While many of us are accustomed to vying for the attention of prospective employers, what we often fail to realise is that a similar war is being waged on the opposite side of the fence. Today’s education-driven economy has provided employers with a wealth of highly qualified and talented individuals, many of whom have a myriad of job options at their fingertips. Human talent acquisition aside, retention also remains a top concern for many companies, who find their top performers being regularly poached.
What then can an employer do to make themselves – and the roles for which they need filling, more attractive to candidates? The list below details some of the top variables that are actively sought after by present-day contributors to the workforce.
Having yet to actually work at the company, the next closest thing a candidate can consider about their potential employer is of course what is already publicly known about them. A propensity to work late hours, gender marginalization, or perhaps rampant unethical practices. Such negative whispers swirl around certain companies, and repels discerning candidates. Naturally, those firms that are able to attract the best candidates are those who are known for meticulous implementation of industry standards, and for having reputable standing amongst their contemporaries and ecosystem partners.
Job hunters are far looking, and a company with a good reputation means that having said company’s name on one’s resume makes future employment easier. Personal pride also plays a factor when catching up with old friends or family members over dinner time conversation and the topic of work is raised. Indeed, in such context, a company’s reputation is absolutely paramount.
It wouldn’t be necessary to even explicitly state this when speaking of factors that influence job prospectors. “They must pay well!”, is the quintessential reaction to any news that one has changed job or made the decision to take one over the other. It is after all, the reason that (most of us at least), haul ourselves off our beds every morning – to put food on the table and a roof over our heads.
There is however, much more to a compensation package than pay alone. Such packages typically entail a suite of other benefits courtesy of the employer. Such arrangements can include; not always comprehensively, but also not limited to, some of the following.
• Benefits: Many companies now offer flexible benefit (flexi-ben) packages, that allocate a fixed monetary amount that employees may spend on a host of things – from personal development to optical care.
• Healthcare and insurance: Competitive insurance schemes offered by certain firms rival even the plans of dedicated insurers.
• Share ownership: Share ownership is no longer solely for senior executives. While yet to become a prevalent practice, those companies who implement this will find themselves significantly more attractive to prospectors who value long term commitment and focus on big-picture betterment of the entity.
• Leave: Annual leave can vary from as little as ten days to the high twenties. Needless to say, such a significant difference can exert substantial influence on a job seeker’s decision.
Away from the black and white of compensation and the like, the culture of the company is also foremost in a potential employee’s mind. Culture encompasses many observable factions of the job, but manifests itself primarily in the following: values, flexibility, and mind-set.
A company with good values would prioritise employee sanity over bottom line targets. It would reward performance fairly and promote social issues such as gender equality and racial representation, while simultaneously remaining meritocratic. If this sounds slightly too utopian, that’s because it is. Still, employers who check more boxes than others do will find themselves attracting more top-tier talent.
Flexibility means that work produced should be valued over the number of hours spent at the desk. This is closely tied to values in that when priorities are set straight and uniformly defined throughout an organisation, other considerations that are less consequential to the grand scheme of things are provisioned more leeway. Employees like this, as it gives them a sense of freedom and ownership.
Lastly, a company’s prevailing mind-set can shape the environment in which an employee works. A progressive mind-set embraces technology more readily, making work more streamlined and productive. A positive mind-set creates a more joyful work environment, where failure is not condemned but celebrated in learning. A practical mind-set sets the tone for purpose driven and meaningful work – key elements that employees seek.
Besides everything else mentioned above, there is yet a host of other factors that employees scrutinise when considering a job.
• Reward: Millennials rate recognition and fulfilment as their top priority when considering a job. The rewards of a job come from intellectual stimulation and a challenging, yet not frustratingly so, job scope.
• Location: No one wants to make a Journey to the West every morning and evening should you be an Eastie. It’s only natural, and hence why many of the most bustling offices are located somewhere more central.
• Office environment: Environment can allude to many things, but here we speak more of the physical working surroundings. Google, Facebook, and some local banks boast hip and modern workspaces that not only create buzz, but have people wanting to work there without ever seeing a job listing.