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3 Ways Your Recognition Program Can Help Attract Top Talent

November 6, 2018
| ByMike Ryan

It’s a job seekers market out there. While 61% of companies have identified the need for more employees, more than 40% of them are worried they won’t be able to find the type of talent they need to grow and prosper. No matter what industry you’re talking about, it’s getting harder and harder to attract potential employees. In fact, 68% of all employers say they can’t fill open positions.

For many organizations, this talent deficit is not measured by the quantity of workers available, but by the lack of top, qualified candidates. Top performers not only generate better outcomes; they are more agile and results-oriented. They can be up to 8 times more productive than ordinary workers, along with being disciplined, reliable, cooperative and empathetic. As a result, businesses are looking to step-up the caliber of workers who are attracted to their firms. 

So how can today’s human capital leaders take proactive steps to entice the best and the brightest? Learn the 3 ways your existing employee recognition program can help show top candidates that you are serious about offering them the things they value most.

By Providing an employee value proposition that’s rich in recognition

The employee value proposition (or EVP) represents the totality of what a company is offering in return for the skills, capabilities and experience an employee brings to the organization. In other words, it’s what your current and future workers expect in exchange for their time and efforts. While some companies focus only on pay and benefits, the smartest lay out an EVP that’s also rich in recognition, where expectations are clear and success is celebrated.

Designed correctly, recognition-rich EVP can help sway top talent to look more closely at one organization over another. When the EVP includes an abundance of recognition, it can help convince a top worker that both the new job and the work environment are going to be good fits. If your culture is truly built on employee appreciation, showing any recruit (especially top ones) the role your recognition program plays in encouraging and rewarding stellar performance is a must. The best employees out there want to be noticed for their efforts and they will seek out an environment where they will be appreciated for what they bring to the table.

By showing them that your values are “real”

When an organization has a clearly defined set of workplace values, and is candid about them at every stage of the recruiting and interviewing process, both the candidate and the company will have a better feel for whether or not there is a match between them.

Evidence that your principles are practiced throughout the enterprise is vital to anyone who’s thinking about joining it, but it’s especially important for top candidates. While they may have had tremendous success doing similar work, they might still conclude that they are not a good fit for your company if they sense that their values don’t align with yours.

By offering an organization with better bosses

The old expression, “people don’t quit companies, they quit bad managers,” applies to top talent as much as it does to any other employee type, perhaps even more so. When top employees are mishandled, they are pushed harder and appreciated less. They can be micromanaged, left out of communication loops and pigeonholed into repetitive assignments. And when that happens they are likely to jump ship faster than other coworkers might.

Nearly half of all employees who leave their jobs do so to get away from bad supervisors. Companies need to bridge that disconnect and by giving their managers the tools they need to direct and recognize employees they are in effect building better bosses. They are becoming more people-focused organizations, the type that continually attracts and keeps the best talent over time. 

Front line managers have a significant effect on an employee’s productivity, growth and happiness, but they also make impressions on applicants. Many managers have early interactions with the best candidates. Before the formal interview process even begins, it’s not uncommon for them to interface with top recruits. Whether it’s at the HR level or with a future manager, companies can make a positive first impression with prospective candidates by sharing their recognition philosophies. They can show a top performer how objectives are set, how success is celebrated and how clarity, guidance and appreciation not only define the employee-manager relationship, but how it supports the broader culture in which they will be working.   

The best employees out there want to work for the best bosses. The most progressive companies show potential recruits how their recognition philosophies have built an organization full of the type of manager every top performer wants to work with. 

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