Being an employer of choice means top applicants are eager to work for you, competitors envy your employees, and your most talented workers stay with your company for years and years. Given the competitive job market, combined with the new-normal Baby-Boomer retirements and Millennial job-hopping, this seems like a great item for the top of your New Year’s Resolution list.
So how do you become an employer of choice?
The bad news is that there are a lot of factors outside of your control. Employer-of-Choice drivers include attributes like working in a great location, working for a company with great/prestigious name recognition and/or a number 1 position in their marketplace. But while we can’t all be Google (they get checkmarks for all 3,) the good news is that there are things that you can do to create a culture that elevates your position as an employer of choice. Here are some of them.
Become a Culture of Choice- Create meaningful and personalized employee experiences and rewards. Think about what matters to the people who matter most to your organization. If you don’t know, find out. According the the Jobvite Jobseeker Nation, compensation is more important to established professionals (ages 40-54) than Millennials who greatly value the flexibility to work from home. While you’re at it, start mapping your internal culture fit to the customer experience. Again, if you’re not sure what that is, find out from your Marketing department. When Southwest Airlines committed to a delivering customers to their final destinations with a smile, a joke or a song, they made sure that joke-telling was part of interview process and fun was part of their culture.
Socialize your Talent Brand- Having a clear, articulated talent brand that promotes your culture, employer brand, employer value proposition and talent philosophy (how you manage talent) is only half the job. The other half is TBPR- Talent Branding Public Relations. The average person has 1 to 12 intimate contacts, 150 social contacts and 500 – 1,500 weak ties. That means that an employee population of 100 people could influence 10,000 people on the merits of working for your organization. Make sure that each one of them not only has the information but has contributed their thoughts on what makes your organization their employer of choice. (Don’t wait to read about it on Glass Door.)
Focus On Career Development- A Gallup survey last May revealed that 87% of Millennials said professional development or career growth opportunities were very important to them in a job. The article goes on to say that “their strong desire for development is, perhaps, the greatest differentiator between them and all other generations in the workplace.” In just 3 more years, this high-achieving, highly productive yet untethered generation will make up more than 35% of the US workforce. So becoming an Employer of Choice means making the most of the Millennial’s time, skills and talents.
Become an Authentic Brand- Brands are about trust. Your ability to evoke a singular experience in the hearts and minds of multiple audiences will enable you to truly build awareness, consideration and preference with all your constituents, including employees and potential employees.
The internet has leveled the playing field. Your customers are also vendors, employees and investors. Conversations that used to happen around the water cooler are happening across the internet on sites like Glass Door, Yelp and Amazon. Yet within the organization, the drivers of influence for each of these target groups are often siloes of spin. The myriad of messages are often in competition with one another.
To genuinely be an authentic brand means that you have developed an integrated, values-based messaging approach that is true at the highest level for all audiences and speaks in one voice. An authentic brand represents the ultimate truth and often reshapes how you attract, onboard, engage and retain talent.
Your organization may not be sexy, well-know or a category-killer, but with the highest intentions and a steadfast plan, you can fulfill your goal to achieve Employer of Choice status.
Note: We are compiling a list of Employer Branding Resources. Please add yours here:
I love gadgets so I’m always eager to see what new tech is on display at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. I’ve scoured all the exhibitions and wanted to share the best with you — along with ways you can use them to help your business.
CNET called the wearables on display at CES “connected, invisible, and everywhere.” There was the Fenix 3 from Garmin, the OneTouch from Alcatel (a great deal at about $150), and the SmartWatch from Sony. All feature small but legible interfaces on wrist-sized screens. But they also need to be Bluetooth-connected to an actual phone in your purse or wallet. That’s why I like the GoldKey Secure Communicator, which runs Android all on its own. Your move, Apple.
But there was other wearable tech at CES. Sony debuted the Smart Eyeglass, a competitor to Google Glass, and Misfit exhibited the Swarovski Shine, a fitness wearable in the form of a blue crystal pendant.
How this will affect your business: Mobile marketing and recruiting is only going to increase, since everyone will soon be wearing at least one mobile device. That means responsive web design that can shrink to the size of a screen 1.6 inches square. It also means large buttons and minimal text. The fight for people’s attention will get more intense, but companies that send too many push notifications will likely get deleted. So the search for a good balance will continue.
There was all sorts of tech at CES that promises to make running your business easier. As someone who’s always losing power cords, I was excited by Zolt’s “ultra-small” Laptop Charger Plus, which has ports for charging three devices at once — and comes in eye-catching red or blue to you’ll never forget to grab it after a meeting. I also liked WakaWaka’s solar-powered charger and Lynktec’s Reeljuice, “the world’s first back-up battery for mobile devices to full integrate a fully retractable cord reel design.” Green tech and less cords on the conference table combine for the win.
CES doesn’t really focus on software, but I was impressed by Opera Max, which can shrink photos, videos, and text on any Android phone by up to 50%, giving users more data across apps and browsers, which means saving money on data plans. I’m also keeping my eye on Lima, which won two CES Innovation awards. It unifies all your devices so that you see the same screen on each platform, just in a different size. When you rename a file on your phone, it’s renamed on your tablet and laptop as well. And it all does all this without access to the cloud, which means increased security and privacy for your content.
How this will affect your business: All these innovations are ways for your organization to work smarter, not harder, and to save time and money. These may not be as sexy as futuristic watches or virtual reality, but you’ll notice an increase in efficiency and improved time management, as will your employees — and job candidates when they come to your office. After all, no one wants to work for an company that seems stuck in the past.
VR and drones are on the verge of changing photography and videography. Oculus Rift’s new Crescent Bay headset was a huge hit at CES, showcasing better optics, a friendlier fit, and 360-degree audio which made you feel even more immersed in the scenery. I love it, but the company still has no release date for a consumer version.
Drones were also immensely popular at the show. To me, the best (and cutest) was the Zano.Fresh, which is about the size of your hand, can be controlled by your smartphone, and shoots HD video.
How this will affect your business: I always recommend that employers show off their location and workplace to job-seekers, and these new technologies take that to the next level. Soon candidates will be able to virtually walk around your entire building, “sit” in the conference home, “eat” in the breakroom, and “see” the view from the CEO’s office. Drones will let you take unobtrusive video of your work, such as constructing a building, or your volunteer events, like running a 5K. Giving top talent a memorable experience will become an important differentiator for recruiters in the very near future.
Jody Ordioni is President of Brandemix.
In what might be an ideal situation for some employers, Best Buy has unveiled the perfect employee to Mall of America shoppers. He knows what to say, he shows up for work on time and doesn’t even need a lunch break.
For lack of a better name, I’ll call him Buzz.
Not everyone is as impressed as I am. Some comments from the advertising community:
“It’s bad because who wants a holographic projection talking to you and you walk through the mall. It’s good because all you have to do is walk to the side of it and it disappears.”
“It’s only a matter of time now until Terminator-like robots patrol our nation’s food courts, gesturing menacingly with their whirring appendages, their fixed gaze wordlessly urging you to check out the new Sears bathmat sale at the price of your life.”
“Creepy. I would punch this thing if he started following me.”
But for BRANDEMiX, we see the potential in delivering rote material in an exciting way, using the latest in digital technology.