An Employer Of Choice - These Are The 10 Commandments That Set The Great Apart

Within our current economic outlook, there are those companies, including Staffing Companies, which have forgotten what it means to be an employer of choice.  These days, some managers act as though the employee is a widget, a piece of machinery, whose "intellectual property" is a company asset, and whose very existence is to drive the profit.  Fair enough.  But as the recent economic news suggests - take for instance the following statistics, you will see just how much change has taken place in today's market:

  • The Dow, Nasdaq, and SP 500 are now at their highest levels since the recession began.
  • Non Farm Payrolls Grew by 227,000, and unemployment is now down to 8.3% per Bureau of Labor Statistics Feb 2012 numbers.
  • Private Sector Employment which includes business services grew by 233,000 in Feb 2012.
  • Of the 8.8 million jobs lost between Jan 2008-Feb 2010 - 40% have since been recovered - non farm payroll jobs of 3.5 million have been added back.
  • February's gains showed noticeable growth in temporary help services. 

-Source Bureau Of Labor Statistics


Add this news from the Associated Press:

  • (AP) — A private research group says that consumer confidence in February rose dramatically from last month to the highest level since a year ago when the U.S. economy's outlook started to look brighter before souring again.

    The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index now stands at 70.8, up from a revised 61.5 in January, helped by consumers' improving assessment of the job market. Analysts had expected a reading of 63. The February reading marks the highest level since February 2011 when it was 72.0.

    The index, which is closely watched because consumer confidence makes up the majority of U.S. economic activity, is still far below the 90 that indicates a healthy economy. But it's closer to levels that indicate a steady economy than not. The index has risen slowly since hitting an all-time low of 25.3 in February of 2009. And in the past 12 months, it's jumped from the high 60s to the low 40s amid continued worries about the health of the U.S. economy.


Now, what do these statistics show us and teach us, that employer branding, that means the candidate/employee experience, and the employer value proposition, and the employee value proposition are now growing in importance, relevance and determine the ability of a company to attract key talent.  If your employee value proposition is shallow, is based on convenience, or for that matter has no engagement at it's core - well let's just say that key talent you so richly crave will definitely go elsewhere.  Soon to be gone are the days where managers can cherry pick the best talent from recently laid off workers, or ride the wave of convenience to find several hundred applicants begging for your beck and call.  Switch the bellweather to the employee's market trending that is about to take place, factor in baby boomer retirement and the experienced consultant who comes out of retirement to supplement.  Changing trends dictate not only a labor shortage, but a massive moment where key talent will be needed. 


The power of employee engagement, of being an "Employer Of Choice", even being on the Fortune 100 Best Companies To Work For List, or even in Training Magazine's Top 50 Training Companies, or some similar accolades given by important trend setters, ahh now we have reached the ultimate crossroads, and landscape where no longer can an employee be treated as a widget, a piece of capital, or some kind of balance sheet debit or credit item.  Gone are the days of lackluster treatment that got you by in the recession, or minimal investment on staff.


We stand at a critical juncture for all employers in the US.  What will they do to create the value proposition that keeps "brain drain" or critical Subject Matter Experts from going to the competitor?  The War For Talent can be summed up in a "this isn't rocket science", "employees are people too", mentality.  I suggest - oh gasp - that employee treatment, and candidate experience are now more critical at this stage than ever before.  One must use as the military calls it - the "Force Multiplier Affect" - employee engagement, employee referrels, employee networks, a corporate culture that attracts the best and the brightest, managers who actually take the time to help set goals with employees, review those goals, and not merely jab at the "Performance Management" conundrum, but readily engage Talent Management, Training, Onboarding, Staffing, Benefits, Compensation, every aspect of the employee and work experience to create a culture that is engaging, thought provoking, and stimulates a loyalty that moves folks to great outcomes.  That my friends is the strategic Strength that every company longs for - if not paying lipservice, but inwardly knowing it.  It's an instinct after all.  The best companies on the Fortune 500, and the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For are not there by accident, they just didn't fall there.  They had an employee engagement pattern, philosophy and outcomes that nailed the golden and silver bullets of retention right on the head. 

What Follows Are 10 Commandments Not For The Faint of Heart to Engage Your Workforce to Optimal Results:


  1. Thou shalt not refer to any employee or potential candidate as capital, asset, or anything other than Human.
  2. Thou shalt provide a meaningful Training/Coaching/Performance Management Philosophy that rewards employees for growing key skills and supports employee growth.
  3. Thou shalt pay thy employees a Fair Market Wage, or Leading Market Wage that enables said employee to have no worries about income but instead rewards employees with Pay For Performance Outcomes.
  4. Thou shalt provide a job whereby the employee has an internal Career Path that Leads to intangible benefits - awards, recognition, satisfaction, engagement, growth potential, a strong work ethic, and a place that invigorates both mind and soul.
  5. Thou shalt provide a benefits plan that covers the basics.
  6. Thou shalt provide a realistic job preview and engage the candidate with a professional effort at screening and not a happenstance, rude, vacant contact, no updates to close the loop type of mentality.
  7. Thou shalt create a reliable succession plan whereby internal employees who show promise are promoted from within, and not outside candidates promoted from without - for such a thing will cause thy employee to promote themselves from "without". 
  8. Thou shalt remain firm in the training of managers in thier interviewing skills - they shall not discriminate, they will write effective job descriptions that trully measure the important facts of the job, they shalt not spurn the vital job description compliance factors - FLSA, State Wages, ADA considerations, employee engagement is about knowledge.
  9. Thou shalt have an ongoing staffing strategy that enables candidates to know your brand and your presence.  As your company gains in strategic success, so to wilt thou find the needle in the proverbial haystack.  Thou shalt provide a flexible working arrangement for certain jobs - job sharing, telecommuting, or offer some variation.
  10. Finally, thou shalt be the type of employer that puts ethics before the bottom line - treat everyone with the golden rule in mind, and make business decisions that are fair, equitable, and thou shalt document every decision with grace and conviction - for thy documentation can keep thee out of court.

These 10 commandments are one part of the employee engagement puzzle and include some other factors that keep employees working with you for years to come.  As the employment market changes, so too will the importance of the employer value proposition.  While you have the right to expect an employee value proposition - your employer value proposition will be a vital strategic component when the economy gains full steam ahead.  And candidates in short supply will have the pick of their choice employer.  That's one area every company should want to be part of.  Employee Engagement is key, and the treatment of employees central to staffing success.  All points of the HR map contribute to the staffing equation.




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