5 Tests to Determine if You’re an Employer of Choice

December 14, 2006

I was talking the other day with a friend about what it means to be an employer of choice, and we started discussing the typical failure of organizational self-awareness. Neither of us could really think of an employer that didn’t refer to itself as an employer of choice nor one who thought that they hired the best people and made them happy. (Remember, everyone’s people are their #1 resource).

So, I put together a list of quick and simple tests that will help anyone determine if they’re failing to really be an employer of choice.

1. Walk through the sales department at 9AM and then again through the R&D/IT department at 5:30 PM and count the people. Do this on three consecutive days (not near Christmas). Worry if you find less than 50% of people in attendance across all 3 days.

2. Announce an extremely well-rewarded referral program (or announce a significant bonus for one open but non-specialty position if you have a current referral program). Make the payment at least 30% higher than what you would consider an “outstanding bonus”. Worry if you have less than a full pipeline of resumes after 2 weeks.

3. Google your company’s name and make a sentence describing your company out of the first 10 adjectives that you find that weren’t generated by your own PR and Marketing efforts.

4. Search for your company’s name on MySpace. Note what people have to say on their MySpace pages about work.

5. Read your employee’s personal blogs. Worry if you don’t know where any of them are or if you think they don’t have blogs.

Any one of these may not be indicative of a problem in and of itself. But if you find yourself not performing well on multiple of these tests, it’s worth considering that perhaps you’re not treating your employees as well as you should be.

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2 Responses to “5 Tests to Determine if You’re an Employer of Choice”

  1. Jason on December 15th, 2006 8:14 pm

    I, as an employer don’t like to see people with families at the office at 5:30. They should be on their way home then to be with their families more often or not.

    Of couse, I still expect a solid 40 hours of work a week, anymore is bonus, but if you don’t get more its not a sign of being a bad employer.

  2. Mike Murray on December 16th, 2006 8:32 am

    Agreed – that’s exactly why I wrote it the way that I did. Most (and, again, I’m painting with a broad brush here) IT people like to work a later schedule. Most of the teams I’ve worked with (esp. in smaller companies) liked to come in between 10-11, and work until 6-7. It’s rare that I have been on a completely IT-focused team that had more than 10-20% who were “early risers”.

    Ditto sales in the opposite direction (esp. on the west coast) – most sales people I’ve known are early risers and like to be in the office and getting some work done before they started calling clients after 9AM.

    So, if your late people are leaving early, and your early people aren’t showing up early, I’d suggest that it can be a good hint that you’re not making them want to be at work…

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