02 Mar

Why is Everyone Calling Themselves an Employer of Choice?

It sometimes seems as if every business in the US has decided they are the one.  It appears that every business has either declared itself an Employer of Choice or a Best Place to Work.  In a market where competition for talent is everywhere, I don’t understand why every employer wants to be just like everyone else.  There are seminars on “Becoming” a Best Place to Work, workshops on leveraging yourself as a Best Place to Work or Employer of Choice, and courses on Employer of Choice recruiting.  It seems as if every business is exactly the same and in being the same they become nothing more than words…so what do you do to overcome this?

What’s the solution?

Let’s begin with the stated benefits of being an Employer of Choice (EOC).  In general, terms being an employer of choice means that when people look for a job your business is the first business they consider.  Other benefits employers seek are that they receive more applications even when they do not have a vacancy and that they have a higher retention rate for their existing employees.  On the surface, these seem like great outcomes.  Achieving these outcomes by becoming, or more commonly simply declaring you are, an EOC are seen as valuable by almost all businesses.  Therefore, almost all businesses take the position they are or are striving to be an EOC.  That isn’t the wisest use of resources for your business.

If you truly want to attract and retain the best employees, then you have to create an environment that values the best employees. 

If you truly want to attract and retain the best employees, then you have to create an environment that values the best employees.  You have to treat your employees differently depending on their performance, and you have to treat them differently depending on the value of the role to the business.  That doesn’t mean create a social hierarchy of “you are less or more important than me.”  It means creating an environment where high contributing roles, performed by high contributing workers are rewarded more because they bring greater value.  Further, you want to create an environment where poor workers feel compelled to become good workers or to take their poor work habits to your competition.  Those are the missing pieces to your EOC initiative that is now an Employee of Choice initiative.

You also have to stop treating your employees as if they are a cost to be managed.  The disingenuous actions that treat employees as a commodity that can be bought and sold, hired and laid off for short term financial gain.  “Saving your way” to business prosperity through workforce reductions is ineffective.  Using productivity measures and holding leaders accountable for improving them is what grows and sustains your business.

No one can duplicate your workforce if you follow this process.  You have effectively branded your business as a high performing high achieving business that rewards those who perform.  Your customers are happier and you leave your competition behind.

It’s a simple choice for you.  Be like everyone else and become an Employer of Choice or truly recognize the value of your workers and seek the Employee of Choice.

An Employee of Choice – Built on a unique brand for your business that focuses on differentiating between the best candidates in the marketplace by having them self-select even before they apply.  That is the more focused approach that will ensure your business both attracts and retains the very best employee.  These employees, in turn, will provide you with the necessary KSAM”S (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Mindset) to successfully execute your business strategy and in turn make your business outperform its competitors.

How you do that, while seemingly simple, takes effort and skills.  It will involve your leadership, your line management and if you have it, an appropriately skilled HR team.

You want to develop and communicate a new brand for your business.  A brand that clearly states you are a high-performance organization.  That you value exceptional talent and that you provide them with exceptional pay and development opportunities.  Further, you communicate clearly that you are not for everyone, don’t want to be for everyone and are not interested in employing anyone.

Refocusing your business efforts toward workforce investment and productivity instead of the tired imitating of everyone else seeking to be the employer of choice will truly set your business apart from its competition.

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