CASE STUDY

How to Become an Employer of Choice to Get the Best Job Candidates

In the post-COVID world—and our competitive labor market—attracting the right job candidates is more important than ever. After all, employees are looking for much more than a steady paycheck.

Too much noise makes it hard to attract the attention of potential employees. Many candidates are fielding multiple offers, so there’s a shortage of the talent you need. Today, organizations should strive to be an employer of choice to win the best employees who fit your organizational culture and work hard to achieve mutual goals. Having a good reputation is important, otherwise recruiting talent will be more difficult.

What makes an employer of choice different than other agencies and what do you need to do to become one? Here’s what you need to know to be one of the best employers to work for in 2022.

What Is an Employer of Choice?

An employer of choice is an organization for which potential employees want to work because it has an attractive culture, competitive pay and strong leadership. There is no one general solution for becoming an employer of choice as each organization is unique.

But finding solutions to be the best employer should be a priority because it comes with benefits including improved employee retention. And that can save you a lot of money and makes the hiring process easy.

Agencies need to build a recruitment pipeline with a solid digital strategy for the best results in today’s internet-driven world.

Examples of Popular Employers of Choice

Every time you see lists like "Forbes’ America’s Best Employers” or "Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For,” the companies on these lists are employers of choice. Here are a couple of examples.

Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems ranked number one on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2022. Here are a few of the reasons they ranked first place:

  • They prioritize their employees' success at work and at home.
  • Cisco created employee welfare programs during the pandemic that are still prioritized today with benefits like free digital therapy, health and wellness coaching and more.
  • 98% of employees surveyed said that they were proud to say they worked at Cisco.

Hilton Worldwide Holdings

Despite the problems with the travel industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, Hilton is still committed to building a distinct and inclusive workforce and providing unique benefits like:

  • Employees can take advantage of at least 100 discounted nights in hotel rooms at Hilton properties from the first day on.
  • They have expanded remote work options throughout the pandemic.
  • Hilton employees get access to a dedicated counselor in America through Thrive at Hilton.
  • Workers reported that they felt heard and that Hilton leadership is open to having difficult conversations centered around employees’ emotional and mental well-being.

This organization ranked number two on Fortune’s list.

The common theme with employers of choice is that they all put their employees first and provide attractive benefits centered on a better work-life balance, health and wellness.

How Public Sector Organizations Can Become Employers of Choice

Public sector agencies can be the employers of choice with the right strategies. Here are some helpful tips on becoming the best public organization to work for.

  1. Define Your Organization’s Ideal Employee

First, to attract your perfect employee, you need to know who that is. Remember that you can’t and won’t attract everyone. So, knowing who that "ideal employee" is can help you tailor your messaging to them.

Hiring the right candidate from the start allows you to promote leaders for management roles from within and saves you the inconvenience of hiring managers externally. One interesting study by the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School compared the performance of managers hired from within to those hired externally.

It found that those hired externally took two years to reach the performance levels of managers hired internally.

  1. Identify the Benefits Your Ideal Candidates Want

Once you have defined who your perfect employee is, you want to identify what perks would attract them. While you’ll find many potential benefits and perks for your employees, you’ll want to focus on the ones that are most appealing to your brand and workforce.

For example, Hilton’s discounted hotel nights perk for employees matches the organization’s brand and would be attractive to people who want to work for this organization. You also want to look at health, wellness and remote work benefits that would be attractive to job candidates.

  1. Be Transparent and Empower Your Employees

Employees today require transparency. Employees can feel threatened by ambiguity and it can make them feel anxious and distrust colleagues and managers. By being transparent and keeping employees informed, you’re also empowering them because they know exactly what your organization requires from them and perform better.

Recognizing and rewarding them for a good performance when it is deserved and providing constructive criticism when they don’t meet expectations also fosters empowerment.

Key Takeaways

By following these tips, organizations can create a work environment that attracts their ideal employees. First, defining your ideal job candidate allows you to design benefits and perks attractive to them. Being transparent and empowering employees creates a work environment that improves employee retention and helps you meet agency goals.

Know what your competitors are doing. See what’s working for them, which can help you define a strategy for becoming an employer of choice. This approach will help you find and attract the right employees to achieve your organizational goals.

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Jason Litchney

Jason Litchney brings over 15 years of experience and passion in marketing for the public, private and non-profit sectors. Jason is a dedicated leader, national speaker and entrepreneur responsible for founding and managing the growth of multiple organizations recognized on the INC 500 fastest growing companies list. Jason serves as the Marketing and Employment Branding Manager at CPS HR Consulting and helps public agencies brand their organization to attract and retain talent.

About CPS HR Consulting

CPS HR Consulting is a self-supporting public agency providing a full range of integrated HR solutions to government and nonprofit clients across the country.  Our strategic approach to increasing the effectiveness of human resources results in improved organizational performance for our clients.  We have a deep expertise and unmatched perspective in guiding our clients in the areas of organizational strategy, recruitment and selection, classification and compensation, and training and development.