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How to compete in a changing world

Traditional ways of attracting talent no longer work in a world where millennials are the majority of the workforce and the average person will hold 10 jobs by the time they reach their 30th birthday. Navigating this as an employer is even further complicated by new levels of stakeholder scrutiny around your employment practices—this extends beyond just prospective employees, with customers, vendors and government agencies all actively interested. When you do embrace progressive HR practices, it is a differentiator and competitive advantage; when you don’t, it is a significant business risk.

Follow this checklist to self-evaluate your practices:

  • Work well(ness): How happy, healthy and balanced are your employees?
  • A safe space: How inclusive, diverse and safe is your workplace?
  • The work itself: How efficient and empowered do your people feel to do great work?
  • Pay, praise and performance: Do your people feel valued and recognized? Is your compensation fair and transparent?
  • Your team: Measure how connected your people feel to their co-workers and the organization. 
  • Your leaders: Are your leaders actually leading and inspiring their people?
  • Your career: Do employees see a future with the organization? Is it a place they can grow and thrive?
  • Brand ambassadors: Will your employees recommend your organization to a friend or family member as a career choice?

Once you are satisfied you have these in place, explore ways to show prospective employees, investors and customers that you are champions of employee engagement, work-life integration and transparency. 

Don’t leave your brand to chance. Proactively craft and share your story, ask your employees to provide online reviews of your workplace, showcase employee profiles on your website and seek third-party recognition of your accomplishments as a progressive employer.

Actively manage your employment footprint. Every business and leader today has an online footprint. Charge someone on your team with proactively monitoring the web for employment reviews and social media posts about your employees’ work experience.

Let someone else tell your story. To get the attention of talent today, the most powerful and credible endorsements come from almost anyone but you: your current and ex-employees, workplace certifications, online reviews, client stories and the media. Build an inspiring environment and allow your story to be told by a third party.

Let your culture inspire where your brand might not. Millennials are increasingly seeking to feel connected to and inspired by their employers. Not every brand can easily find alignment with their employees through their product alone. By actively contributing to your community through charitable work, donations and participation, you can engage your employees on an emotional and inspirational level.

If you are doing the right things in your workplace and share it with the world, it will pick up a life of its own. With a little work, a strong certification, positive review or positive media story can elevate your brand to top employer status and have exceptional talent looking for you.

Debby Carreau is CEO and founder of Inspired HR and Inspired Workplace, a certification program that champions increased workplace standards and supports organizations in creating a culture that encourages employee engagement and empowerment, work-life integration and transparency.