Why You Should Become an Employer of Choice and How to do it

It should be the aim of any good business to become an attractive place to work, or an ‘Employer of Choice’ as it known in professional circles. This is because as an Employer of Choice you will have undoubtedly built a great working environment inside your company. This means that top talent will want to work for you – which must surely be the goal of any progressive business.

Being an employer of choice will make it easier for your business to attract and retain staff – it is a quality that can help to differentiate you from your competition at a time when talent is becoming an increasingly scarce commodity, owing to the global talent war which is impacting the Australian recruitment environment. For example, 38 % of Australian employers report difficulty in filling key posts, according to a Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations survey, with the most difficult roles to fill being Engineers and Automotive trade workers.

A more commercial argument for the importance of being an employer of choice is provided by a 2011 Aon Hewitt Study of 200 organisations in Australia and New Zealand, which found that the Best Employers ‘experience, on average, profit growth almost four times that of other organisations over the past two years.
As you can see, the case for implementing an ‘Employer of Choice’ strategy in your business is compelling, but how exactly does a business do it? What actual steps can a company take to enhance its status as an ‘Employer of Choice’? We have detailed four important steps below.

1.) Provide Interesting Work

Talented staff will want to perform jobs that are both interesting and challenging. Therefore, when designing jobs, try to make them demanding so they stretch the employee and where possible, introduce some variety. Consider rotating people between jobs as this will also help to sustain interest.

2.) Reward In Line With The Market

Employees want to be rewarded in line with their peers both within and outside the company and this is called pay parity. It is not only important to pay according to market rate where possible, but you should also demonstrate to employees that you are paying employees in line with their peers. You can do this by benchmarking your internal salaries against market averages, which enables you to adjust your pay rates so as to keep them in line with market rates. You should review the market averages on an annual basis.

3.) Offer Training and Development

Talented employees will want to constantly develop their skills and they will want to be part of a businesses that actively supports their skill development. Therefore, you should demonstrate a genuine commitment to employee development by giving employees the ability to train. This does not always have to mean expensive external training courses, (although they can be helpful), it can just mean allowing employees a certain amount of time to ‘self-learn skills’. Or it could mean allowing them to work on certain projects outside of their comfort zone – these are known as ‘Stretch Assignments’ are a great personal development tool.

4.) Provide Career Progression Opportunities

Lack of career progression opportunities is one of the chief reasons that employees leave businesses. Small businesses can be especially susceptible to this kind of employee turnover as they do not have the natural career pathways that larger organisations enjoy. Big or small company should have a formal internal recruitment program where all jobs are advertised internally and all qualified employees are invited to apply. This will mean that jobs will not just be handed to ‘favourites’ and employees will feel that there is a sense of opportunity and potential to progress their career.