Boost Retention by Becoming an Employer of ChoiceAccording to a Gallup poll, less than half (47 percent) of American employees reported complete satisfaction with their jobs. Another study reports 21 percent of employees had submitted applications to another job in the past six months.

If one of your business objectives is maintaining a high degree of employee retention—and why wouldn’t this be one of your goals?—it’s time to do everything you can to become (or stay) an employer of choice.

According to Jodi Ordioni, president of BRANDEMiX and a contributor to, being an employer of choice means:

  • Candidates are interested in working for you.
  • Your business receives unsolicited resumes from eager applicants.
  • Your most talented workers stay with you.

So how do you make this happen? Ordioni suggests you answer these key questions.

Who are the people you want to run your company? 

What type of employees are you looking for? Go-getters? Tech wizards? People who work for the competition?

“Create a vision for your workforce and strive to bring it to life,” Ordioni says.

What are your preferred employees looking for? 

According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, candidates seek the following, in this order: (1) opportunities for personal growth (2) job security (3) friendly co-workers. (Notice “High starting salary” didn’t make the top-three cut.)

Surveys like these are helpful, Ordioni says, but you’ll get the best information by querying your employees and candidates (particularly those who turn you down). What drew them to your organization? What sets you apart, and what’s still lacking? “Accept the answers without judgement,” she writes. “You can’t improve unless you acknowledge that you’re not perfect.”

What will you do to attract and keep your ideal employees?

Finding the answer to this question might entail making some large-scale changes within your organization. If you encounter resistance to making such changes among your key executives, here’s your answer: Having more engaged employees leads to higher retention, lower hiring expenses, greater productivity , and Oridion says “eventually greater profits.”

Here are the most widely recognized attributes linked to being an employer of choice. How does your own business stack up?

Attributes Linked to Being Employer of Choice

Interesting Work

“Most workers want to be stimulated, challenged, or inspired by their work,” she says. Do your positions require too much (or too little) of your workforce?

Opportunities for Advancement

“If you want workers to stay with you for their entire careers, you have to give them a career.” Employees who see a clear path to promotion, regular and fair performance evaluations,  as well as the ability to expand their skill set, are less tempted to seek employment elsewhere.

Social Responsibility

Employees want to feel that, in addition to making a living, they are “doing good.” Look for ways to respect the environment, or align with a charitable cause and engage in fundraising activities.

Wanting to become an employer of choice involves making an objective assessment of your current workforce, and deciding what you want it to become. It also means “acknowledging some difficult truths and making internal changes.” The pay-off—having great employees who do their best work to help the company grow—is well worth it.

What are you doing to become an employer of choice?