight (five millennials and three generation Xers) did not. The reputation of the employer did not influence job search behaviors. The analysis identified common themes of self-efficacy and value congruence for all generational cohorts. Participants were desirous for inclusion in an organization that provided perceived value congruence to achieve self-efficacy through the employment opportunity. The desire was consistent across the three cohorts. Employer branding that communicates, distinguishes, and improves job seeker perception of the organization through the presentation of its values provides opportunity for management to influence job seeker behaviors across the three generational cohorts, millennial, generation X, and baby boomer.
|Subjects||Management; Organization theory|
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