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Title: The role of employer brand in retaining staff in the Irish hotel sector : an intergenerational study
Author: Davern, Donagh
ISNI:       0000 0004 9353 254X
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2020
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Staff retention is one of the main issues which the hotel sector faces in a challenging labour market. The concept of employer branding is an area which is gaining greater prominence in the industry as hoteliers strive to meet the challenges of a modern workforce. It should be considered that great work environments which retain employees do not emerge in a haphazard fashion, but through deliberate strategic initiatives (Dabirian et al., 2017). Today’s hotel workplace is further complicated by the number of generations which are currently working in the sector. Human Resources literature has been distinguishing between how Generations X and Y should be dealt with in the workplace. It has emphasised the unique characteristics of each of these generational cohorts, emphasising specific characteristics for Millennials such as their propensity to change jobs quickly. This study aims to explore the area of staff retention in hotels, the use of employer branding as a contributor towards higher retention rates and determines whether generational attributes play a role in staff choosing to stay with, or leave an organisation. It develops a conceptual framework to show the contributors towards a positive employer brand and through the analysis of interviews with hotel General Managers and hotel employees, it develops this framework to demonstrate the connection between benefits, working conditions, employer branding and staff retention. This framework is presented in three distinct phases, each underpinned by the research which precedes it. The evolving framework is informed by a review of literature and relevant models, the analysis of interviews with General Managers and the analysis of employee questionnaires. This work strives to increase awareness of the concept of employer branding as it contributes towards the retention of employees and assesses the influence which generational characteristics have on employee retention. This research finds that there is no longer a significant difference between how Generations X and Y should be treated with regard to their retention in the hospitality sector and that employer branding is a necessary strategic approach towards improving the image of a hotel and thereby increasing employee retention.
Supervisor: Deery, Margaret ; Jago, Leo ; Xu, Tracy Sponsor: Cork Institute of Technology
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral