The employer branding practices in the attraction and retention of employees: the case of the Portuguese hotel industry


  • susana Silva Institute Polytechnic of Porto, School of Hospitality and Tourismo, CEOS.PP, CITUR
  • Claudia Pires


Employer branding is a concept that has become progressively a vital factor for the success of organisations and has captured significant attention in recent years, it is used to appeal to potential employees and at the same while engaging an organisation's current employees. It is a current and relevant tool for organisations that want to position themselves and gain name and prominence in the market. Employer Branding benefits organisations by making them attractive, reliable, and trustworthy and, subsequently, it contributes to talent attraction and retention.

Therefore, this study aims to understand how the hotel sector uses Employer Branding practices in their working style, in order to provide greater attraction and retention of employees. With the lockdown, associated with the pandemic period, the hotel industry is facing unprecedented obstacles. As one of the sectors most affected by the pandemic crisis, the survival of hotel units depends on their ability to adapt to new challenges, namely in the human resources field.

This study used a qualitative methodology, where semi-structured interviews were conducted with eleven human resources managers from hotel units, two were males and eight were females, with an average age of thirty-eight years, from eleven hotel units or hotel groups. Data were analysed according to thematic analysis procedures.

The main results suggest that hotel units are increasingly beginning to give more importance to employees and human resource management has been making progress regarding the existing concern for employees. Furthermore, it was possible to conclude that, in the hotels under study, and in order to face the problems and challenges in their daily management, these organisations are increasingly investing in attraction and retention practices. Finally, it was also possible to understand the changes that have occurred in the hotel units, both arising from the day-to-day management and those related to the changes required by the pandemic.

Therefore, we can conclude that hotels need to reposition themselves in order to redefine strategies/practices to support their employees in becoming more attractive to work.