How to attract BEST-IN-INDUSTRY employees to your brand

Nothing happens until a sale is made.
Sales is the lifeblood of our company.
We need to deliver best-in-class service to keep our customers.
We need to keep our customers happy, or someone else will do it for us.
We need to make each of our customers think they are the most important.
This is just a short list of mantras CEOs have been drilling into the psyche of employees, dating as far back as to the days of Henry Ford, James Cash Penny, Walt Disney and Ray Kroc. However, as the demand for premium employees continues to rise, and as the supply seems to be declining (especially in manufacturing), these mantras have become more relevant than ever to running a successful business today.
The good employees know who they are, they know they are in high demand, and they have a right to be very selective about where to interview when it’s time to make a change. High on their list of criteria is a company or organization recognized for being a great place to work. If your company has ever received such an honor, you have every reason to be proud, and to expect that when it’s time to add more people to your team, you’ll have the attention of the top-performers in your industry.
Top performing, premium-level employees “get it.” These are the people who possess a genuine desire to help others, understand that “urgent” matters need immediate attention (even on holidays and weekends), and always take pride in consistently doing much more than what is expected of them. They think like, act like, and quack like entrepreneurs.
How to do it
Having your company nominated by your employees as being a great place to work will require you to create a healthy, strong and vibrant culture of:

  • Meaningful and challenging work
  • Opportunities for growth and advancement
  • Ongoing constructive and positive feedback
  • Opportunities to be heard
  • An environment where problems get resolved quickly and amicably
  • Mutual respect
  • Mutual accountability
  • Mutual trust (honesty and transparency)
  • Freedoms to be creative and innovate (failing one’s way to success)
  • Opportunities to “own” one’s work and position
  • Autonomy
  • The best tools to get one’s job done
  • Empowerment to make decisions
  • Above-average or premium-level compensation
  • Encouragement to take time off and recharge

This may seem like a long list, but hopefully your company offers most of what’s on it. From the perspective of the employee, nothing on it is unreasonable, and much of it is very common, especially among the highest-performing companies that so many CEOs use as a benchmark for their own performance.
Scott Seroka is one of 29 Certified Brand Strategists in the U.S., and is a Principal of Seroka Brand Development and Strategic Communications.