Why is it important to be an Employer of Choice?

Just hearing the phrase, “Employer of Choice”, you may think of a few companies including You Tube, Google and Apple. Forward thinking companies understand that being recognized as a ‘top employer’ is a crucial factor in finding new talent.

Becoming an ‘employer of choice’ is essential in today’s increasingly tight labour market. A study done by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce found that while executives cited the need to attract good people as one of their top priorities, they also said that, “Gaining loyalty is a challenge. Retention and investing in people are key.”

Recently, a new program has been established to help businesses located in the Halton region in this regard. The CORPORATE CULTURE & EMPLOYER OF CHOICE RECOGNITION (CCEOC) recently announced the kick-off of the Halton Employer of Choice Award. This award provides top local area businesses the opportunity to get the recognition they deserve and promote a preferred employer brand in their communities.

Metroland Media and its regional publications has partnered with CCEOC Inc. as a media sponsor to bring this unique award to the region.

CCEOC President Jeff Doran explains, “CCEOC has been working with leading organizations throughout North America to help improve their cultural DNA, increase employee engagement and promote a preferred employer brand.”

Doran’s company has been providing recognition and certification programs for specific market sectors since 2004. Each program is customized to meet the needs of the industry.

Doran says, “CCEOC partners with event management companies, trade publishers, business associations and economic regions to pro- mote and present Employer of Choice award programs. We are very excited to be partnering with Metroland to bring forward this latest award to the Halton community. “

Businesses are being encouraged to take part in this program to raise the profile of their business.

Doran points out that he has worked with many Canadian companies who see value in this program.

“We have worked with many leading employers pursuing an ‘employer of choice’ branding strategy that include, FedEx, Scotiabank, the Shopping Channel, ING, HILTI, Albridge Solutions, CAA, Roche and Rogers. While these are all large organizations, we find companies of all sizes are pursuing an employer of choice strategy.”

Graham F. Scott was recently quoted in Canadian Business Magazine discussing the challenges facing today’s employers. He said, “Canada’s skilled labour force is shrinking, training budgets are disappearing and hiring the right-fit candidate is getting extremely difficult. Companies that are looking for the “purple squirrel” — the perfect employee with all necessary qualifications, no training required — are fighting a losing battle. The most crucial issues facing managers and executives today are recruiting and retaining high-performing, culturally aligned employees.”

Because of this, Doran ex- plains that CCEOC’s mission is to help businesses manoeuvre this difficult task.

“We elevate corporate reputations, increase worker morale and engagement, improve business performance and help create better work environments.”

“We will continually look for new ways to create a better, more enjoyable working world. Standing out as a preferred employer is more crucial than ever. Employers need to review their current operating policies and procedures and start developing a targeted attraction and retention strategy. They need to develop better, more targeted, people programs that focus on development, involvement, engagement and commitment. Participating in an employer of choice recognition program is a big step forward in this direction”

Doran explains that there are many benefits to having your company evaluated and becoming a Halton Employer of Choice Award winner:

• Reduced turnover

• Lower operating costs

• More engaged and committed workforce

• Increased productivity

• Positive employer branding and PR

• Higher customer satisfaction and loyalty

Businesses eligible to take part must meet the following criteria:

• Have a physical presence in the Halton region

• Have 20 or more full time employees

• Have been in business for 1 year or more

• Private or publically traded company

The Employer of Choice Program works in five phases. Applicants sign up online by filling in a quick online application form. Once approved, the applicant moves on to the next steps that include the Organizational Profile that high- lights all of the positive aspects of leadership and human resources at the organization. Next is the Employee Commitment Survey-an online assessment tool and finally a weighted score system is used to determine the organization’s grade. Winners will then be announced and a detailed re- port will be available.

Winners will receive a beautiful trophy at an award ceremony and be profiled in a special edition of The Burlington Post, The Oakville Beaver, The Georgetown Independent/Acton Free Press and The Milton Canadian Champion. Winners will also be listed on the Metroland and CCEOC websites.

Doran says that all businesses submitting an application will receive an extensive summary report of their business.

“Whether an organization achieves the award or not, through the summary reporting, they now have the opportunity to learn more about what makes them great and what they can do to become even better.”

Vicki Dillane, GM of The Burlington Post and Canadian Auto World says that she has worked with Jeff and his team in the past to launch the Auto Dealers Awards that were highlighted in Canadian Auto World magazine.

“I know that many dealers who participated appreciated the final report that was able to high- light areas that they were excelling and also areas that they needed to improve. Dealerships that won the award were able to use this status to pro- mote their business in the industry as a preferred employer and promote that they have a highly engaged workforce. We are excited to launch this program at a local level and invite local businesses to participate.”

The program application is due on July 31st. Interested organizations can contact CCEOC at ccemployerofchoice.com or call 416-886-7007. Winners will be announced in October 2017.