Becoming an employer of choice is vital to attract and retain staff especially given the current climate of increased competition for talent and employees, according to recruiting experts Hays.
There are many ways of being an employer of choice, which will position your organisation above the rest, and it doesn’t have to be a difficult process, according to Marc Burrage, Regional Director of Hays in Hong Kong.
“It’s true that an organisation is only as good as the people who work there. Successful organisations have recognised they can achieve the employer of choice status through their people,” said Marc. “Therefore, employers of choice have given a lot of thought to their employee value proposition; in other words, why do talent want to work for your business?”
The employee value proposition (EVP) is an integral element of not just becoming an employer of choice, but your employment branding. It sets out who the company is, what is expected from employees and what employees receive from working for the company. In short, it reveals what your company offers that employees value. This includes defining not just the salary or job responsibilities and opportunities, but the company’s culture and ambitions.
Implementing your EVP is crucial and all your touch-points with potential recruits and customers need to reflect your EVP from your internet site right to the application process.
“If you don’t have a consistent message about your company’s values and what it’s like to work for, potential employees cannot determine if your company will be a good fit for them and vice versa,” says Marc. “But make sure your EVP reflects what it’s really like to work for your company, or you may mislead your current and future staff, which will only lead to higher turnover.”
Employers of choice tend to be 'talent magnets' and the best talent identifies organisations that are the best employers to work for. For example, when an engineer considers future employers, a certain firm instantaneously comes to mind.
“Employees who want to work for a company are not likely to leave in a hurry,” said Marc. “Increased retention for employers of choice allows for greater depth of talent and improved succession planning, which in turn leads to improved long-term growth prospects for the business. It also leads to improved long-term customer relationships with a stable workforce.”
Employers of choice also enjoy an increased competitive advantage. In a business environment which changes so rapidly, organisations have a very small window of competitive advantage when they launch a new product or service, given that competitors can imitate successes so quickly.
“But the one thing that competitors cannot imitate is people and culture,” says Marc. “This is unique and successful organisations typically have very strong cultures and high levels of employee engagement, thus leading to increased productivity and better bottom line results.”
Top tips to become an employer of choice:
- Provide opportunity – Just the mention of the word opportunity can have a positive impact on people’s behaviour and delivering on the promise of increased opportunity is vital. Whether it’s an opportunity to be promoted or get a higher salary or take on more responsibility and challenges, employees want to feel they have some where to progress. Boredom and lack of career progression is a major factor in losing staff.
- Keep the balance – Most people want a reasonable balance between work and personal life and an employer who can provide flexible workplace practises to enhance work/life balance will most definitely be viewed in a positive light. Whether it’s being able to work from home, job share a position or leave work one hour early once a week to attend a child’s sporting event, for example, it’s important for employers to be sensitive to the personal and family needs of their employees. The important point is to listen to your employees, because everyone has different needs and what works for one employee may not work for another.
- Create a sense of pride - Recognition of employee contribution doesn’t have to involve expensive reward programs. A simple thank you for a job well done from a manager can be enough to make staff feel valued and proud of what they do and where they work. But make sure it is a genuine, honest gesture by management for the recognition to be effective.
- Make your culture known - Employees are more committed when they personally identify with the organisation and agree with the ethics, goals and morals, and are proud of the company’s reputation.
- Allocate responsibility - Giving employees adequate responsibility is a great way for an employer to say “I trust you”. Having more responsibility, such as a project to lead or a new task to perform can make an employee also feel more valued.
Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.