Opinion

Would working at your firm make it onto the bucket lists of prospective employees?

6 min read

13 November 2017

Tony Gale, HR solutions expert at Access Group, shares his thoughts on how businesses can become a destination employer – a company with the ability to consistently attract and retain the very best talent.

Just like most people have a bucket list of dream destinations they’d like to visit, most people also have that one place in their mind they’d love to work at. But how do you make sure you’re front of mind when it comes to attracting prospective employees?

Achieving destination employer status is increasingly high up in many company’s priorities, not least because attaining such a sought after status brings with it a whole range of benefits.

Such benefits include positive referrals, an increase in staff productivity and of course, ultimately, an increase in profit. However, the road to attaining that status is not always straightforward but there are a few steps you can put in place to give yourself the very best chance of achieving that goal and sealing the best prospective employees.

Technology

With the rise of technology, it’s no wonder that this is a key aspect for retaining and attracting prospective employees. By not fully embracing current technologies, businesses will miss out on the chance to not only recruit new talent but to also engage with and retain their existing workforce.

Although simple, granting prospective employees the ability to apply for a role through their mobile phone could save you from missing out on top quality talent. In an increasingly digitally-savvy world where most people are using their phones multiple times a day, this a small step that really shouldn’t be overlooked.

Furthermore, with cloud-based software now making it even easier for team members to collaborate and make more informed decisions, those that haven’t yet harnessed it have missed a trick that could be hindering their ability to keep and attract talent.

Workplace culture

The importance of a good strong work culture is something that shouldn’t be overlooked. It takes time to foster a strong workplace culture but once cemented, it’s essential that all processes within the business enhance workplace life ensuring it’s the type of place people want to work at.

Incentives can also help this but if employees don’t feel like they’re getting the support they need or are rewarded in other ways, these can seem superficial and empty.

Communication

Do you know what your employees’ goals and concerns are? One thing that sets destination employers apart from their peers, is their understanding of the importance of communication within their team.

This can be done through social media, mentoring sessions, team socials, company emails and surveys but it all boils down to really knowing your staff. Knowing their birthday and their hobbies, for example, not only helps you garner their loyalty but also fosters a strong sense of respect for the managerial team.

Wellbeing and mindfulness

Wellbeing and mindfulness has been the hot topic, not just in business, but it’s practically everywhere you look. As a result, 80 per cent of HR professionals have now listed it as a priority for their department but is it a priority within your business?

Wellbeing and mental health have a strong link with engagement and productivity. Naturally, employees who are stressed, frustrated or anxious will not be able to perform to their best ability.

Workplace stress is a major factor in people giving up on work but this could be avoided with some carefully thought out workplace initiatives. Activities such as yoga and mindfulness sessions for team members have seen a great increase in recent years and when implemented correctly, they are a valuable tool in improving wellbeing and minimising work stress.

This is only a snapshot of the steps that can be put in place to attain destination employer status. However, with 79 per cent of employees naming job satisfaction as second to money as their top motivator for staying within a company, ensuring your prospective employees are happy, fulfilled and satisfied in their role will be the one thing that not only keeps them but helps you attract even more of the best talent.

Flexible working hours and benefits packages are two ways this can be done but in the end, taking positive steps to improve team experiences through HR strategies will be the key.

Although the years of employees spending their entire career at one organisation are long gone, the key to becoming the most sought after employer of choice lies in creating an agile workforce who, through continual support and development, remain excited and engaged for as long as possible.

As a result, it’s up to HR departments and line managers to provide those perfect opportunities, delivered at the right time, so that prospective employees and existing ones can fulfil their ambitions and reach their true potential.

In the end, it’s about making that transition from offering ‘just a job’, to offering the opportunity to work within a strong team that allows employees to develop a valuable and meaningful career.

Tony Gale is HR solutions expert at Access Group

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