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How to Figure Out if You’re an Employer of Choice

March 27, 2003
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It’s easy to say that you have become an employer of choice. In reality,though, being an employer of choice is a difficult--albeit measurable--status toobtain. Here are some ways to assess how far you have come in theemployer-of-choice sweepstakes. The employer-of-choice factors are listed herein descending order of importance.

1. "Best" list appearances. The firm currently appears on Fortune’s or Working Mother's best places list and on more than one industry or regionalbest places list.

2. Positive name recognition in target population. When asked in a survey orfocus group, people in your target professional fields know the name of yourfirm 75 percent of the time, and over half of those know at least one keypositive selling point of your firm.

3. In the top three choices of top performers. When highly qualifiedprofessionals are asked the names of places they "would like to work someday,"over 50 percent list your firm in the top five most-often mentioned.

4. Where your applications come from. At least 10 percent of your applicantscome from the top five most profitable firms in your industry or region.

5. Often cited in MVPs. Your firm’s HR and people practices are cited atleast five times a year by name in the top three (most valuable publications)that are read by top professionals in their field or industry.

6. Often cited. Your firm’s HR and people practices are cited by name inmajor industry, business, and HR publications over 50 times a year.

7. Referral rate. Employee referrals make up over 50 percent of all hires.

8. "Other offers." Applicants with multiple offers also get a concurrentoffer from one of the top ten-rated firms in your industry at least 50 percentof the time.

9. Give away/take away ratio. Your firm hires away more people from your topfive competitors than the competitor hires away from you (you win four out offive of these head-to-head battles).

10. Talent competitors talk positively about you. When managers at directtalent competitors are asked in surveys or focus groups about your firm’speople practices, they give a positive response 25 percent of the time.

11. In top three choices of average performers. When professionals in yourindustry are asked the names of places they "would like to work someday,"over 25 percent list your firm.

12. Recruiters list you in top employers. When professional recruiters areasked in surveys or focus groups about your firm’s people practices, they givea positive response 50 percent of the time. When asked to list the top tenemployers of choice in your region or industry, they cite you 50 percent of thetime.

13. On "admired" list. You appear on Fortune’s "most admired firms"list.

14. On diversity list. You appear on Fortune’s diversity list.

15. Former employees do/would return. Over 10 percent of employees whovoluntarily quit in the past three years have returned. Over 50 percent expressan interest in returning when surveyed.

16. Employees send the "same" message. When your employees are asked whatthey tell strangers about "why the firm is a great place to work," over 50percent of their answers include your top selling point.

17. Low turnover rate of top performers. The turnover rate of your top 25percent-rated employees is below 5 percent.

18. CEO mentions people practices. Your current CEO mentions specific HR orpeople practices by name in 25 percent of external and 50 percent of internalspeeches.

19. Sign-up lists. Your "sign-ups" at college information events exceedthe average by 50 percent. Your lines at job fairs are 25 percent longer thanyour top direct talent competitor.

20. Web hits. You get 50 percent more Web hits on your jobs page than theindustry average.

21. Benchmarked. Fortune 500 firms from outside your industry benchmark you(call to learn about your best practices) at least once a year.

22. Listed first in conference brochures. When presenting firms are listed incommercial seminar brochures, your firm’s name appears in the first 25percent.

23. Book. There has been a book written about your firm or CEO within thelast five years.

24. CEO has wide name recognition. Your current CEO has a positive namerecognition 75 percent of the time when professionals in your industry are askedto comment in surveys or focus groups.

25. You have an EOC manager. Your HR department has a designated manager whohandles employer of choice, best-places-to-work list, and employment-branding.

Excerpted from "HR Metrics, the World-Class Way" by Dr. John Sullivan,with permission from Kennedy Information, (800) 531-0007.  The phrase 'Employer of Choice,' is a registered trademark of Employer of Choice, Inc., a division of The Herman Group. Use of the phrase in this article is done with specific permission to www.workforce.com from the trademark holder. For further information, see www.employerofchoice.com."

Workforce Online, April 2003 -- Register Now!

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