Becoming the Employer of Choice

November 20, 2017

At the November Round Table meetings we discussed “Becoming the Employer of Choice.”


Q1: What are the items needed to be an Employer of Choice?

  • Onboarding process and continuous growth plans
  • Continuous evaluation of job tasks for relevance, effectiveness, and technology obsolescence
  • A focus on cultural values fit aligned with candidates
  • Proven development strategy of the managers and leaders in place
  • Extensive training and cross training
  • Ability to look inside at the existing talent and evaluate and recognize them
  • Have current employees give a “testimonial” for the company – Why I work here.
  • Opportunity to be creative, contribute and get new and various assignments
  • Need to identify and articulate the specifics of the job related and culture related benefits
  • Good reputation of company and the employees in the marketplace/industry
  • Vision of the company, Mission, Objectives that are compelling and engaging
  • Demonstrate the competency of the co-workers, competency of company systems/technology
  • Illustrate how the work of the job really matters, i.e. translates to value for customer/society 
  • Demonstrate true company values and the “Values” will be a recruiting attraction/filter for you

Q2: Are these missing? Can you add them?

  • Necessary Steps:  1.) Install the necessary pieces into the company 2.) Create the “Company Story” that explains your value proposition for potential candidates 3.) Sell the Benefits to the employees and all candidates
  • Key Questions: Why do you want to work here? Why should we hire you?

Q3: What is most important: Career Planning or Task Assignments? Why?

  • Define who you really are and want to be. Be truthful, forthright. Walk the talk. Find your passion that is compelling and create your own vision to be an “employee of choice.”  Jobs are now a set of tasks that are constantly changing with better ways, outsourcing, technology shifts – nothing expected as stable/permanent.



  • Employers tend to be too “numbers-based.”
  • Employers tend to have a strong-hand approach to leadership.


  • Emphasis on Relationships:
    • the more you pour into your workers, the more they’ll pour into their work/coworkers/company.
  • Invest in your greatest assets: your people.
  • Focus on Culture:
    1. Need to have an open culture that allows employees to express their opinions freely without fear of termination.
    2. Ensure all teams have strong communication to eliminate distrust and toxic work environment.
  • Meet your employees spiritual needs before you expect them to focus on the physical needs.
  • Be competitive in the marketplace. Strive to win awards – employees want to be a part of a winning team.
  • Foster strong communication within and between teams to eliminate distrust/rumors/bad work environment.
  • “Shoot bullets, not cannons.”
  • Adopt an attitude of Servant Leadership.
  • Be demonstrative in your leadership. Show your employees the type of behavior you want in your company.
  • Establish purpose for employees.


  • Hard to work/listen when you’re hungry (meet their needs).
  • Focus on the broad vision, but get there by shooting bullets, not cannons.
  • Management needs to be unified and in agreement on mission.



  • Know who you are – what’s your value proposition?
  • Stick to one vision & go after that aggressively
    • When you do that really well, people will be drawn to you
  • Career development
  • Show differences & the position that your company is in the marketplace
  • Stepping back to look at things more strategically
  • Balanced scorecard approach
  • Changing culture
  • Knowing your strengths & weaknesses
  • Competitive analysis of us vs. others – benchmark data
  • Practice what you preach with clear alignment
  • How do you determine what could/should be changed & what shouldn’t?
    • Look for patterns of issues/analyze
  • Ask high potentials why they are still working for your company
  • Ask new hires why they come to your company and leaving their previous company
  • What is the environment that they want?
  • Do an internal assessment
  • Look at the HR Strategy
  • Get the “why” – use the mission/vision as the filter to decide if things fit
  • “To be unclear is to be unkind”
  • Career Development
    • Make sure the employee owns it
    • Track it to get to an outcome of learning a specific skill
  • Work life integration – foster that environment & don’t make it rigid
  • BOOK: Results Oriented Work Environment (on a theory that goes against the 8-5 workday & focuses on deliverable results)
  • Have the team support home integration
  • Business sustainability
  • When boundaries are pushed on work/personal balance:
    • Reassess your time/life
    • Block scheduling
    • Scheduling margin in your life
    • “Where there is no margin, there is no mission” 


  • Work life integration (instead of work-life balance)
  • Practice what you preach
  • Set expectations clearly and up front & follow them consistently
  • Expectation w/out communication creates conflict – communicate in whole messages



  • Make it fun.
  • Have parties.
  • Build relationships (lasting/personal).
  • Invest in company culture.
  • Determine what characteristics you’re looking for in an employee/ look for the right fit.
  • Must demonstrate the characteristics you want from an employee. Lead by example.
    • If you want a particular type of employee, you must demonstrate those characteristics.
  • Don’t try to be the employee of choice for everyone.
    • Advertise your company culture in order to narrow the field of applicants.
  • Have strong on-boarding:
    • Be organized, be aware, and be intentional. Do not interview someone when you’re unprepared.
  • Ensure that your applicants/employees have done their homework on the company’s core values.
  • Must enact core values and not simply state them.
  • Be intentional about your culture, people, and the employment process.


  • You can’t be employer of choice for everyone.
  • Be what you’re looking for.