Are you an Employer of choice?

Changing times require a revamped recruitment strategy. As we enter a dystopian employment market, there has never been a better time to focus on becoming an employer of choice.

With the Australian unemployment rate predicted to hit an all-time high, the plethora of candidates for every job vacancy could make your future recruitment assignments look like a corporate version of Mad Max: Fury Road. Now, more than ever, the savvy employer needs to have a carefully thought out recruitment strategy to ensure they attract and retain the right people for their business.

An employer of choice is one that offers a positive culture and a workplace environment that attracts and retains superior employees. All too often we hear business owners lament that they have spent thousands of dollars on their recruitment process, followed up with investing more time and money on training and development, only to lose the employee to a competitor to do the same job. Unfortunately, it’s not the job they are leaving, it’s the workplace!

An employer of choice is one that offers a positive culture and a workplace environment that attracts and retains superior employees.

The employer of choice recruitment principals focus on the ‘right fit’ and require the candidate to demonstrate that they want “this” job, not just “a” job. However, after securing great people, an employer of choice does not stop there. They have strategies in place for retaining their top talent, measuring and rewarding their productivity, maintaining a healthy workplace culture and best of all, they know their positive reputation in the industry results in top talent coming to them.

The right fit

While employers of choice have a lot in common, it’s important to keep in mind that the factors of being an employer of choice are also situational. Not every employer of choice fits every employee. By reputation, a business may have a culture that encourages employees to participate in socialising and holds lots of out-of-work activities with their clients and co-workers. This type of culture will attract a certain type of candidate, however, will not interest nor fit another candidate’s personality.

It is also important to recognise that your social media may build workplace myths for candidates. Facebook posts showing employees having cosmetic treatments may be viewed as something that happens every day – and not just twice a year in reality. Instagram branding may portray the environment as tranquil, when in fact, it is a fast paced and at times chaotic place to work.

Attracting the right people requires the employer to take a hard and honest look at their workplace culture. Some difficult truths and organisational weaknesses may have to be acknowledged.

Providing the candidate with an opportunity to “try on the role” and come in to the workplace and experience the culture is becoming the new norm in the recruitment process. Providing a realistic job preview can save both the employer and employee a lot of time and possible disappointment in the future.

Rewards, recognition & retention

Paying lip-service to being an employer of choice is not enough to retain top talent. Superior performers will vote with their feet if the employment relationship is not what was advertised and promised at interview.

Money is not the key factor for employees staying in or leaving a job. While savvy employers know that paying higher compensation than market standards is a good start, the employers of choice knows that retaining employees requires a lot more than compensation, benefits and perks.

The new employment relationship is based on a culture of flexibility, customer focus, commitment and open communication. An employer of choice mindset is diametrically opposed to the old “us and them” relationship.

Employees are more likely to stay when given the opportunity to engage in meaningful work with a focus on what they do rather than where they work. Offering a structured educational program and demonstrating a commitment to assisting employees achieve their personal objectives results in longterm engagement.

A positive culture that favours the wellbeing of employees builds a strong reputation for being a great place to work, resulting in unsolicited applications to join the business. An employer that regularly receives applications from quality candidates, identifying with their business ethos and exhibiting characteristics that align with their brand is one of the best indicators that the business has reached employer of choice status. AMP #22