More and more as I read about organizations, I’m seeing the phrase “employer of choice“. Those three words get tossed around with organizations like Google, Apple, and Zappos. There are stories of thousands of applicants for a single job opening because candidates are clamoring to work for one of these employers of choice.
All this begs the question:
What Makes a Company an Employer of Choice?
Yes, each of the companies mentioned above are typically at the top of the list for innovation and culture. What stands out though is that the reputation for becoming one of these favored employers is spread by the employees who are already there and having a great experience.
When you think about it in those terms, it becomes easy to see that any organization can reach this status by simply focusing on a few key areas. Once each area is solidified and working flawlessly, employees will start spreading the word that your organization should be given consideration to job seekers.
It all starts here. How you treat candidates, those who are selected for positions and those who are not, carries a great deal of weight when it comes to your reputation. It doesn’t matter whether you are doing the recruiting yourself, or using a professional recruiting firm to search on your behalf. The way you interact with people who haven’t even started working with you is critical.
The first 90 days are the most important time in a new employee’s tenure with an organization. Managers need to understand that “sink or swim” is not an on-boarding philosophy. Regardless of the new employees skill set, experience, or educational level, there will be a learning curve and the manager is the most important factor in shallowing that curve. Allowing the new hire to ask questions and get help from others as well as introductions to influential team members will leave a lasting impression on them.
The culture of your organization is reflected in how the employee population as a whole approaches their work. Culture is a reflection of what the leadership believes and models to the workforce, it’s not a poster on the wall in the lobby. Employees can tell in a short amount of time when there is misalignment between the stated culture and the actual culture.
Career Value Proposition
Employees take a job with a company with more in mind than just earning a paycheck. Most want to work in a place where they will have the opportunity to do the things they do best while at the same time taking on tasks and assignments that allow them to stretch and make a difference. When people feel like they are contributing in a way that helps the company achieve one or more of their organizational objectives, they are much more likely to be engaged and tell people about their experience in a positive way.
As you can see, becoming an employer of choice doesn’t happen by simply declaring that’s what you are. It happens by the intentional focus on the things that make a difference to employees over time. In other words, if you want to be an employer of choice, work really hard to make sure your current employees are having a great experience. Everything else will follow.
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