Being an employer of choice means you have carefully considered and created a working environment people would choose to work in over a competitor. This would be down to the fact that they believe in the values and the whole experience the company offers.
This could improve the workforce stability as being recognised as an employer of choice could prove to be a companyâs competitive edge especially in a tight labour market where we are challenged to locate, attract and retain the right talent to optimize business.
There are a number of advantages to becoming an employer of choice;
As the company is more widely known potential employees will actively seek positions within the organisation, this will reduce costs in marketing and recruitment. There will be less requirement to advertise positions and limits the need for recruitment agency fees as the applications received will be of a higher calibre therefore the objective will shift from getting people to apply to selecting the best candidate.
As the overall quality of applicants is of a higher standard you are able to place the right person in the right positions. Due to this productivity as a whole will be increased with a greater level of consistency and the more experienced employees will complete tasks at a faster pace and more accurately.
Employers of choice have visions and values that match those of their employees working closely with like-minded people within an enjoyable culture improves morale which in turn increases productivity and lowers retention.
If you are providing employees with a truly satisfying work experience on all levels then your workforce will be highly engaged and energised therefore your overall turnover will be lower as people wouldnât want to leave your employment. The lower the retention the lower the costs for recruitment and training.
As an employer of choice you will have a reputation for reliability as customers generally like to deal with the same people this continuity gives the customer a greater sense of comfort, security and confidence. With a reduced turnover you will have more long-term experienced employees that your customers can rely on.
There can be a disadvantages to being an employer of choice as you are known for attracting, training and retaining a high standard of employers you may become a hunting ground for your competitors.
As well as this a new employee may have unrealistic expectations of what their role may include with regards to salary and career potential.
In order to become an employer of choice you need to have a strong employer brand this is defined by CIPD as âa set of attributes and qualities, often intangible, that makes an organisation distinctive, promises a particular kind of employment experience, and appeals to those people who with thrive and perform best in its cultureâ.
The employer brand is the image of the company as an employer and a place to work both internally and externally it is important to show as an organisation you have an understanding of how your employees, stakeholders and clients see your business, its visons and values to distinguish yourself from competition.
It is important to include your employees with engagement surveys and forums to understand how your current brand is perceived this will highlight what the areas for development are. This will assist with ensuring the buy in from your stakeholders and employees for the vision for the future.
Alongside having a strong employer brand there are a number of elements that are required in order to become an employer of choice including;
Employees want to be a part of a company that is committed to the growth and development of their employeeâs long term career it is important to have a clear training and development path available to employees for talent planning and succession planning imbedded in the culture. Sytner Group achieved second on the Sunday Times big best companies list and have doubled their investment in coaches within the business they provide role specific development workshops to ensure everyone has the opportunity to learn and grow.
Reward and Recognition
Employees respond to reward and recognition as it confirms their work is valued and creates satisfaction therefore productivity increases and employees are motivated to continue to improve. American Express, who achieved third on the Sunday Times companies to work for list, run their own reward programme which allows employees to praise each other regardless of departments as well as earning points. They are also rewarded by pay rises where in the last year over three quarters of the work force received these enabling them to score 61% that the employees feel they are paid fairly for their positions.
The ability to allow employees flexibility with working hours enables individuals sufficient time and energy to engage in activities outside of work whether it be family life or further study. This gives the employee choice or control which is likely to have positive effects on health and well-being reducing absence levels and increasing productivity.
Although there are no set criteria to becoming an employer of choice it is important that the company is looking after their employeeâs best interests which may involve implementing a lot of these elements.
The ability to gain employee engagement and understand what is required to create/improve your employer brand is a long term process and will not happen overnight it is important to identify what attributes are required to deliver the vision and values of the company. Following on from this it is imperative you are able to live up to the expectations and the promises made are reflective within the employee experience.
To be in this position will require time and costs will be involved with marketing your brand in the correct way however as the Sunday Times lists show it will reduce overall costs of recruitment and training in the long term as a happy engaged workforce are more loyal.
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