How to Become an Employer of Choice
Everyone wants to attract the best and brightest employees. After all, your team directly affects your ability to provide excellent customer service and that is essential to business success these days.
If you’re a very small business, you might not be looking for the best and the brightest but the willing and capable. That’s good too.
But either way, you want to attract good, quality employees just like everyone else. In today’s job market, with unemployment hovering around 3.6%, it’s a job hunter’s paradise and you’re likely hard-pressed to find the stars you want.
To further complicate that, those stars are likely already employed. So how do you become the kind of business that people want to work for? How do you get them to knock on your door instead of you having to chase them? Here are some ideas to help make you an employer of choice in your community.
One note of caution: this tip is by no means suggesting you scout for a particular demographic. That can get you into trouble legally through discriminatory hiring practices.
However, there are overarching themes you should be looking for that help you build the type of environment that will contribute to the service you want to provide your customers.
Speaking of that, let’s jump right in to how you can become a highly desired business in your community (even if you’re teeny tiny):
- Be flexible with work hours and/or provide work at home opportunities. It needn’t be full-time just give the flexibility.
- Offer flexible start times. There are some businesses that this does not work for but others can adopt a coordinated window of when people start. Parents really appreciate this perk.
- Have an attractive work facility or public spaces.
- Offer safe, ample parking.
- Make professional development a key component of what you offer. The chamber may provide some very cost-effective options for helping you do this. As a chamber member, your employees can attend their programming.
- Insist that everyone use their vacation time and don’t create such an intense environment that they feel they can’t.
- Market your ideas behind work/life balance.
- Let your personality shine through all of your social media posts, web copy, and business communications.
- Pay a higher wage for the area.
- Schedule samplings and trial times. For instance, host paired tastings for employees after the restaurant closes or host a mini fashion show with paired items your employees put together from the store. It will make them better salespeople when they are suggesting dishes or outfits.
- Celebrate your best employees and help everyone become your best.
- Ask for employee suggestions and listen to them.
- Empower them to do better by the customer.
- Don’t make them feel secondary to the customer. Instead, help them feel like they are pivotal to customer experience and without them, there wouldn’t be customers.
With today’s low unemployment rate, finding quality employees can be a struggle. You will do much better in recruiting and hiring if they notice you and seek you out. As an employer of choice in your community, you will have your pick of future employees and that’s a good spot to be in.
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and WritersWeekly. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and the Event Manager Blog.
Christina is an introverted writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.