The purpose of this research was to explore if there is a role that consumer brands play in shaping the attractiveness of an employer brand. This qualitative study was conducted using the exploratory approach, because the prior insights of the proposed relationship were modest and inconclusive. The population constituted of all registered Masters of Business Administration students at the Gordon Institute of Business Science. The sampling frame constituted second year (2013/14) and full time (2014/15) students. The reason for this choice was that these individuals are knowledgeable on brand concepts, are mostly likely thinking about employment prospects, and have had the opportunity to evaluate employer attractiveness. A sample size of 15 was drawn; this number was chosen based on the likelihood that data saturation would be reached at that point because of the homogeneous nature of the population.
The outcome of this study revealed that consumer brands play a role in shaping employer brand attractiveness, with the main role being that consumer brands project employer brands. Potential employers utilise brands’ dimensions such as quality, innovativeness, longevity and public perception, amongst others, as an indication of employer brand attractiveness. Also uncovered by the study was that the extent of consumer brand influence on an employer brand varies with profession, industry and maturity. Moreover, consumers play a role in attracting potential employees towards investigating employment prospects in a certain organisation, but contribute very little to retaining employees if employment expectations are not met.