How do you become an Employer of Choice?
The term ‘Employer of Choice’ has historically been associated with big business who have the recruitment and staffing budgets to match it with the best, the best employee programs and seemingly endless resources to throw around but it isn’t all in the cost of delivery.
Being an employer of choice means that current and potential employees want to work for you and you have the right people working for you. This can be a challenge in certain industries but it also provides for great scope and opportunity to really stand out.
Positioning your business as an employer of choice is not a quick fix. Some employers are attractive because they offer the highest salaries. If this is the main reason people work for you then you are not an employer of choice and your bottom line knows it too. As with most things in business it requires a consistent attention, plenty of effort and willingness to make change.
The messages that are sent to your potential and existing employees must be followed through by action and should be evident to all stakeholders that come in contact with your organisation whether that is through customers, suppliers or other relationships.
To be an employer of choice we need to get the organisation’s mindset right. We can then connect with people.
Create an Employee of Choice Strategy
Adopting an employer of choice strategy means knowing what type of employees your organisation wants. It is extremely difficult to be an employer of choice if you don’t know who you want to attract.
Part of this strategy is to create a culture that is based on relationships that is more collaborative and open than the old ‘them and us’ management/owner style. This strategy needs to be continually refined based on the changing needs of the business, industry and employees.
By doing this we will know our Employee Target Market.
Once we have this established we can look at ways we can retain and attract employees.
1) Do you have a Recognisable Brand?
How are our values communicated to our stakeholders including our current and future employees? If a potential employee has never heard of you, they aren’t likely to seek you out and consider you as their top preference for work. At the same time, if a potential employee knows your brand, but is not taken by your brand or values they will not seek your business out.
It’s no different to attracting customers. You want to attract the people that you are targeting and align with your organisation. This will lead to long term retention but also allow you to meet and exceed your business targets.
2) Honesty & Integrity
Treat everyone with the appropriate respect and professionalism that you would expect in return. Most people will accept one negative comment before completely wiping your brand off as someone they wouldn’t want to work for, but if they have heard several, or consistent messages through their networks, you will lose your chances of attracting this pool of talent.
Reward individuals and as a team. This needs to be focussed on substance and not what you expect from everyday work. If you are creating a culture of excellence in your business then you need to reward your employees through excellence and performance-based outcomes.
This reward needs to tie in with a focus on the customer. If you don’t the business at the end of the day will not be able to sustain this approach.
4) Provide Opportunities
Always provide opportunity for employees. This increases the capability of the organisation but also increases their value to you and themselves. Not everyone wants to increase up the corporate ladder but they do want opportunities to cross-skill, develop in new areas, training to learn and develop, have autonomy, be creative or be given the opportunity step up to higher responsibility. This will be highly individualised but always make it meaningful.
5) Create a Workplace Community
Creating a strong community in your workplace, which is inclusive, positive and supportive, will provide a sense of belonging that will attract and retain the best people long term.
Break-down those manager and functional barriers by engaging in team events and make the events what people want, not what you want to get out of it. You don’t have to blow the budget but by thinking about employees and being creative means that employees with be grateful for the effort.
Now we have our high-level approach to be an employer of choice how do we communicate this internally which will reverberate externally.
Like a vision board tying in your strategic direction having a shared value communication tool can inform the team what you want but also what you are willingly to deliver. This is a discussion point to start with but will end with a great collaborative piece. This is an example below where we have implemented a value-based platform to be an ‘Employer of Choice’
* the table above is a revised version from IIDM Global.
Not all will fit for everyone but there are shared-values that will be conducive to any environment.
Ultimately a business will never be an employer of choice for all people, but you must know your ‘target market’, what is important to them and make sure you offer it and follow through on delivering it. If you don’t understand what sort of people you are trying to attract, it’s difficult to position yourselves as an employer of choice in their mind.
If your business needs guidance on employee strategies, contact the Cashflow Tech Systemz team at firstname.lastname@example.org