New Hire Orientation Blog
Becoming an Employer of Choice: A Guide to Attracting the Best Talent
- July 29, 2020
- Posted by: New Hire Orientation
- Category: Hiring
Thanks to COVID-19, we are seeing a complete turnaround in workforce availability. Just a few months ago, the competition was fierce and most CEOs faced very real skills shortages in the workplace. Today, many companies are downsizing. Some are failing completely. The upshot is an influx of talent into the workforce. For smart business owners and decision-makers, now’s the time to ensure that you’re not affected by a skills shortage and to shore up your teams.
However, understand that despite the expanding pool of labor, things are changing. Globalization has been on the rise for decades, but COVID-19 is making many employees rethink their career decisions, personal priorities, family priorities, and even their personal purpose when it comes to employment. For employers, this means that it’s possible to recover quickly from the pandemic, but doing so will require you to go from good to great in terms of talent recruitment.
The key here? You must become an employer of choice. How, though? It’s not as difficult as you might think, but it will require a concerted, intentional effort.
One of the first considerations in becoming an employer of choice is your company’s culture. Is it welcoming? Empowering? Repressive? Restrictive? Do you value learning and development and make it a priority for employees at all levels in the business or is it an afterthought? A positive company culture will make you stand out from the pack for good reasons. However, a negative culture will act as a warning beacon and you might struggle to fill open positions even when more professionals are seeking employment than in the past decade.
Do you make your employees feel involved? Do you regularly look for their suggestions on how to make the company better? Do you seek out their ideas on streamlining processes or on new business initiatives? To be an employer of choice, they need to feel involved in the business itself, beyond their day-to-day responsibilities. Think employee-filled steering committees and groups responsible for planning events or work processes.
In an employer of note, employees feel empowered to control their futures. Yes, their role ties directly into the company’s mission and objectives, but they have at least some say over how they perform core duties and how they progress toward goals within their position. Empowered employees feel that they’re more than just a cog in a machine – they’re integral, even if in a small way, and have some degree of control that they can exercise daily.
You must be committed, not just to serving your customers, but to serving your employees. This commitment will be represented at all levels of the business, from your hiring and onboarding processes to your LMS and everything in between. What are you committed to doing, though?
- Rewarding employees for their performance in meaningful ways
- Making employees (and their families) feel included in the wider workplace family
- Giving coworkers a say in team member reviews
- Allowing others to be involved in hiring decisions
- Creating career training paths to support better outcomes for employees
These are just a few examples. Essentially, you need to be committed to improving retention and engagement in any way possible. And that buy-in has to come from the top down.
Work-life balance is an increasingly mythical thing. Instead, employees are looking for work-life synergy. What does that mean? It’s a pretty flexible term and will mean different things to different employees.
Work-life synergy is very individualistic. For some, it will mean having flexible work hours. For others, it’s having access to an employer-sponsored wellness program. Yet others may value something else completely. It’s all about what makes your workers happy, keeps them productive, and ensures engagement and success.
Often, the best way to identify elements that improve work-life synergy comes down to asking your team members what they need for success. Is it access to better training and upskilling opportunities? Is it the ability to come in later and stay later to support something else in their lives?
Today, potential employees want to know more than what you can do for them. They want to know what your company is doing for society and the world around you. How are you showing your social responsibility? What good are you doing? If all your company does is pursue profit, you’ll never become an employer of choice.
What sorts of social responsibility initiatives work, though? There are so many options. Hold regular food drives for the needy in your area. Sponsor litter or pollution cleanups. Give employees volunteer days where they can support a charity or outreach program.
It’s all about finding ways that your company can help make the world a better place. Then, get your employees involved in those initiatives. Do good and let your teams do good.
Yes, employees like it when their employers reward them with more pay. However, understand that as Millennials comprise more and more of the workforce, the idea of “good compensation” is shifting. Yes, salary matters. However, they’re also concerned about things that go beyond their paycheck.
Think about health insurance, vacation time, sick days, family leave, and other benefits. Often, it’s the total package that attracts key talent and encourages them to stick around, rather than just how much you’re willing to pay them per year.
Putting It All Together
We’ve covered a lot of tips, all of which are vital for becoming an employer of choice. However, there’s more to it than this. Becoming a stand-out in your industry, attracting top talent, and then retaining them requires a commitment from leadership to value employees as much as customers, to appreciate your teams as much as profitability. After all, without your employees, you have no way to generate profit or serve your customers.
With that being said, you also need to make sure that you’re attracting superior employees. You need to do more than hiring “warm bodies”. It’s critical that you strive to attract the best of the best and then institute the characteristics above to encourage them to stay with you for the long-term.