Are you an Employer of Choice? Importance and advantages in recruiting

by | Employer Branding, Glossary

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Is your company an employer of choice? If you have heard this question before and could not find an answer, then this article is for you. Companies come and go, industries change, technologies constantly evolve and generational priorities shift. And yet it is usually the same employers who always get the best talent of tomorrow. Google and Tesla are just two of the household names I’m talking about here.

So what exactly characterizes these companies? If we look at them individually, they are quite different in terms of their characteristics and the work they do. Nevertheless, they could all be described as the preferred employers that everyone would like to work for.

Let’s take a closer look at the top employers in this article

So let’s take a closer look at these top companies. What is an employer of choice, what are the benefits of being one and how can you become one so that you have unrivaled access to the best available talent in the market? So how do you become an employer of choice?

What does Employer of Choice mean?

Translated into German, it is actually quite simple and means being a preferred employer. Even if that is enough for some people, a little more explanation is needed.

To put it simply, an employer of choice is a company that, on the whole, applicants really want to work for. Key characteristics of a preferred employer include strong leadership, competitive compensation, engaged employees, meaningful work and an attractive corporate culture.

There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for becoming an employer of choice. Each company’s approach can be very different and yet several approaches can fulfill the criteria for this special award. The overarching theme of becoming an Employer of Choice is to be the best possible employer for the types of employees you want to attract and retain.

Advantages of an Employer of Choice

Being an Employer of Choice brings you many benefits, most of which relate to your recruitment and retention of employees. Here are some of the most important arguments for becoming an Employer of Choice.

No longer having to argue with a high salary

One of the biggest difficulties for companies is competing with other companies in terms of salary. If you are an Employer of Choice, a high salary is no longer the top priority for an applicant.

Although offering competitive salaries is an important feature of preferred employers, strengthening your business in other areas can help you recruit strong talent even if you can’t match your competitors on pay.

Greater employee loyalty

Employees in companies that are favored as employers are committed to their work and feel involved in the success of the company, which leads to loyalty. This sense of loyalty and attachment to the employer means that they are less likely to leave the company than someone who is not satisfied with their job.

Simple recruiting

Another difficulty for HR decision-makers is getting in touch with passive candidates. This group of applicants are among the more attractive candidates because they are more likely to switch to your company.

As an Employer of Choice, you need to spend less time or money to gain a foothold with good applicants. Candidates already know your company as a great place to work, so your reputation will do a lot of the recruiting work for you.

How do you become an Employer of Choice?

Respect your employees and entrust them with tasks

As an Employer of Choice company, you give your employees clear instructions on what you expect from them. This gives employees the security they need to be able to make decisions that meet your expectations.

Employees are treated equally, regardless of their job title or seniority, without giving the impression that anyone is treated preferentially.

Promote a culture of ownership by giving clear and constructive feedback when expectations are not met.

Fair pay for employees

Competitive salaries are one of the most useful and direct tools for attracting top talent. If you pay your employees fairly, they feel more valued, have greater trust in the company and are more committed to their work.

It is important to know that there is a difference between “high” and “fair” when it comes to salaries. The perception of fair pay depends on two main factors.

  1. A wage that corresponds to the market price for the work performed.
  2. A salary that is comparable to that received by other employees at a similar level in the company.

There are various basics that are a must in today’s world. These include a company pension scheme, paid time off, sick leave and, of course, a company pension scheme.

Other things such as flexible working arrangements, leave for family reasons and others can quickly become a future must.

Offer opportunities to grow

Investments in employee development, e.g. in the form of training courses and workshops, contribute to employee retention and the promotion of innovation. But formal programs like these are not the only option. There are other ways you can help your employees grow and thrive in the company.

Offer your employees the opportunity to take part in activities that go beyond their normal area of work, e.g. as speakers at company events, in focus groups or at job interviews. All of these things engage employees on a level other than their primary job role, which increases their loyalty to the company and helps make them an employer of choice.

Be transparent

Today more than ever, employees long for transparency. When employees have a sense of ambiguity – be it about their job security, the company’s direction or their manager’s decisions – they have less trust in their colleagues, have less loyalty to the company and are less motivated to perform.

The solution is to create transparency by informing employees. Emplyoer of Choice Companies openly and frequently share information with their employees. This ranges from the company’s financial performance to the reasons for organizational decisions and the long-term growth strategy. Instead of feeling like they are the last to be informed when it comes to workplace news, they feel like an active, engaged member of the team. This motivates employees to stay with the company.

Be a pioneer, not a follower

Google is often cited as a shining example of an employer of choice. One of the company’s characteristic features is that it is not afraid to go its own way. Even if that means taking a completely different path to everyone else. One example of this is X Development, the so-called “Moonshot Factory” of Google’s parent company Alphabet, which is to focus on radical technologies that will literally change the world.

