Assessing company employment image: An example in the fast food industry

Scott Highhouse, Michael J. Zickar, Todd J. Thorsteinson, Sandra L. Stierwalt, Jerel E. Slaughter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


Historically, there has been little guidance from the recruitment literature on how organizations can assess the image that potential applicants hold of their company as a place to work. We demonstrate the application of a technique for identifying employment image dimensions that are most critical in distinguishing among companies in the same industry, and show how this information can be used to assess companies relative to their competitors on these dimensions. We used a forced-choice inductive methodology to identify relevant dimensions of company employment image in the fast food industry, and randomly assigned high school students (n = 336) and retirees (n = 102) to describe 1 of 8 well-known fast food companies on the dimensions. In addition, respondents indicated their general image of the targeted company as a place to work. We were able to identify dimensions that both discriminated between companies and predicted general image, and graphically benchmarked one company against other companies on image dimensions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-172
Number of pages22
JournalPersonnel Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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