Boost Retention by Becoming an Employer of ChoiceAre you an employer of choice?

If you look at the statistics, your chances are not good.

In a recent Gallup poll, less than half—47 percent—of American employees reported complete satisfaction with their jobs.

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 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?


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 Become and Employer of Choice?

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, make sure they know this: Having more engaged employees leads to higher retention, lower hiring expenses, greater productivity. The biggest benefit? Ordioni says being an employer of choice also leads to 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?

Think about every position at your company.

What can you do to enhance the requirements of the job, or to add a level of interest and responsibility? Be sure you find ways to do this for all positions, no matter how low on the totem pole the position may be.

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 and get regular and fair performance evaluations are more satisfied. Be sure to also offer your team members the ability to expand their skill set, and they'll be less tempted to seek employment elsewhere.

Social Responsibility

Employees want to feel that, in addition to making a living, they are “doing good.” If there's no sense of purpose, jobs can be drudgery.

Look for ways to align with a charitable cause and engage in fundraising activities.

Be sure to get the team on board to help select the causes they find important, so they'll be excited about and energized by giving back.

Striving 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, according to Ordioni, “acknowledging some difficult truths and making internal changes.”

The payoff—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?