Attracting Top Talent: How to Become an Employer of Choice

Samantha Erkkila, Digital Media Specialist

April 24, 2023

By Ashley Drewes, SHRM-CP, Human Resources Director at PRO Resources and an EFund Expert

The employment market is strong: with a national unemployment rate of 3.6%, many jobseekers can find a position of their choosing—and employers are facing more competition than ever to recruit top talent.

However, regardless of your organization's industry, strengthening your position as an appealing employer can help you reach new prospects, secure more suitable candidates, and even reduce employee turnover. If you want to attract and retain employees that are the right fit for your company, start prioritizing these seven objectives to become an employer of choice in the months ahead.

1. Develop a Strong Employer Brand

Sellers across every niche work hard to develop a distinctive brand that appeals to their target market. As an business owner and employer, you should do the same thing.

Strategically advertise your unique brand as an employer. Do you offer secure benefits? Is work-life balance and a flexible work schedule something your employees value—and something that you enable? Identify your own “unique selling proposition” as a potential employer and make sure your reputation aligns with it.

Start with these four actions:

  • Create content explaining your company culture, values, and mission statement.
  • Widely disperse this content, so it's easy for ideal candidates to find.
  • Identify and publicize what makes you different from competing employers (especially by focusing on your positives, not others' negatives).
  • Demonstrate what your company and brand are doing to make a difference in innovations, company culture, or ethics.

2. Create Employee Engagement with Positive Company Culture

The right culture makes all the difference in retaining employees and finding new ones. Compared to companies with a poorly aligned culture, organizations that focus on teamwork, inclusivity, and community building can see an increase of 72% in engagement. But for this aspect to work, the culture has to be authentic and continuously maintained. Seek feedback from current employees, create a solid work-life balance, and make sure every level of management is on board with teamwork-based initiatives.

3. Offer Competitive Salary and Quality Benefits 

Though, culture isn't everything— potential employees are looking for excellent salaries and benefits, especially if they're considering new opportunities while still employed. Stay competitive by researching your industry's current average compensation packages for each position, and be sure to offer above-average packages. This applies to all areas of compensation, including health insurance, retirement benefits, and bonuses, not just wages or salary. Adopting an approach like this can help you secure more competitive packages.

4. Emphasize Career Development Opportunities 

Invest in your employees with more than compensation packages. Also, offer them advancement opportunities, training, and career development resources. This demonstrates to prospective employees that your organization is invested in their long-term future. Along the way, it fills your organization with talented, well-trained, committed individuals thriving in their chosen career fields. 

5. Use Social Media and Employer Review Sites

Your employer brand won't advertise itself (though word of mouth matters just as much for the recruitment process as it does for sales). Your organization has to actively promote itself and monitor mentions online. Develop a practice of posting on social media platforms, especially LinkedIn. Also, create a detailed and regularly updated profile on employer online review sites like Glassdoor. Responding to positive and negative reviews with supportive, transparent statements goes a long way to developing your reputation.

6. Partner with Universities and Community Organizations

If there are opportunities in your organization for interns or entry-level employees, you can partner with local universities, junior colleges, and trade schools to find prospective candidates. Partnering with these institutions can help get your employer brand in front of new professionals before they enter the job market. It can also help college students identify key skills and areas of study they should focus on to thrive in the industry.

Some ways to do this include:

  • Hosting or sponsoring career fairs
  • Having representatives guest lecture in business or industry classes
  • Publicize internship programs at the campuses

7. Implement Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives 

Today, organizations thrive when they focus on stakeholders, not just shareholders. Key ways to do this include focusing on diversity and inclusion initiatives, accessibility, and ethics. Qualified candidates often want to work in organizations that create social policies and actively invest in equity.

Your organization can demonstrate this (and authentically participate in this mission) by:

  • Developing mentorship programs
  • Providing ongoing bias training
  • Creating transparent methods of feedback and employee input to provide inclusion

Turn to PRO Resources to Strengthen Your Employer Reputation 

Becoming an employer of choice can help you find the right employees for your company's long-term growth and success, but it can be overwhelming. PRO Resources is here to help you implement the above strategies and strengthen your brand as an employer. Schedule a conversation and learn more. 

About the Authors

Christina and Ashley are part of the EFund Expert Network, which means they are trusted by EFund as local experts when it comes to small business. As a professional employer organization (PEO), PRO Resources “provides a service where an employer can outsource employee management tasks, such as employee benefits, payroll, workers' compensation, risk/safety management, training and development, thus becoming an employer of record for tax purposes and insurance purposes.” PRO Resources takes what can be a challenging process and makes it more efficient and successful for everyone involved. To learn more schedule a free conversation with Christina today.

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