Tips to Attract and Retain Top-Tier Talent

Employer of Choice RepTrak


Do people want to work for your company and do they want to stay? Is your company an employer of choice (EOC)? 

This is one of many challenges facing corporate communications executives – how to build credibility with employee (and potential employee) stakeholders to become a destination work environment.

To understand these challenges and the underlying trends that impact the reputation economy, we dug into our extensive RepTrak database and gleaned new insights from our latest Reputation Leaders Study – an annual survey of communications executives across the globe.

This led us to identify the leading global macro-trends that corporate-level execs can apply to their company to help them win on reputation relative to the competition. The state of the labor market and the challenge of attracting the best talent – i.e. how to become an Employer of Choice – is a key macro-trend ranked in 4th place out 10 (view the others here). 

The job market is more competitive than ever and the existing challenges of finding top talenttoday are unlikely to improve. 

This is, in part, why company culture is so critical to a company’s growth and success. Differentiators that help organizations attract and retain talent have shifted from a nice-to-haveto must-have mentality.

The Challenge: Tight labor market; high employee expectations

Globally, unemployment rates are on the decline, turnover is expected to increase, and both existing and potential employees are looking for new opportunities in an environment of stagnating wages. The latter not only exacerbates a challenging recruiting environment but also signifies a likely increase in companies’ cost to both recruit and retain top-tier talent — meditation rooms, anyone? Massage tables? Catered meals?  

The Solution: Do the work; overcommunicate

While most approaches to assess employer appeal tend to focus on workplace conditions and leadership (Glassdoor, Forbes), our RepTrak analysis casts a wider, more holistic, net. We collect company data across 7 key business areas, ranging from performance in Products and Services to Financials, Innovation, and Workplace, among others. 

To identify the main drivers of one’s willingness to work for a company, we analyzed more than 230K ratings for global companies across the 15 biggest global economies. We first statistically identified the attributes that provided the most predictive value and further reduced these into three distinct business areas that directly pertain to companies being identified as an employer of choice. 

These are: responsible behavior, sustainable growth, and strong products.

Figure 2. The EOC RepTrak Model: Most Predictive Attributes and Associated Dimensions

Employer of choice RepTrak


But how do global companies perform on these three drivers of willingness to work? 

Our data and insights show that companies are generally perceived as strongest on the least important factor, Products/Services, and weakest on the most important one, Responsible Behavior. 

This suggests that the biggest opportunity in becoming an employer of choice resides with improvements on societal contributions, ethics, and workplace conditions

Organizations should also consider these proven strategies:

  • Communicate a compelling story to both existing and potential employees – create a competitive advantage by fostering frequent and personally relevant messaging
  • Be proactive and progressive in making your company a more attractive employer – but be sure to align this thinking with a straightforward and caring workplace culture
  • Put your CEO forward as the embodiment what the company stands for. This elevates EOC status — and especially drives the perception of being an employer that behaves responsibly.

In a tight and competitive labor market companies and their employees need to understand what defines their culture and what is their higher purpose beyond only products, services, and financials. Keep in mind it is not only about doing this good work but communicating it every day. Create an accurate and inspirational narrative and get credit for what your company does well.

How the Insurance Sector Can Insure Its Own Reputation
Sven Klingemann, Ph.D.
Global Research Manager
Reputation Institute

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