While not all Employer of Choice companies shoot rockets into space or solve world hunger, what they all have in common is that they fearlessly go their own way, regardless of what the rest of the industry or market is focused on.

Give instead of take

The most committed employees feel connected to their company beyond their daily tasks. Employees feel more connected to their company culture when they have the opportunity to participate in charitable events through their workplace. Give it a try, such events lead to a happier team.

Employers of Choice do not only pursue profit-oriented goals. They contribute to a larger purpose that benefits the community or society as a whole.

Focus on the important things

Basic benefits such as a company pension scheme, paid vacation and sick leave are a matter of course for employers of first choice. Other sought-after benefits such as flexible working hours and paid leave for family members are also quickly becoming a must.

What’s interesting about Employer of Choice is that the list of perks is often unremarkable. Things like an on-site beer fridge or Friday afternoon ping pong tournaments are fun and trendy, but they do little to create real meaning, which is a key feature of Employer of Choice. Rather than limiting themselves to the usual perks, Employers of Choice focus on the benefits that really matter and deliver measurable value to the employees they want to attract.

Google is not the measure of all things

Even though I have always praised Google to the skies, you shouldn’t just copy everything from Google. Not every employer of choice suits every employee.

Google, for example, is a preferred employer due to its good reputation and numerous awards for its corporate culture. However, people who are not comfortable in an environment that emphasizes open communication and a fun, creativity-fostering workplace may be out of place at Google. An employee who values frequent communication with his or her supervisor and a certain degree of control may not feel comfortable in such a flat organization. Other employees, on the other hand, feel comfortable in the Google environment.

Employer of Choice examples

In today’s economic landscape, where talent acquisition and employee retention are key challenges, some companies stand out as outstanding employers. A look at some of these ‘Employers of Choice’ makes it clear which characteristics make them desirable contact points for jobseekers. Trader Joe’s, for example, has made a name for itself with its unique corporate culture, competitive salaries and attractive benefits. Southwest Airlines is known for its strong leadership, employee involvement and attractive corporate culture. Google, on the other hand, is known worldwide for its innovative working environment, meaningful activities and great growth opportunities. Marriott is also known for its leadership, competitive salaries and rewarding work atmosphere. These companies have earned a reputation that extends far beyond the boundaries of their industry. Job seekers want to work in these companies because they not only offer competitive working conditions, but also take the employee experience to a new level.

Employer of Choice Books

I have picked out a few personal book recommendations for you that go through the topic of Employer of Choice in more detail.

Employer of Choice of Generation Y: Challenges and success factors for increasing employer attractiveness

Description: Against the background of demographic change and the resulting shortage of skilled workers, Generation Y (born after 1980) is becoming increasingly important. Julia Ruthus provides a comprehensive typology of Generation Y. It presents their preferences regarding an employer of choice as well as their career-related needs in comparison to other generations. It determines the decision parameters with regard to an ’employer of choice’ of Generation Y and shows the differences to other generations based on the results of an empirical study with 438 people. Source: Amazon.

Attracting the younger generation: becoming the employer of choice for Generation Y with targeted employer branding

Description: A company can only achieve sustainable success if it recognizes the technological, economic, social and ecological challenges of the present and the future in good time and acts accordingly. The importance of a well thought-out and lively strategy for HR management and employer branding is therefore increasing. The difficulty of finding young talent is also a problem. Generation Y is the primary target group on the labor market that needs to be attracted and retained by the company through targeted employer branding measures. This work therefore deals with the priorities and values that characterize Generation Y in the world of work. And under what circumstances an employer therefore appears attractive to the younger generation. It also deals with the development of the resulting employer branding strategy. What companies are doing in practice to be the employer of choice for Generation Y on the labor market. Source: Amazon.

Frequently asked questions

What is an Employer of Choice?

The explanation of Employer of Choice is actually quite simple once you translate it into German. An employer of choice is therefore an employer that employees really want to work for. There are a few characteristics that make up an employer of choice and must be fulfilled for employees to say that they definitely want to work for this company.

What are the most important characteristics of an Employer of Choice?

The key characteristics of an Employer of Choice include strong leadership, competitive compensation, meaningful work, engaged employees and an attractive corporate culture.

How do you become an Employer of Choice?

To become an Employer of Choice, you must fulfill the following conditions:
1. respect your employees and entrust them with tasks.
2. fair pay for employees.
3. offer opportunities for growth in the form of training courses and workshops.
4. be transparent with your employees.
5. be a pioneer, not a follower in what you do.

Who is an Employer of Choice?

There are a large number of attractive employers where very few would say “no” to a job offer. Among the best known are Google, Adidas, Tesla, Allianz and Apple. There are, of course, many others that enjoy “Employer of Choice” status.


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