Attracting and retaining the best talent in today’s environment depends more and more on an employer’s ability to answer the question, “What’s in it for me?” – both for candidates as well as current employees. Today’s workforce is more fluid than ever before. Employees are moving from job to job more frequently; new hires are no longer planning on staying at a company for the rest of their career. These shifting professional priorities and trends are exacerbated by the increasing talent shortage, and companies are facing growing pressure to deliver an engaging experience for employees throughout the entire lifecycle, from candidates to alumni.

In last week’s #SmartTalkHR webinar, George Blomgren, Culture Strategy Director of The Good Jobs, joined Lindsay Witcher, Director of Practice Strategy of RiseSmart, to tackle the subject of employee engagement and how organizations can turn company culture into a differentiator that will attract the best candidates and influence employees to stay with a company longer in today’s dynamic workplace.

How do you attract the best talent?

According to recent research by The Good Jobs, 97 percent of surveyed individuals state that company culture is as important or more important than compensation. This is a vital statistic to factor into your recruiting strategy. Do candidates understand your organization’s culture? Are you explaining to candidates why they should work for you?

As marketing supports sales, so employer branding (or your reputation as an employer) should support your organization’s recruiting efforts, George Blomgren suggests. Job seekers today are most likely doing research on a company before even applying to a job. What they learn about your company in their research efforts – on your website, on job boards, via social media, etc. – can determine whether or not they’re even willing to consider you as an employer.

As Blomgren explains, a majority of employers see recruitment as a way to filter out the weaker candidates, while they should actually be more concerned with attracting the stronger ones. Creating and communicating your “employer value proposition” will go a long way in helping your recruiting efforts. Most job seekers want to work for companies whose culture aligns with the things that matter to them. Is your organization helping potential applicants understand your company’s culture?

How do you keep employees engaged?

Attracting the best talent is an important priority for any company, but it’s only the first step in the employee engagement lifecycle. Once you have new talent, how do you make sure they stay?

RiseSmart’s Lindsay Witcher recommends to HR departments five ways to help build an effective, positive company culture:

  1. Build a culture of empowerment and transparency: While it might not seem like the most intuitive notion, research shows that greater autonomy leads to better engagement. Are you empowering your employees to be self-sufficient?
  2. Facilitate mobility: Make it easy for employees to learn, develop their skills and move up or around the organization.
  3. Communicate authentically: Establish channels for two-way communication where employees can ask questions and receive information about company goings-on.
  4. Prioritize redeployment: Redeployment saves companies money through lower recruiting and training costs and has a positive impact on company morale.
  5. Provide transition assistance: Plan ahead for the possibility of restructuring or workforce reduction. Supporting your employees through layoffs will have a positive impression on those leaving and those staying with your company.

Companies are competing for the best talent in a shrinking applicant pool. Ensuring employee engagement is one of the best business decisions your company can make to achieve a competitive advantage. Employer branding and employee engagement should be top priority for any HR department, and the above-mentioned strategies are only scratching the surface.

Don’t miss out on learning more about designing an employer brand and best practices for employee engagement – watch the full #SmartTalkHR webinar replay now: “How to Fix Employee Engagement: Turn Company Culture into a Competitive Advantage"

21 May 2015

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