How to build a positive rep as an employer

Building a good reputation as an employer

Why is it important?

The growing skills shortage in the UK workforce, particularly within the construction industry, has become a significant management concern for many employers. As a result, both small businesses and larger organisations are competing to recruit the best talent from a shrinking talent pool.

Where availability of skilled workers is low, the need to provide work environments which are favourable to employees is more important than ever in order to attract and retain the best staff. The reasons for wanting to attract quality workers are obvious, but broadly speaking, recruiting and retaining top talent saves employers time, energy and resources, generating higher income and saving costs. Low staff retention rates and high staff turnover on the other hand, loose employers’ money.

What are employees looking for?

In addition to the following workplace values, payments and salary are of course a primary concern for any employee. In addition to the financial incentive, here are some stats to demonstrate the importance of employer reputation.

  • 75-80 percent of people prefer to work for a company known for its social responsibility
  • 42 percent of the workforce wants to work for an organisation that has a positive impact on the world (this figure rises to 62 percent for younger workers.)
  • Similar research suggests that building a positive employer brand is one of the most effective ways of ensuring an engaged and productive workforce
  • 59 percent of millennials actively seek employers whose Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) values match their own
  • 86 percent of millennials would consider quitting if their employer’s CSR activities no longer met their expectations

How to build a strong ranking as an employer

1.   Land the best staff

  • Pay a fair salary and pay employees on time
  • Provide compensation and benefits packages such as flexible working conditions, quality training and development
  • Be a high performing employer
  • Make CSR a part of recruitment: be clear and specific about your approach to CSR and how it is applied to ensure positive employment experience

When it comes to communicating authentically about the employee experience, most small businesses and larger companies have a long way to go. This differs depending on the size of the employer, but even as a one-man business, don’t underestimate the benefits of positive first impressions and employer/employee relations. According to staff reports, what employees see on a careers site, on their company’s social channels, or simply what they saw when they interviewed is often inconsistent with what they experience when they joined the company.

2. Retain the best staff

Tangible ways of doing this:

●      Give employees a voice: create opportunities for dialogue with employees and be willing to make reasonable changes in order to ensure your staff’s job satisfaction

●      Let current staff do the talking – as you establish your “great employer to work for” narrative, remember that your first and most important audience isn’t potential job candidates or Joe Bloggs on the street — it’s your current employees

  • Don’t implement exclusionary or discriminatory employment practices such as unfair treatment of employees based on religion, age, ethnicity, gender, disability, skin color, or race
  • Run an active CSR program

You could start with your current staff and get genuine (anonymous if necessary) feedback. This could include questions such as why did they want to work for you? What improvements can be made?

Conceptual approaches to achieving this:

  • Build an employer brand that differentiates your organisation from others competing for the same talent
  • Demonstrate a multi-generational and multi-ethnic approach to work
  • Build a reputation for inclusiveness and respecting professional boundaries both inside and outside of the workplace

Now you know what employees are looking for, how about seeing what employers look for in their grafters?