Eighty-four percent of job seekers say an employer’s reputation is important.
Obviously, a bad business reputation can quickly sink your startup. And if you want to become an employer of choice, your business can’t have a bad rap.
Learn which tactics to use to improve your employer branding efforts and become an employer of choice.
Becoming an employer of choice
Being an employer of choice means your business has an excellent working environment and the cream of the crop wants to (and does) work for you.
Many employers of choice have similar characteristics. Some of these characteristics include, but aren’t limited to:
- Positive company culture
It takes a lot of time, dedication, and patience to solidify some of the above characteristics and build your reputation as an employer brand.
If you want to attract the best of the best, you’ve got to be the best. To springboard your way to being an employer of choice, use these five top-notch strategies.
1. Research your workforce
Before you can become an employer of choice, do some homework on your workforce. Research what makes your workforce tick if you want to become an ideal employer.
Understand your workforce by looking at competitors, surveying current employees, and performing exit interviews. The more information you gather, the more likely you are to meet (and exceed) your target workforce’s expectations.
Research your competitors to see what people like and dislike about working for them. Find out what benefits they use to reel in candidates.
Consider surveying current employees to find out what you need to improve on. You can have employees complete this anonymously through an online or paper form. Or, you might get feedback from employees during their performance reviews.
Another way to get information from employees is by conducting exit interviews. Use exit interviews to get feedback from employees who are leaving. Terminated employees are more likely to be candid with you because they are leaving your company.
Once you have a better grasp of what your workforce wants, you can begin deploying other strategies (e.g., recruitment efforts and work culture). Use feedback from workers to better develop your tactics and retain employees.
2. Learn your strengths and weaknesses
Being a preferred employer means you must honestly assess yourself. Remember that SWOT analysis strategy you did when you began your business? It’s time to revisit that old faithful tactic and use it to boost your employer brand.
If you’ve never completed a SWOT analysis, don’t worry. It’s a good time to start. For those of you who don’t have experience conducting one, a SWOT analysis looks at your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Complete a SWOT analysis and look at your strengths and weaknesses. Pinpoint both the positives and negatives about working for your business. Ask yourself questions like, What attracts individuals to want to work for my business? How can I improve an employee’s experience at my business? What are the reasons people leave?
Use your strengths and weaknesses to improve yourself as an employer. Regularly conduct SWOT analyses to determine if you need to make any changes.
3. List your core values
If you want to recruit top talent, be transparent. A major part of transparency is being open and honest about your business’s values.
If you haven’t already, establish core values for your business. What does your company stand for? What principles do you follow? What values are important to you?
Some values that may resonate with your business include reliability, honesty, consistency, loyalty, and positivity.
After you define your values, list them on your business website, social media accounts, and recruiting platforms.
At my accounting software and payroll software company, Patriot Software, some of our core values include treating others the way we want to be treated and never taking shortcuts. We proudly display our core values on our website for everyone to see.
4. Provide growth opportunities
According to one source, 76% of employees want opportunities for career growth. Chances are, if you aren’t offering career advancement opportunities, current and potential workers will find someone who can.
Demonstrate the opportunity for advancement while you’re recruiting candidates. Discuss these opportunities during the interview process. And, be frank about which types of opportunities are realistic. Continue discussing opportunities after you hire workers.
If you want employees to stick with your company in the long run, give them a clear career path. Offering training for new skills, showing a culture of promotion, and recognizing hard work are ways to show employees you mean business about career opportunities. Employees want to see a future with your business, not a dead end.
5. Offer competitive pay and benefits
Although salary might not be the primary motivator for employees, offering competitive pay and benefits can certainly give your business a boost.
The salaries and benefits you offer workers should be competitive and comparable to what other businesses are offering in the same industry. Look at the type of industry and position when setting salary amounts.
Doing your research will pay off.
Setting too low of a salary can discourage stellar candidates from applying. Especially if they see another business with a similar position offering a higher salary with better benefits.
Along with a competitive salary, consider offering common benefits, such as retirement plans, health insurance, and paid time off. Lacking in the benefits department can really hurt your business and cause top talent to search elsewhere.
Offering additional benefits and a competitive salary can be difficult for smaller business owners. Sometimes you need to slash expenses in order to help grow your business. But trust me when I say this: stepping up your offering game is worth it. Doing so can make you stand out as an employer. And, it can improve your odds of enticing top talent to apply.