With businesses of all sizes facing the challenges of inflation spikes, strategies focused on employee retention and recruitment are certainly in order for companies that want to be considered employers of choice. However, as discussed previously in this space, mercurial economic indicators aren’t the only factors in play. With changing demographics and sensibilities, the values of prospective candidates have changed as well, and the digital landscape has facilitated candidates’ becoming more in tune and more discriminating regarding who they want to work for.
In the current environment, it’s essential for companies to look within and see where they currently stand. If they don’t, they might not know where there's room for improvement!
Therefore, focusing on the employer brand and the employee value proposition (EVP) will be essential for any company seeking Employer of Choice status. This article will discuss what an Employer of Choice is, how this relates to the employer brand and EVP, and other factors hiring professionals should consider as they pursue this goal.
What is an “Employer of Choice?”
An Employer of Choice is an organization that people want to work for, primarily due to its reputation and the company's efforts to package itself attractively. Such companies are highly sought-after by job seekers and are typically attractive to passive candidates as well.
When discussing employers of choice, the overarching themes are offering a supportive work environment, celebrating employees, offering interesting and challenging work, responding respectfully to employee feedback, providing growth opportunities, and fostering empowerment and respect.
Chiefly, there are two areas that companies seeking to be employers of choice should focus on:
- The employer brand
- The employee value proposition (EVP)
These areas have been addressed extensively, but here, they will be addressed with a focus on how they can contribute to fostering a favorable workplace atmosphere, establishing a remarkable brand, and cultivating an enjoyable and efficient work culture.
The Employer Brand
Today, the best candidates are assessing companies as a whole before they apply. Companies must market themselves well to help them stand out in the hiring landscape. How does a company differentiate itself in this saturated market? By cultivating a strong employer brand.
Employees want to work for companies that they admire, where they feel valued, and where they can grow.
It’s a truism that every company is unique, so it’s up to organizations to showcase what makes them singular or special. To this end, companies should display their organizational values front-and-center. These must be clearly communicated and demonstrated as being a top priority of the organization itself.
Leveraging the Employer Brand
Given the proliferation of digital media, there are now far more networking opportunities for job seekers than in the past, and manners by which they can vet prospective employers. Online platforms like Comparably and Glassdoor have made it easier for candidates to see how current employees rate their employers – candidates will pass on a company if they see negative feedback.
The upside is these resources also offer ample opportunity for companies to communicate their brand and to leverage a strong employer brand into producing a steady stream of quality talent. This will take some work, because it involves organizations scouring their company profiles and marketing media to review how they’ve represented themselves in the past and where they stand at present.
Actionable ways that employers can leverage the employer brand to engage quality candidates better include:
These have always been an excellent way to determine where a company currently stands, and this holds true in the pursuit of becoming an Employer of Choice. Insights gleaned in this manner also help companies map out where there’s room to grow and what should be focused on first. Employing surveys also allows employees to vocalize and share their opinions so they feel heard.
Through surveys and social media, current employees can be encouraged to share their views on what makes the company a great one to work for. Positive feedback from current employees is inherently trustworthy, and thus it is valuable to the organization and prospective employees. Brand ambassadors can also be engaged to recruit new hires among friends, associates, and former colleagues.
Tip: Testimonials and content gained from brand ambassadors can serve as excellent messaging in recruitment videos.
The candidate persona is a semi-fictional representation of the ideal job candidate. While these are of particular value in crafting recruitment marketing strategies for specific roles, they can also be used to enhance the employer brand. Companies can consider what candidates are looking for in an employer and identify their value points that will best align with the candidate's desires.
A Shared Vision
Workers tend to have different definitions of organizational culture and what is important to them. So, some research will be in order here. Determining the items highest on candidates’ lists of expectations and then showcasing relevant aspects of the company’s organizational culture can help recruitment marketers create a vision of what the company’s workforce should look like and attract talent that fits the bill.
Showcasing the positive impact the company is having on the community, society, the environment, and the economy is an excellent way to build the employer brand. According to Business News Daily, a company can display corporate responsibility by being environmentally friendly, promoting equality, diversity, inclusion, and belonging in the workplace, treating employees with respect, giving back to the community, and ensuring that its business is conducted ethically.
The Employee Value Proposition (EVP)
An important factor in the organization’s branding strategy is a solid EVP. Hiring professionals should be mindful of the mutual value between employee and employer – not just what the company provides the employee, but the expectation of what the employee can expect to bring to the table.
Here’s where recruitment marketing professionals need to put themselves in the candidate’s shoes and make an appraisal of the company from the candidate’s perspective.
Paint a Picture
Today more than ever, candidates have to be able to visualize themselves in their role at the company, and it’s likely that the preeminence of visual imagery in recruiting media has contributed to this phenomenon. Therefore, it is essential to lay out everything an employee can gain from working at the company, and that they aren’t likely to experience a lot of things they don’t want to experience (e.g., micromanagement, unresponsive managers, workplace toxicity).
Consider Creative Perks
The list of potential perks that organizations can offer employees is pretty long. Recruiters might think about tailoring perks to relate to the company in unique ways. For example, a company that sells musical equipment and supplies could offer discounts on musical equipment or concert tickets for local shows.
Tailor Benefits to the Market
The days of boilerplate compensation and benefits have long since passed. Thus, many companies have adopted the practice of conducting employee benefits surveys (like mentioned above). These can provide useful insights regarding what benefits and other offerings current employees value, which can help craft messaging that captivates candidates the company seeks to attract.
Other Things to Consider
Additional areas where aspiring Employer of Choice companies can enhance and fine-tune their recruitment marketing toward the desired objective include:
- Showcase the company (including aspects of employer branding and EVP) through advertising, ensuring that this connects to active and passive talent.
- Regularly recognize employees for their singular achievements and contributions toward building an inclusive workplace culture. According to LinkedIn, 50% of workers surveyed said they feel a greater sense of belonging at work when their contributions are recognized. This practice also serves to improve employee engagement, productivity, and loyalty.
- Track, evaluate, and review recruitment and retention practices. This can include examining the turnover rate of new hires, monitoring the performance of new recruits, and seeking feedback from candidates on their experience, and whether or not they are ultimately hired.
Becoming an Employer of Choice requires a commitment to creating a supportive work environment that values all employees and supports their growth and well-being. By implementing these strategies, companies can engage top talent, build a strong employer brand and effectively communicate an attractive EVP. The above recommendations will help organizations gain the insight to attract and retain candidates and strengthen their position as an Employer of Choice.
If you’d like to learn more about positioning your company as an Employer of Choice, feel free to reach out to us!