5 Ways To Become an Employer of Choice

What is an employer of choice? Companies that want to attract and retain top-tier talent need to do more than just increase salaries and hope for the best. In this article, we’ll discuss five things to focus on if you want to become an employer of choice — plus the benefits of being one.  

Key Facts:

  • An employer of choice is an organisation that people want to work for because it offers competitive benefits, a positive work environment and inspiring leadership. 

  • Becoming an employer of choice isn’t just about paying more — it’s about rethinking every aspect of the employee experience, from benefits to culture to learning and development opportunities.

  • If you succeed in becoming an employer of choice, you’ll be able to attract and retain high-quality talent, save on recruitment costs and outperform your competitors.

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What Is an Employer of Choice? 

An employer of choice is an organisation whose culture, work environment, benefits and leadership strategies are attractive to candidates and current employees. If you want to be an employer of choice, talent needs to be naturally attracted to what you have to offer. 

Put simply, employers of choice are top employers. It means they have a better chance of attracting the best talent — and retaining them for longer. For teams, this helps reduce recruitment costs, while resulting in a happier, healthier and more productive workforce. 

Becoming an employer of choice doesn’t happen by accident. To achieve it, you need to work on your employer value proposition (EVP). Essentially, you need to give potential employees a good reason to choose your organisation over every other option. 

Want to Become an Employer of Choice? Try These 5 Things

Want to become an employer of choice and win the best candidates? Here are a few key areas to focus on.  

1. Develop a Strong Employer Brand 

Your employer brand is the way that current and potential employers see your organisation. And taking the time to build a strong employer brand helps you show your current and future employees what you stand for, and firmly position yourself as an employer of choice. You can get started by sharing employee success stories on your social media and company blog. This gives potential applicants a peek behind the curtain, showing them what it’s really like to work for you. 

It’s also a good idea to encourage your employees to share their thoughts about the things you’re doing well on candidate/employee review sites like Glassdoor and Indeed. And even something as simple as reworking your job ads to reflect your organisation’s personality can have a big impact on how you’re viewed. 

2. Foster a Positive Work Environment

A positive work environment is the key to a happy, productive workforce. After all, anyone who has ever worked in a cramped, run-down office with no natural light will know how much your surroundings can impact your mood. 

Be sure to make your employees’ workspaces as comfortable, functional and pleasant as possible — including for people who work remotely. For those employees, you might consider providing a budget to help with the cost of things like chairs, desks and office equipment to ensure they’re as comfortable at home as in the office. 

3. Offer Competitive Compensation and Benefits

While becoming an employer of choice is about more than just money, you do need to make sure the salaries you pay your employees are competitive. This tells employees that you respect and value them and understand what they’re worth. 

You should also think carefully about any employee benefits you want to offer. These can be a valuable addition to your EVP, but you do need to make sure you’re offering the right benefits for your employees. 

And if you’re not sure? Ask! Sending employees a short survey asking which of your current benefits they most appreciate (and what they’d prefer to see instead) can help you optimise your programme. 

4. Provide Opportunities for Growth and Development

If you’re not providing opportunities for employees to develop their skills and advance in their careers, they will eventually outgrow their positions and move on. Put another way, providing the right development opportunities can help you to retain your employees for longer — and build a more skilled, experienced workforce. 

Plus, getting a reputation as an organisation that supports its employees’ development can only help your employer brand. Potential employees will see that you care about your employees and want to see them succeed — which can give you an edge over competitors when it comes to landing top talent

5. Create a Culture of Open Feedback 

If you’ve ever felt like you’re not being listened to at work, you’ll know how frustrating it can be for employees. One of the most important factors in becoming an organisation that people truly want to work for is developing a culture of trust, transparency and listening. 

Providing feedback opportunities to employees, such as through town hall meetings or regular polls and pulse surveys, shows them that you value their opinions and see them as more than just a number on a spreadsheet.  

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What Are the Benefits of Becoming an Employer of Choice? 

Here are a few of the benefits that your organisation might see if you succeed in becoming an employer of choice. 

Builds a Positive Brand (and Boosts Your Bottom Line) 

These days, consumers care about more than just the products you make or the services you provide. In fact, a 2021 survey found that 61% of customers are more likely to shop with a company that treats its employees well. Developing a reputation as an employer of choice can help you to gain new customers and retain the loyalty of those you already have.  

Helps You Win Top Talent (and Retain Them for Longer)

Taking time to work on your EVP could help you to win top quality candidates from your competitors. And, since being an employer of choice means creating a happy, healthy and positive workplace that supports its employees, this can also help you to retain those employees for longer. 

Reduces Spending on Recruitment, Onboarding and Training 

Becoming an employer of choice can help you reduce the number of new hires you need to make by increasing employee retention. It can also help you reduce your cost per hire (CPH), because a big part of a recruiter’s job is done for them when you have a reputation as a great place to work. 

They’ll have to spend less time convincing candidates of your credentials because your employer brand will have reached them ahead of time. Plus, you’ll also waste less time interviewing and assessing candidates who end up pulling out of the process, because you’ve already given them a clear idea of what working for you would be like. 

Creates a Happier, More Productive Workforce

When employees are respected, valued, listened to and cared for, they’re more likely to do their best work. That means that improving the employee experience and becoming an employer of choice isn’t just a nice thing to do for your employees. It can also help you get the most out of your workforce (and boost your bottom line too).

Helps You Develop a Self-Sustainable Positive Work Culture

Developing a strong culture is key to becoming an employer of choice. But attaining this status can also help you to maintain that positive culture once you’ve built it. Employees who join your organisation and find that working for you matches up to (or even exceeds) their expectations are more likely to get on board with your culture and promote it to other new starters. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming an Employer of Choice

Here are the answers to a few FAQs about becoming an employer of choice. 

What Is an Employer of Choice? 

An employer of choice is an organisation that people want to work for above other companies because of its positive culture, values, benefits and work environment. Becoming an employer of choice can help you to land the best candidates, and retain them for longer.

How Can You Promote Your Company As an Employer of Choice? 

You can promote your company as an employer of choice through your social media channels, hiring page and company profiles on sites like Indeed and Glassdoor. For best results, try having employees put together their own content, like images, blog posts and videos, that show potential candidates what it’s like to work for you.

What Are the Main Characteristics of an Employer of Choice? 

Some of the main characteristics of an employer of choice are: 

  • Competitive salaries and benefits

  • A positive, supportive culture

  • A pleasant work environment

  • Training and development opportunities

  • Opportunities to provide feedback 

  • A culture of trust and transparency

HR’s Role In Helping Your Organisation Become an Employer of Choice

HR sits at the heart of most organisations, and has regular contact with key stakeholders across the business. They’re often heavily involved in the development and roll-out of benefits programmes, and have a keen understanding of the unseen, unspoken aspects of a company’s culture. 

All of this means that they’re in the perfect position to help an organisation hone and improve its EVP. But they can only do this if they’re not tied up with repetitive, time-consuming processes like running payroll, manually tracking absences and managing employee documentation. 

A modern HRIS system like Personio can take these tasks and more off your HR team’s hands, so they have the time they need to focus on strategic initiatives like building your company’s reputation as an employer of choice. 

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