Abstract: Social media is rising in popularity as a credible source of information for consumers worldwide. Access to online product reviews appears limitless, and consumer voices are now influencing purchasing behavior far beyond the reach of traditional marketing campaigns. Joining the Internet influencers is a relatively new platform for sharing opinions, employer-review websites. Comments from current and former staff on employer review sites such as Glassdoor and Indeed offer a glimpse into company culture and the employer brand (Ambler & Barrow, 1996). This qualitative, phenomenological study explored the lived experiences of hotel/casino resort employees through an examination of employer reviews posted on the Glassdoor and Indeed web pages of four Las Vegas gaming corporations. A thematic analysis of 1,063 employer reviews was conducted to identify the trio of employer-brand benefits (e.g., functional, economic, and psychological) drawn from Ambler and Barrow’s (1996) employer-brand equity theory. Themes related to social identity theory (Tajfel, 1974), signaling theory (Spence, 1973), and the instrumental-symbolic framework (e.g., Lievens & Highhouse, 2003) were examined in this study. Two questions guided the research: (1) Which employer-brand benefits, if any, cited in the employer reviews of hotel/casino resorts are most frequently associated with positive and negative employee sentiment? (2) What is the relationship between employer benefits (e.g., functional, psychological, and economical) and the overall employee rating given by the reviewer? The results revealed that all three of Ambler and Barrow’s (1996) employer-brand benefits appeared in the employer reviews as both positive and negative attributes of employment, with psychological and economic benefits most frequently referenced. Specific to employment in the Las Vegas hotel/casino resort industry, reviewers who gave high employer ratings were quite positive about economic benefits (i.e., salary and wages, unspecified benefits, and the free meal in the EDR) and psychological benefits (i.e., co-worker interactions and company atmosphere), while reviewers who gave their employer low ratings were disappointed with their position’s economic (i.e., salary and wages), psychological (i.e., management behaviors, work schedule, and company atmosphere), and functional (i.e., promotional opportunities) benefits. The findings from this study have implications for both marketing and HR practitioners, and this study contributes to the growing body of employer-branding literature.
Keywords: Employer reviews,Employer-brand benefits,Employer-branding,Hospitality industry,Online reviews, Travel industry