Being an ‘Employer of Choice’ means that you have created a great working environment within your business, which means that the best people want to work for you. This positive employment brand helps a business to both attract and retain staff, which is vital during current times when exceptional talent is in such short supply due to the global war for talent.
It has been shown by a Mckinsey Consulting study that the ability to attract and retain the best talent will provide competitive advantage to a business. The survey took in the views of 13,000 managers at 112 US enterprises, and found that companies with excellent talent management ‘achieved total shareholder returns that were 22 percentage points better than the average’.
With these findings in mind, what steps can a business take to improve its status as an ‘Employer of Choice’ and boost its talent capital? We have outlined five important steps below.
- Stimulating Work – Employees want to perform interesting and challenging jobs. They want to be inspired and stimulated and feel passionate about what they do. To be a great job, it should also be demanding, and should stretch the employee. As a business you should invest time in job design so as to create jobs that are interesting. You can also consider having job rotation schemes so that work remains fresh.
- Reward Well – People want to rewarded in recognition for the contribution that they have made to the organization. They also want to be rewarded at a level which is on or above market rate. Develop an effective reward strategy which contains an all inclusive and objective way of assessing employee performance. Salary and rewards should be regularly bench-marked against the market averages so you can adjust your salaries and ensure you are always paying close to the market rate.
- Training and Development – Employees want to be part of company that helps them to develop skills so they can excel in their jobs on a day to basis and eventually progress up the career ladder. Your business should show a commitment to growth and development of staff by providing a training and development framework. This framework would involve an annual skills assessment process in the business, out of which would come a personal development plan for each employee. Employees should be then be able to access training and development opportunities according to their development plan.
- Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethics - Employees want to work for businesses that are trustworthy, ethical, socially responsible and have a positive corporate culture where staff are treated fairly and with respect. Corporate ethics are more important than ever due to recent events in the banking sector. Develop a CSR program in your business which sets out your values and principles on how you want to do business in an ethical way.
- Opportunities to Progress - One of the main reasons that employees leave a business is lack of career progression. They go somewhere else to find a higher paying, higher ranking job because they could not achieve this with their previous employer. As a business, you should have a formal internal recruitment program. Jobs should not just be given to favorites, all jobs should be advertised internally which means that all qualified employees can apply if they wish to. This is how to create a sense of opportunity and potential for career progression.
Having developed an ‘Employer of Choice’ strategy, HR should work closely with the marketing team to develop an employer branding and communication strategy which tells the world that your business is a great place to work. This will increase the effectiveness of your ‘Employer of Choice strategy.’