Points of View

Three Ways to Become an Employer of Choice

Sam Stebbins

With Michigan’s talent shortage, it’s increasingly important for employers to be competitive in attracting candidates. In high-demand fields, the ball can sometimes be in the applicant’s court, with many jobs to choose from. Similarly, retention might become an issue when employees have many companies actively seeking out workers with their skill sets. So, it’s important for employers to become attractive to job seekers and their existing employees.

Being an Employer of Choice—a company that candidates prefer and employees truly want to stay with—can greatly impact employers’ ability to attract and retain qualified workers. Here are three qualities that make an Employer of Choice:

1. Paying Well

It’s critical that employers offer competitive payment for their employees. Paying significantly less than your competition means that employees and candidates have a strong incentive to seek a job elsewhere.

More specifically, it is crucial that employers pay above the ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Restrained, Employed) “survival budget” threshold. ALICE households refer to those whose income is above what is considered the poverty line but still struggle to or cannot afford basic necessities.

2. Providing Opportunities for Advancement

Every employee wants to improve in their career, so encouraging and providing opportunities for advancement are important ways to become an Employer of Choice. This includes hiring to full time for part time or temporary employees as well as providing opportunities for additional on-the-job training and education.

3. Fostering a Positive Culture

Studies repeatedly show that aside from their paychecks, employees stay in their jobs for their coworkers and managers. Employees who can call their coworkers friends are reportedly more engaged and have higher retention rates. Similarly, employees are more likely to feel committed to their position if they have respectful and positive relationships with their managers. 

In addition to an ability to create positive relationships with coworkers, many applicants care about a company’s social responsibility. Job seekers increasingly value working for a company that they feel is doing good. So, things like recycling, getting involved with a local charity organization, or offering employees time off to volunteer can help your company become an Employer of Choice.


Still want to learn more?

Becoming an Employer of Choice is just one small way to compete for qualified candidates. Employers can learn more by taking a look at Talent 2025’s resources or even considering getting involved in our Talent Attraction and Retention Working Group