What You Need to Know to Become an Employer of Choice

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Are you finding it difficult to find or keep great employees?  If so, you’re not alone.

The labor market is tight.  Top performers have lots of options when it comes to where they work.  This leaves employers investing more money in recruiting and spending more time reading through stacks of resumes from not-so-qualified people.

The good news is that there is something you can do about it.  By making a commitment and taking the steps to become a highly sought-after place to work in your community, you’ll see an increase in the quality of applicants, and as a result, the quality of people you hire.

Read on to learn where to start.

What You Don’t Know Will Hurt You

Becoming an employer of choice for top candidates requires determining what is working and what isn’t in the current environment.  As you take steps to evolve your culture and what you offer your staff in terms of compensation, benefits, and other programs, you want to know what strengths to capitalize on and maintain and what problem areas need repair.

You may feel like you know the pros and cons of your organization; however, all owners, leaders, and managers have at least some blind spots concealing what they need to know about what drives people away and attracts folks to their organizations.

It’s tempting to hear an anecdote or two and feel that they are representative of the entire organization.  But remember, you’re much more likely to hear the good stuff than the bad stuff.  Even your most trusted team member that has her ear to the ground will sugar-coat the information she feeds back to you.

So how do you get a true picture of what’s going on?

How to Learn What You Don’t Know

The most reliable way to uncover this information is to ask.

Ask your staff what keeps them in the organization and what causes them the most concern.

Ask people who are leaving your organization why they joined the organization, why they stayed, and why they ultimately chose to leave.

Ask candidates you’ve hired as well as those you didn’t what they liked and didn’t like about the hiring process.

This can be done via one-on-one conversations, but often people are hesitant to speak candidly because of a fear of subtle or overt retaliation.  Having a third-party conduct focus groups can be a great way to uncover information, but that can be costly.

One of the simplest and most cost-effective methods of gathering feedback from your employees is through surveys.

Ask Well

Once you decide to conduct a survey, you’ll need to figure out the logistics of what survey tool to use and how frequently to send them out.  But the most important task is to determine what questions to ask.  Here are three considerations when developing questions:

  1. You may want to do a combination of narrow scope surveys and comprehensive surveys. Learn more about this in this prior article, “How to Build an Effective Employee Survey.”
  2. When it comes to surveys, one size does not fit all. Because you’re going to ask questions to several different audiences (current, past, and potential future employees), customize your questions accordingly.
  3. It’s important to create well-designed survey questions so you can avoid typical survey errors such as asking leading questions and asking two questions in one.

Having accurate information about how your organization is perceived is the first step toward creating a workplace that is a place where everyone wants to work.  Start planning your survey project today!

Before you go, join the conversation and share your wisdom by leaving a comment below with your favorite employee or candidate survey question.

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If you know someone who would like this article, please feel free to share it.  This will help us reach more people who can benefit from these ideas or our support.

If there are any topics that you’d like to read more about, please email me directly at jodi@people-mattershr.com.

We’d Love to Help

People Matters supports business owners and leaders in all areas of human resources management including the topic in this article.

HR is what we at People Matters love to do!  We help our clients create great workplaces that engage employees and produce better business results.

If time constraints or expertise prevent you from creating your own survey or if you have another HR need, please give me a call at 517-925-8257 or visit our website at www.people-mattershr.com for more information.

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