Attract and retain young accountants: Exploring the influence of gender on employer branding at the Big 4

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The Big 4 firms experience difficulties with attracting and retaining the right employees. Since the Dutch government accepted the women quota, it is more important to attract and retain women. The accountancy sector is still dominated by men and is still seen as a men’s world. A strong employer brand can help to attract and retain the right employees. The aim of this paper is to understand the employer brand values of a Big 4 audit department from the perspective of the potential and current employees and how the values could be influenced by gender. This paper explores the differences between men and women, masculine and feminine characteristics and how this influences the employer branding process. Interviews were conducted with eight students of the Master’s Accounting and Control and eight employees of the audit department of a Big 4 firm. The findings indicate an influence of gender on the employer branding process. The potential and the current employees attach the most value to the developmental and social value. However, it is hard to indicate whether the masculine and feminine characteristics influence the employer brand, because these characteristics depend on each personality and situation. Key words employer branding, organisational attractiveness, gender, masculine, feminine, agentic, communal
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen