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Why would I want to work for you?

by | Aug 14, 2022 | C1: Commitment, C2: Capability, C3: Competency, C4: Culture, Employee Engagement, EVP, Human Resources

great resignation

We are hearing a lot of business owners asking the question: “Where can I find the people I need for my business?”

Attracting and retaining the people we need is one of the greatest challenges that we have in business today.

The pandemic has had dramatic effects on the labour market in a number of ways:

  • Closed borders have meant that overseas students, backpackers and other migrant workers have not been here
  • Industries such as hospitality and tourism are ones that were hard hit and workers who had been stood down went looking for more secure work, found it and aren’t going back
  • Others which were under the pump like our essential services and frontline workers were stretched to breaking point and many have left to find less stressful work
  • People have moved to regional areas or interstate to get out of lockdown areas and to improve life balance
  • With work from home orders giving people the opportunity to do that, many have found that they like that and they want to keep doing it
  • Conversely, there are some who don’t want to work from home but would prefer to return to the office and finally
  • The pandemic has caused people to rethink what is important to them in life and where work fits in their lives and that impacts on their job choices.

As a result of all of these factors, the labour market is more competitive than it has ever been.

So how do you optimally position your business to be a preferred employer in these challenging times?

What do you have to offer when that potential employee asks the question: “Why would I want to work for you?”

What difference has the pandemic made to the answers to that question?

There have been numerous studies and surveys undertaken on what people want in their workplace and their career.
Generally, we shouldn’t be surprised with what these tell us – they are pretty obvious, when you think about it – people want:

  1. The opportunity to deploy their skills and talents on work that they enjoy
  2. The contribution that they make in their work to serve a purpose – to give meaning to their lives
  3. A sense of belonging in working for an organisation that they feel part of and can feel proud of
  4. Recognition for the work that they do in both monetary and self-esteem terms
  5. Flexibility that enables them to balance work commitments with other elements of their lives
  6. A sense of fairness and respect in the inclusion and behaviour of people in the organisation (ie everyone gets a fair go) and
  7. Trust in their employer, their boss and their colleagues to support them in their role, relationships and wellbeing.

These have always been important elements of a positive workplace culture, but the impact of the pandemic has amplified them.

Additionally, when it is an employee’s labour market as is very much the case today, candidates can pick and choose based on their personal preference set.

The challenges for employers

To be successful in today’s job market, an employer must have a valid and attractive Employer Value Proposition (EVP) which clearly answers that question: “Why would I want to work for you?”

For many business owners and managers, this requires a real mind shift – to open your mind up to new ways of working and new ways of leading and managing your people.

What flexibilities can you offer people in relation to when, where and perhaps even how they work in the role that you need filled?

While you might ideally want people to return full-time to the office, have a think about why you want that. Is it because that works best for you (because it is the way it was pre-pandemic) or is it because it is best for your people and, for that matter, the business?

Perhaps a hybrid arrangement could work – some time in the office with some time working at home or at a remote hub like a coworking space near the employee’s home.

Then there is that question of what your EVP is. Do you know?

One of the more remarkable things that we have found over the years is that 80% of job ads don’t actually give you a reason to apply for them and don’t differentiate from their competition at all.

If “people are your greatest asset” as is so often said, why don’t most job ads reflect that?

Again, you need to open your mind to where you are most likely to find the skills that you are looking for and what might be important to them in a role.

For example, a number of years ago we assisted a client with recruitment of a part-time administrative person, They started thinking of the role as 3 days a week for a full day.

Then we talked about where they would be likely to find the right person and what they had to offer someone in that segment of the labour market.

The business was in a quality suburban shopping strip with a good supermarket, a chemist, a dry cleaner and the other traders that you normally find in these places. There was a tram that stopped out the front of the office and there was nearby free parking. It was ideal for a parent with school children to work during school hours and get the other daily stuff done like picking up something for dinner or getting that script filled or the dry cleaning done. That meant that the kids could be picked up and taken home without any detours.

So they decided to reconfigure the hours for the job accordingly – 9.30 to 2.30 on 5 days per week.

They pitched it that way and got what they wanted because they thought about what a candidate would be looking for in the context of their personal needs. They crafted the role to fit that.

What is your EVP?

If you look at the 7 factors above, which of those give you a strategic advantage over your labour market competitors?

Then consider ways that you can:

  • Define your value proposition (be clear about what you offer and why it is of value) taking into account the specific market that you are likely to find people in
  • Articulate your value proposition (how do you leverage that to attract and retain the people that you need) and
  • Present it engagingly and authentically, making sure that it is real – you won’t keep people long if they find that the rhetoric didn’t fit with the reality.

Your people are a great resource for this.

Part of opening your mind up is about looking at how you interact with your people and how they might contribute in different ways to support the business.

Your people will have things that they value about working for you and they will also have ideas on what isn’t working so well or things that could help to attract and retain the people you need.

So ask them what they think. Run ideas that you have past them to see what they think.

Optimise the relationships with your people by really making them feel that their opinions and work contributions are both valued.

Would any of your employees be good ambassadors for your business (eg they might be happy to be in a video telling the public why they love working in your business)?

We know how effective customer testimonials can be for sales of our products or services – why wouldn’t testimonials by your staff work as well?

If you would like some assistance in developing your EVP so that you can position your business as an Employer of Choice – for real – we can help.

 

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Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
ABN : 24 091 644 094

enquiries@ridgelinehr.com.au

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

1300 108 488

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