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Are You Considered an ‘Employer of Choice’?

To be an employer of choice means that your organisation is considered an attractive and positive place to work – a place to work because you want to, not because you have to pay the bills.

But being seen as an employer of choice is much more than just a marketing campaign to boost the number of CVs you receive; becoming an employer of choice involves adjusting your mindset to become a company of the future, and is a vital element of attracting top talent in an age where recruitment is more competitive than ever.

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In today’s knowledge economy, employees are your company’s biggest asset – and the new wave of young professionals are looking for something different in their employers than previous generations. According to a 2013 report by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, “the relationship between individuals and organizations is changing – the paternalistic model of an organization looking after an employee financially in return for work is not the model that young people look for today”.

It’s been clear for a long time that financial incentives and the promise of a promotion is no longer enough to attract the highest quality of talent to your company – and as ‘quality of hire’ remains a key performance metric for recruiters going into 2016, modern businesses need to begin preparing their strategy for connecting more deeply with candidates and making themselves more appealing.

So if a good salary and impressive job title is no longer enough – then what are the young people of today looking for from their career?

According to Harvard Business Review (HBR), if companies were to ask the younger generations what they can do to get them excited about working for them, the answer would involve that they should start creating more value in the world.

A key concept that is part of being an employer of choice is instead of focusing on profit, thinking about how you can solve challenges in your community and society in general – this is called being a ‘social value creator’. A social value company “embraces the idea of innovation focused on solving problems that confront the community” and creates a “new sustainable shared value” in their products and services, giving them a competitive edge for customers and drawing in like-minded candidates.

An example of this would be Ford and Toyota – unlikely allies considering that they are direct competitors, but they have history of working together on hybrid fuel systems, showing their mission goes beyond one-upping each other and instead looks towards a better, greener future.

Graduates and young people are looking for organizations and leaders that share their values and ethics, so communicating what your company believes in will be crucial for attracting talented people who believe in the same things.

A beautiful student is holding a black folder with flying out letters from the folder. Drawn graduation hat above the lady's head. Dark background.


What else makes you an employer of choice?

Harvard Business Review’s study found the following to be the top 7 criteria of an employer of choice:

  1. Building trust and empowerment for individuals and teams across the whole organisation
  2. Communicating with your employees with honesty, transparency and fairness at all times
  3. A culture that breeds passionate and engaging leaders
  4. Ensuring employees can see clear career paths and opportunities for advancement
  5. There’s clarity of vision of your corporate goals and mission
  6. Availability of strong training and development programs
  7. A flexible attitude to working conditions and a healthy work/life balance


What action can you take to become an employer of choice?

There’s no easy answer or clear formula to making your company an employer of choice for the future – it involves a huge amount of self-awareness and analysis, understanding of your company’s purpose and clearly expressing that in everything you do.

Some actions that HBR found were key to this transformation are:

  • Identifying a long term social value and building it into your business strategy
  • During product development, focus on problems you can solve rather than the products themselves
  • Connect your work to social value, and communicate this clearly to top talent
  • Restructure the workplace to reflect a more flexible and autonomous culture


Looking at bringing on new Top Talent? Don’t know where to start? Then download our FREE Ultimate Guide to Graduate Recruitment

Gradvert work with companies across the UK to attract, recruit and retain top talent, specialising in the transport and logistics sector. To find out more about the graduate recruitment services we provide, call us on 0203 693 7380 or email

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