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How to be an Employer of Choice: 4 Strategies

February 6, 2018

When you're an employer of choice, job candidates are eager to work for you. Given the opportunity, candidates will choose to work for your organization over others. Your top talent is staying with your organization rather than moving to another. With the unemployment rate so low in today’s job market, it is now more important than ever to be an employer of choice. Job applicants have more options. You want candidates and your top talent to see your organization as their number one option for employment.

Here are some suggestions on how your organization can become an employer of choice:

  • Social Responsibility

    As younger generations continue to enter the workforce, becoming a socially responsible employer becomes even more important. Millennials are interested in working for companies that do some good in the world. By being socially conscious or donating to charities, you are giving the workers a sense of positive meaning in their work. It helps them feel like they too are giving back to the community. If you aren't already, here are a few easy ways to get started as a socially responsible employer:

    • Hold a food or supplies drive.

    • Participate in national charity days, like National Wear Red Day, for fundraising or awareness.

    • Set up an interdepartmental team at your company to plan and promote participation in philanthropic causes and events.

    • Declare volunteer days – offer employees a day "off" to volunteer in small groups at a charity your organization supports.

    • Here are four more ways to be a socially responsible employer.
  • Career Advancement

    To encourage workers to stay with your organization, give them a career path.
    • Provide opportunities for promotions.

    • Promote a visible career ladder. Having a clearly communicated career path or ladder shows employees that there is something to work toward, giving them a sense of a future with your company.

    • Offer training and/or resources to continuously learn and grow. To prevent your employees from becoming bored in their positions, give them the chance to develop new skills; this will help keep them engaged and satisfied. 

  • Recognition

    Do your goals motivate and engage your employees? Your employees put in a lot of effort at work, and as an employer of choice you should reward that effort. Setting goals is another great way to encourage employee engagement.

    • Set goals at the individual and department level and develop a reward system to recognize the workers achievements when they meet those goals.

    • Set goals at the organizational level and reward all employees for reaching those goals. This creates a sense of teamwork and enthusiasm for accomplishing company-wide goals.

  • Compensation

    This last one will not come as much of surprise, but workers like to work for companies that compensate them well. Therefore, ensure that your organization is compensating the employees at or above market rates. Also, include a comprehensive employee benefits package, including health insurance, paid holidays, time-off, and vacation. Read more about the top benefits you should prioritize to retain employees.

Employers of choice attract and retain the best talent. Becoming an employer of choice is not an easy task, nor will it happen overnight. In order to become an employer of choice, the leaders of your organization will have to take a hard and honest look at its culture. These leaders will have to acknowledge some difficult truths and recognize the organization's weaknesses. From there, they will need to decide what direction they want to take the organization, and what they want it to become. It can be a difficult process, but by putting in the right amount of time and effort, your organization can become an employer of choice.

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Cassandra Walter Cassandra Walter is a Consulting Associate located at PSI's Pittsburgh office. She holds a master's degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology. She works with clients across many different industries, including manufacturing, retail, customer service, and healthcare. Her areas of expertise include providing training and support for PSI’s applicant tracking system, as well as assisting clients with requests and questions regarding tools and processes.