Every organization these days – big or small – wants to become an employer of choice. Many may make the claim, but few actually measure up. In today’s skills-short marketplace, many employers are adopting an employer of choice strategy, offering a variety of employee benefits to attract and retain quality staff. However, some of these companies are doing this in a superficial way. It is often more about image than substance. The majority of today’s employees are not influenced by employers’ shallow claims of being an employer of choice. It is not as simple as offering a branded pen or water bottle to a candidate.
In plain terms, being an employer of choice means establishing a business that is a great place to work. If companies don’t genuinely act to become an employer of choice, then good employees will simply vote with their feet and move to a forward-thinking employer who offers them what they want. Being an employer of choice is more than marketing gimmickry.
United Talent (UT) has created a culture that is based on a new employment relationship. It is more collaborative and open than the old ‘them and us’ relationship we have all witnessed and have probably been – or are – part of. This new employment relationship is based on the four key pillars that drive United Talent’s culture:
- Sales — Every person in the organization represents the company and its growth.
- Service — Employees and Clients deserve respect and exemplary treatment.
- Safety — All work must be done with safety as a guiding factor and constant priority.
- Recruiting — UT is constantly searching for people who would flourish in their culture.
These four pillars provide the platform on which United Talent’s employer of choice commitment is founded. Day to day, month to month and year to year, United Talent strives to exhibit several key characteristics in order to achieve and maintain a true employer of choice status.
Reputation. An organization that is highly respected within its industry or marketplace, with a strong brand, is naturally a place where people want to work. This reputation is built and sustained by having a solid track record of delivering on employee expectations once they start working for your organization.
Engaged Leadership. Potential employees want to know that the organization they are considering joining has great leadership that is deeply involved in the business and has a compelling vision for its future. It’s hard to get excited about taking a role with a company whose leadership is nowhere to be found and there is nothing to shoot for.
Empowerment. Following closely behind engaged leadership is the importance of making sure that everyone is empowered to fully own their role and take part in decisions that affect them. A significant factor supporting real empowerment is trusting employees to be responsible for their contributions to the company and for how they complete their work.
Growth Opportunities. One of the key drivers of talent leaving a company is the lack of future growth opportunities. Employees want to continue to be challenged by accepting more responsibility or learning and using a new set of skills. People naturally evolve and they want their career to keep up.
Recognition. Recognizing the contributions of employees is essential for becoming an employer of choice. No one wants to feel like they are being taken for granted or their work goes unnoticed. Even though there is an intrinsic reward for great performance, outward communications go a long way to show employees that you appreciate them.
Clearly, becoming an employer of choice takes a great deal of planning and a strategic approach. It all comes down to your culture – are you fair, honest, respectful, and fun? Do employees trust leadership to make solid decisions and at the same time empower them to own their jobs? These are the core factors that employees look for when deciding where they want to invest their futures. Dedication to mastering these factors can position your organization to become the employer of choice.