Purpose. To test whether employee characteristics (age, gender, role and experience) influence the effects of employer brand image, for warmth and competence, on employee satisfaction and engagement.
Design/methodology. Members of the public were surveyed as to their satisfaction and engagement with their employer and their view of their employer’s brand image. Half were asked to evaluate their employer’s ‘warmth’ half its ‘competence’. The influence of employee characteristics was tested on a ‘base model’ linking employer image to satisfaction and engagement using a mediated moderation model.
Findings. The base model proved valid; satisfaction partially mediates the influence of employer brand image on engagement. Age and experience, gender and whether the role involved customer contact moderate both the influence of the employer brand image and of satisfaction on engagement.
Research implications. Employee engagement can be influenced directly or indirectly by different aspects of the employer’s brand image and to different extents. Employee demographics and role can influence the relationships between the employer’s brand image and both satisfaction and engagement.
Practical implications. Engagement varies with employee characteristics and both segmenting employees and promoting the employer’s brand image differentially to specific groups are ways way to counter this effect.
Originality. The contexts in which employer brand image can influence employees in general and specific groups of employees in particular are not well understood. This is the first empirical study of the influence of employer brand image on employee engagement and one of few that considers the application of employee segmentation.