With people in the US reportedly switching careers once every 4.2 years on average in the US and every five in the UK, it’s never been more important to look at how major corporations advertise themselves to prospective employees, and what employees really look for in an ideal workplace. Although flexible working, generous sick pay, and company social activities are some of the most-often highlighted benefits according to employee reviews, the fact remains that businesses need to focus on improving work/life balance in order to retain staff
Promote a healthy work/life balance
According to recruitment partner Karen Dykes, the benefits companies choose to advertise on job adverts play an essential role in determining how successfully they accumulate and maintain quality staff. She said: “With talent shortages reported in many sectors, top candidates are looking beyond basic salary offerings to attract them to certain roles. Benefits packages are most certainly in the spotlight, with a particular focus on those that support work/life balance. These include generous holiday entitlement, healthcare advantages, and flexible working.
“If a skilled candidate has multiple interview offers, benefits packages will come into play. They may be time-poor in terms of interview preparation time, so narrow the field by evaluating the overall package.” There’s a common misconception in recruitment that employees should be lucky to work for a business when in reality a business is arguably only as good as its employees. Therefore, it’s critical that companies use job advertisements and recruitment pages to highlight what they can offer applicants, rather than just what they want to gain from employees.
Follow through on promised benefits
An analysis of employee reviews left for organizations featured on LinkedIn’s 2019 Top Companies report reveals that an attractive work environment, comprehensive benefits and flexible working hours are the most attractive benefits for employees, while long days and a poor work/life balance are the most common complaints. While it’s essential to clearly advertise the benefits of your business in order to attract applicants, it’s equally (if not more important) to make sure that these benefits are evident to and appreciated by current employees.
Review sites like Glassdoor, Indeed and Trustpilot are playing an increasingly larger role in helping job seekers narrow down their career choices, as current employees are naturally seen as a more trustworthy source for summarising a workplace than the organization itself. While it’s impossible to control what every employee writes in an anonymous review, businesses can and should regularly check in with their workforce to identify potential areas for improvement. This will result in more positive employee reviews to attract recruits, while also working to retain staff.
Don’t rely on notoriety to attract new recruits
Although being a household name undoubtedly helps when it comes to workplace desirability, companies shouldn’t just rely on their notoriety to attract valuable applicants. Earlier in the year, it was revealed that more than a third of Europe’s fastest-growing tech companies are based in Britain, with London leading digital growth. These ‘unicorn companies’, named for their rarity, are private startups valued at more than $1 billion (£785.8 million) and although benefitting from quick growth, are rarely as acclaimed as big-name brands.
Despite this, the Power House Truths report reveals that smaller startups score better when it comes to work/life balance, business outlook and senior management ratings, which can only contribute to their rapid growth and eventual notoriety. In comparison, companies like Amazon, Samsung, and Apple are critiqued for lacking compensation and benefits, difficult interviews and smaller average salaries. This shows that while it’s advantageous to be a well-known established business, how you’re perceived by your current and prospective employees will have a huge impact on future growth.
For those that have been toying with the idea of introducing flexi-time, adding an additional day to holiday allowances or organizing more socials to show your employees that you care about them, don’t put it off any longer. The pen is sharper than the sword, a happy workforce is a productive one, and no business should ever settle for mediocre employee reviews.
About the author: Emily Garner, is Content Specialist of Blueclaw Media.