employer of choice, employment awards

What makes you an ‘employer of choice’?

This June, Australia’s ‘Employer of Choice’ will be crowned at the 2016 Australian Business Awards. According to the Award criteria, the Employer of Choice should be a company with practices showing ‘effective employee recruitment, engagement and retention’. 

But we don’t think you need to be recognised by a national body to be an ‘employer of choice’. Instead, both staff and potential recruits will see you as an employer of choice if you can clearly demonstrate three key things:

So, how exactly do you do this?

Create a recognisable identity

Be clear about your company values and culture. If you understand what’s important to your company, you’ll naturally attract employees with similar values – and they’ll stay with you longer.

Spending time articulating company values might sound indulgent, but if you have any doubts, ask someone from a business that’s ever had a ‘culture problem’ – they’ll tell you how important this really is.  

Give  every candidate a positive experience

Whenever you recruit, make sure all candidates have a positive experience, regardless of whether you end up hiring them. By treating candidates with respect and professionalism at every stage –  from introductions at careers fairs to rejection emails – you’ll be generating positive publicity about the way you do business.

It only takes one negative comment to tarnish a business reputation. But, at the same time, positive comments will keep working for you long after interviews are over.

Offer your staff rewards and opportunities

Both candidates and employees look for rewards and opportunities and they don’t have to be large-scale or expensive to have an impact. People often remember and talk about the simple things like free coffees for a week, a gym membership or team lunches to recognise those who’ve gone above and beyond.

Similarly, it’s important to give every employee the chance to be involved with activities that will strengthen the company. For instance, 2014 Employer of Choice winner, Fitness First, offers regular forums for staff feedback and 2015 winner, The Coffee Club, involved its staff in creating their TV commercials.

A smaller business could do something similar by asking staff to contribute ideas on promotional giveaways, or getting employees involved in planning annual events or charity fundraisers.

Create a community

Ultimately, becoming an employer of choice is about creating a community, not just a workplace. After all, the best employees want to feel passionate and engaged with what they do every day. By creating a workplace that’s inclusive and supportive, you’ll give your staff a sense of belonging. And nothing will be better for attracting and retaining the right people in the long term.

Just because you run a small business doesn’t mean you can’t be an unofficial ‘Employer of Choice’. If you’d like specific advice on how to put these strategies in place at your company, Catalina can help. Get in touch with our team today.