With Brexit looming large, candidates are becoming more cautious about putting all their job eggs in one basket. They don’t want to take a risk on a company that looks only half-decent, or that doesn’t offer them everything they’re looking for.
Businesses are now having to try harder to attract a higher quality of candidate, meaning that the balance of power has shifted, and potential employees are the ones in control of their career prospects. This has caused an emergence of ‘employers of choice’, who aim to offer the full package and tempt the best people to work for them.
As a small business owner hearing the phrase ‘employer of choice’, your first thought might be that you don’t have the money to invest in making that happen. Yet it’s not just big businesses who are capable of attracting the best candidates out there.
Actions that seem simple, like good communication and providing opportunities for development, will only require some time, and will go a long way to making you a company worth applying for.
What is an employer of choice?
An employer of choice is a company that offers more than just the bare minimum of a desk in an office and a 9-to-5 role. Their goal is to attract candidates not just with the prospect of a job that’ll pay the rent, but with a work environment they’ll love.
It might be that employers of choice offer increased flexibility for shift patterns, or the support and training needed to progress to a different role. The point is that businesses are realising that a branded mug and a ping-pong table aren’t going to cut it any more. Employees know what they’re worth, and they’re no longer going to settle for the basics.
Benefits of being an employer of choice
Being an employer of choice isn’t just great for candidates, but it gives your business a big advantage in the increasingly competitive job market.
Save on recruitment costs
The more accurate a candidate’s expectations of your business are before they join, the less likely they are to start looking for another job straight away. This means you’ll save on the costs of recruitment when trying to find a replacement, as well as the huge amounts of time and effort to find the perfect person.
Employees who feel comfortable and supported within the framework of the business are much more likely to do better work. When staff receive regular feedback and guidance and can see how their work contributes to the overall company performance, they’ll be more eager to create visible results.
Positive company culture
No employer wants their staff to dread coming into work. If you put effort into creating a business that cares for its employees and their needs, encourages suggestions for improvement and rewards staff for their work, you’ll have a company that people genuinely enjoy working for.
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Becoming an employer of choice
We’ve come up with three main pointers to help you become an employer of choice without having to break the bank. If you implement these within the framework of your business, you’ll be well on your way to attracting the best candidates possible.
Make it clear to your staff that you’re open to hearing any and all feedback they have about the company or their role. It’s often hard to see any flaws from the inside, so you might benefit from another person’s perspective. This could be done through the usual appraisals, team meetings or through an employee satisfaction survey.
By being encouraged to offer feedback, individuals can feel involved in the development of the company and will be more likely to stick around. This communication should go both ways, with managers scheduling regular performance reviews to praise work done well and set future targets.
Opportunity to grow
Feeling like they’re not progressing at all in their role is one of the main reasons why employees leave their jobs. Although you may feel that an individual is perfect at their job, trying to keep them in the same place forever is likely to get them itching for something different.
When employees are fully adjusted within the company, they should be given the power to control their day-to-day responsibilities and set their own goals. The opportunity to develop their own skills, supported by thorough training from the company when needed, will make them invaluable to the business.
If there comes a time when the employee wants to move on to pastures new, you can comfort yourself in the knowledge that they’ve helped to develop the business and made their role as fruitful as possible, ready for someone new to step in.
One of the best ways to attract and retain candidates is to offer a flexible benefits package that shows you’re listening to what your staff need.
Things like allowing your employees work from home or do flexible hours will go a long way to improving people’s work-life balance and increasing their appreciation for your business. Even simple measures like keeping a clean, colourful office space and organising after-work activities do wonders for your company’s reputation as being a great place to work.
Get HR Support
If you’re not sure how to begin the process of becoming an employer of choice, our HR consultants can help.
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