It’s a no brainer if you choose to work with a company like Google, Apple or Microsoft. They offer a lot more than just a job as a livelihood. Today, companies offer different employee value propositions (EVP) in order to attract the best talents. A modern company isn’t just a place to work in and earn money. It has become many other things—a place to learn, to share ideas, to develop one’s talent, or to find meaning and realize one’s passion.
Different generations of employees have expressed different reasons for choosing prospective employers. At best, today’s workplace has become more interesting, if not complex and ambiguous.
First bus that comes along
While companies choose their employees carefully, many job hunters don’t carefully choose the companies they work with. Often, they take the first bus that comes along, only to find out later that that bus wouldn’t take them to their desired destination. This is one reason why many working people get stuck in careers or with employers they dislike.
As the saying goes, beggars can’t be choosers. But you’re not a beggar if you have great talents. If you have talent, flaunt it among the best companies and let them line up before you. Be the judge of which company is worthy of your talents. Take your time in your selection process. Often, the good is the enemy of the best. Don’t get stuck with just the good.
Recently, I asked a few friends in the HR (human resources) profession about what today’s workforce is looking for in the company they choose to work with. Here are some of the top reasons why jobseekers join their prospective employees.
Why join a company
From the perspective of HR, here are the top reasons for choosing a company to work with:
- Public image. Most of the highly skilled, well-educated, high-potential job candidates make their research at the Internet about prospective employers. They are particular about the image of the companies—their vision, mission, values, corporate social responsibility, integrity of the top executives, news about the company, etc. They prefer to join companies with wholesome brands and image.
- Job seekers prefer a higher starting base pay, but are swayed to join companies with a broad base of benefits, incentives, bonuses and allowances. A pharmaceutical company with 17 ½ months guaranteed pay is always among the top prospects for jobseekers.
- Flexible Schedule. The traffic situation in Metro Manila is terrible, especially for the commuting workforce. Proximity of the office to one’s home has become an important criterion for choosing a job these days. Mundane or practical? Companies with adjustable or flexible working hours, or those that allow employees to work at home a few days per week are able to attract more talents than companies with rigid work arrangements. Flexible schedules allow employees to juggle work and social (family, friends, etc.) demands with lesser stress.
- Career Growth. Top talents want professional training and development that lead to career growth. Top talents are ambitious and don’t want their careers to stagnate. Companies that offer deliberate career planning and development are able to attract the top talents in the job market.
- Friendly work environment. Especially among fresh graduates, jobseekers want to join companies where their friends work. Employees are productive in an environment that offers support systems (e.g., friends, relatives, former classmates) to make them succeed in their job. A supportive culture where management has a more developmental, rather than regulatory, mindset tends to attract top talents.
- Professional bosses. While jobseekers decide to join a company because of what the company offers, employees do not resign from the company. Gallup found out that employees resign from their bosses. When bosses are trained to be professional in handling their people, the company’s talent retention rate is high. Conversely, when bosses are not professional in dealing with their employees, regrettable attrition is high among top talents.
- Opportunity to contribute. This criterion for choosing a company is often downplayed or hardly considered by employers. Employers must never discount the possibility that prospective employees have a passion for a particular type of work, or are motivated to join a company with the same compassion for a particular segment of society. The latter is true among employees who choose to join a non-profit or non-government organization because they can relate with the NGOs’ goal to address a societal issue or concern.
Confucius says, “Choose a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” I say, “Choose the right employers, and you’ll never be a slave all your life.”
Ernie Cecilia is the chair of the AMCHAM Human Capital Committee; and co-chair of ECOP’s TWG on Labor and Social Policy Issues. He is the president and CEO of EC Business Solutions and Career Center. Contact him at [email protected]