Show Me the Vision (Not the Money)


According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor, hiring is at a 10-year high, with Americans getting jobs at rates unheard of since the start of the great recession. Job seekers are now back in the driver’s seat, having to juggle two, three or even four job offers.

While that’s good for the employee, it can be nerve-wracking for the employer who knows that having the most qualified ‘right fit’ employees can make the difference between company success and failure. Competition is fierce, and conventional wisdom that says higher pay and bonuses will attract the best employee no longer holds water.

In fact, two Korn Ferry Futurestep surveys show that compensation isn’t at the top of the list for either Millennials or Gen Xers. When asked the top reason a millennial would choose one job over another the top reason was “visibility and buy-in to the vision of the organization” followed by “a clear path for advancement.” “Job title and pay” came in a distant third place at 18 percent.

As for Gen Xers, nearly half of respondents said that “the ability to make an impact on the business” is the top reason they would choose one job over another, with “belief in the reputation and vision of the organization” coming second. Again, in a distant third place, only 10 percent said a Gen Xer would choose a job because of pay and benefits.

Clearly, opening a company checkbook is not the way to make your company an employer of choice. Today’s employees—irrespective of their generation—want to work for companies they believe in, from both a vision and development perspective.

So how can companies enhance their employer reputation in a customized, dynamic way that moves the needle to attract, engage, and retain key employee groups? Here are five tips:

1.       Take a new twist on an old employee survey. Novel just a few short years ago, the employee survey is broadly used today to gauge engagement and satisfaction. Instead of only yes/no or multiple choice questions, empower employees to voice their real opinions that can get to the core of what is wrong (or right) with your employer brand. Key questions:

What’s the one thing this company does that makes you want to stay?

What’s the one thing this company does that makes you want to leave?

The best thing about our company’s culture is________________?

The worst thing about our company’s culture is________________?

2.       Slice and dice data to get to what really matters to key employee groups. If your business strategy is to hire young, tech-savvy engineers in India who can help devise a new technology, analyze the surveys to see what specifically is top-of-mind for this group. Do you see a trend that existing employees want to be more publically rewarded for their accomplishments? If so, implement awards programming. Perhaps they prefer ongoing development. In that case, a mentorship or guest speaker program would increase engagement.

3.       Endorse your Employer Value Proposition (EVP) when creating initiatives that address key issues. Back to our example of recognition. If you find that’s important, make sure managers understand that rewarding employees for a job well done is a KPI - and that individuals and/or accomplishments are socialized through internal channels. When appropriate, broadcast them externally through social channels. Ensure messaging supports your value proposition.

4.       Ensure your careers website reflects your culture. Candidates want to know what it’s really like on the inside. Showcase your existing employees through written and video testimonials on issues you’ve discovered matter to them. This will add credibility and authenticity to your employer brand.

5.       Don’t offer a Rolls Royce to a candidate and then give them a Yugo. A candidate’s experience cannot be inconsistent. For an employer value proposition to resonate during the employer lifecycle, a consistent message should permeate through rewards, recognition and ongoing development initiatives. Because of their institutional knowledge of your company and a breadth of experiences, your seasoned employees (brand ambassadors) are worth their weight in gold. Pay equal credence to their ongoing satisfaction as much as you do when trying to attract a bright new recruit.


Originally posted on on August 11, 2016. Reposted with permission.  



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