As an employer, you want to hire the best of the best for your business. After all, who doesn’t want talented and hard-working employees? But in order to do that, you have to be the best of the best. So, how on Earth do you become an employer of choice? If you want to be a go-to employer, listen up (and keep reading).
Becoming an employer of choice
Becoming an employer of choice can give your business the boost it needs to grow and succeed. And, being a well sought-after employer definitely has a few other perks, such as improved employee retention and an edge on attracting top talent.
Sounds great, right? But, becoming an employer of choice doesn’t magically happen overnight. Like anything in business, it takes time, patience, and a few strategies. If you want to stand out from other businesses and be a first-choice employer, use these seven tactics to your advantage.
1. Offer competitive perks and pay
Approximately 78% of employees say they are more likely to stick with an employer because of their benefit program. With roughly three out of four employees saying benefits play a role in their retention with a company, having competitive perks and pay can clearly make you stand out as an employer.
If you want to become a stand-out employer, you need to be as competitive as possible when it comes to benefits and pay. Do your research to find out which benefits employees are looking for. And, make sure you’re fairly paying workers.
To find out what employees want, you may even consider surveying your current employees to get their feedback on benefits.
2. Build a strong workplace culture
What do many go-to employers have in common? If you answered “a strong workplace culture,” then ding, ding, ding, you’re correct.
Employees want to work for companies with a positive, motivational, and strong culture—not ones with a poor work environment that’s infected with drama, micromanagers, and gossip (eek!).
To build a strong and healthy workplace culture, you can:
- Show your team you care
- Let employees have fun and let loose (e.g., throw a pizza party)
- Set an example
- Keep communication open
- Give employees recognition and appreciation
- Start an employee wellness program
3. Always be 100% transparent
When it comes to finding an employer, candidates look for honesty and transparency. They don’t want to work for someone who is dishonest and fake. In fact, nearly 50% of employees state that a lack of transparent communication from leadership has driven them to seek a new job. And, 30% of employees said that their workplace does not foster a culture of transparency.
With so many employees craving transparency, being 100% open and honest is a must in the workplace—especially if you want to be an employer of choice. To show your employees that you’re transparent, be open about everything. And yes, I mean everything. Be willing to share the good, the bad, and the ugly. And keep employees in the loop about everything going on at your business.
At my accounting software and payroll company, Patriot Software, I strive for transparency 24/7/365. I’m open to my co-workers about everything going on at Patriot. I include information in our internal newsletter to keep everyone up-to-date. And, I make videos to give my co-workers a rundown on the latest company news.
Transparency leads to trust. And in turn, trust leads to satisfied employees who stick around for the long run.
4. Provide growth opportunities
When it comes to job searching, candidates look for companies that will challenge them and help grow their skills. To be an employer of choice, focus on growing your employees into the best they can be—and promote said growth opportunities in your job postings.
If you don’t offer career advancement opportunities, employees will find someone that does. So when going through the interview process, be straight up with candidates about what kinds of advancement opportunities your business has to offer. And, keep those discussions open after hiring (e.g., during performance reviews).
Give your team a clear career path to encourage them to stick with your company for the long run. Help them grow their skills by offering new training and recognizing accomplishments. And, show them that they can expand their skills and prosper at your company.
5. Support work-life balance
Let’s face the facts: No employee wants to spend every waking moment at work. And, they certainly don’t want to feel burned out or like they have no personal life. Instead, they want a healthy balance between their work life and personal life. To become an employer of choice amongst candidates, promote and support work-life balance.
To encourage a healthy work-life balance at your business, you can:
- Offer flexible or remote work options
- Lead by example (aka take a vacation every once in a while yourself)
- Change your PTO policy (e.g., increase the number of PTO days per year)
- Encourage breaks
The more you promote work-life balance, the better. A good balance between personal and work life can decrease stress, boost productivity, and lower absenteeism.
6. Recognize employees for a job well done
You appreciate your employees for their hard work. But, do you show them that you do? If you want employees who want to work for your business, you need to prioritize recognition and appreciation.
According to a Gallup survey, the main reason employees leave a company is due to lack of recognition. Giving employees kudos for reaching goals and completing projects big and small is a must. To recognize employees for a job well done, you can:
- Use employee recognition software (e.g., 15Five)
- Spotlight employees on social media
- Showcase your team on your business website
- Treat your team members to lunch
- Host an appreciation day
Trust me when I say showing a little appreciation goes a long way. A dash of appreciation can grow your team into leaders, improve workplace culture, and increase employee satisfaction. So, don’t be shy when it comes to thanking and congratulating your team for their hard work.
7. Ask for (and listen to) feedback
Employees want to be heard. Let me say that again a little louder for the people in the back. Employees want to be heard. So to attract and retain the best employees, you need to ask for and listen to feedback and use it to your advantage.
Employees’ feedback is oh-so valuable. It can help your company make necessary changes and get you on the road to success. Not to mention, feedback can improve employee engagement and give employees a sense of purpose.
Give employees the opportunity to provide feedback, regardless of if it’s performance review season or not. Consider even having employees fill out a survey to provide both positive and negative feedback. Or, you could use a good old-fashioned anonymous suggestion box.
Whatever you do, make sure you take your employees’ feedback seriously and use it to your advantage. And remember, there’s always room for improvement.