The Importance of Becoming an Employer of Choice
As I talk with hiring managers and talent acquisition professionals, one of the reoccurring challenges they face is creating a strategy for driving the brightest and best talent to their company. A few years ago, companies were worried about “How good is our product or service? Is it better than the competition?” Don’t get me wrong, companies are still asking those questions; however, of equal importance is the question, “Are we a good company to work for?”
One of the most compelling advantages companies can have in today’s economy is the ability to recruit AND retain the industries brightest and best talent.
Talent has become the secret weapon. With talent that is innovative, creative, collaborative, and competitive, companies can create new and leading products, top-of-the-line services, improved business practices, and much more.
The company’s leadership ought to see becoming an employer of choice as a strategic imperative and critical differentiator in their market position.
So How Do You Create or Build on That Initiative?
Whether you want it or not, your company already has an employer brand. Is it the one you wish to have? How is it being socialized? Does it reflect what today’s employees are looking for in employers? Today’s workforce is looking for meaningful and challenging work. Millennials value company culture and core values more than any other generation and are demanding accessibility to leaders. Things like corporate social responsibility, diversity and inclusion, work-life balance, idea generation, engagement, and purpose rank high in things today’s generation looks for when considering who to work for.
Companies ought to evaluate their current values to determine if they reflect today’s demographics. It’s not enough to have the words on your company walls. Organizations should seek honest feedback about how their employees appraise their adherence to company values. A company’s best brand ambassadors are happy and motivated employees.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Are my employees encouraged to take risks and think outside the box?
- Do they have a clear vision of where our company is headed?
- Do they view the leaders as authentic and transparent?
- Do they understand how the work they are doing contributes to the overall well-being of the company?
- Are we investing in and developing our employees to do more with the company?
- Do our employees feel like we care about their personal and professional well-being?
Employment branding is becoming critical from a business strategy perspective. According to the Harvard Business Review, 33% of business leaders are looking to build their global employer brand by 2020.
Where can you start building your employment brand?
A great place to start is by gathering information from your current employees. What are they saying about your company? What are they telling friends and family members about the organization? What do they want to see changed or improved upon? Once you’ve collected all of their responses, be sure to communicate your findings with your employees and engage them in creating strategies for change.
Another step at building employment branding is to make certain your website tells your story about why someone would want to work there. Use real-life examples for case studies on employee engagement, professional progression, community involvement, etc. Use social media to broadcast your story, as well as to collect more information about what others are saying about your employment brand. This is not a-one-and-done exercise but rather a continuous process and evolution.
Lastly, don’t forget to promote your employment brand internally – it’s important not only to recruit top talent but to retain it once you have it. Remember, your competitors are marketing their brand to your people consistently. You need to as well!
Primary Drivers for Attracting and Retaining Talent
When you’re evaluating and improving your employment brand, it’s important to know what your targeted audience is looking for when searching for opportunities. My job as a recruiter dictates that I have many conversations with candidates, and in those conversations, they relay to me the elements of their job search most important to them.
The drivers that always come up include:
- Future Career Opportunity (is the person I will be working for able to add value to my career)
- Development Opportunity-where will I go after this position (internal to the new company or external to the next employer)
- Work-life Balance
- What is the mission and values of the company and how does the company contribute to society
- Total Rewards including compensation and non-financial forms of recognition for employees
- Stability/growth of the company
Find the Best Talent with Dee Lonn
By positioning your company as an employer of choice and keeping an eye on your employment brand, you’ll give yourself a boost in your recruiting and employee retention efforts. Don’t have time to search for the perfect candidate?