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Attracting top talent: lessons learnt from companies' people really want to work for

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Your employees are your most valuable asset. Any business is only as good as the people behind it. Not only are they a reflection of the values your business represents, but they can also be your best promoters when trying to acquire and retain talent.

That's why in 2019 having a strong employer brand is more important than ever and an integral part of any good talent strategy.

LinkedIn just released its 4th annual Top Companies 2019, where it ranks the most sought-after companies to work for across the US, UK, Australia, China and Germany.

Speaking about the U.S. list, LinkedIn's Editor in Chief Daniel Roth says, 'The 2019 LinkedIn Top Companies list reveals the 50 companies where Americans want to work 'and stick around once they're in 'now' We analyse U.S. members' anonymised actions across four main pillars: interest in the company, engagement with the company's employees, job demand and employee retention.'

Unsurprisingly, tech giants like Google, Facebook, Amazon and Salesforce top the list, but what makes these brands consistently stand out? What can we learn from them?

We've listed some of the key takeaways that you can use to inform your talent strategy below.

1. Treat your employees like entrepreneurs

To retain talent, it's essential that you make employees feel like their voice matters. It's not enough to give them a voice to contribute, you need to bring those ideas to life. This will empower your employees and create a more positive and productive workplace.

In Deloitte, they encourage employees to 'think like entrepreneurs', pitch their ideas and secure funding to bring them to life. According to the brand, some20 cross-industry, marketable ideas have been implemented through its Startup Deloitte program. The brand has featured in LinkedIn's list every year since its inception in 2016 and have ranked 6th in the 2019 list.

Empowering your employees by allowing them to contribute and make real change, which will reflect positively on your employer brand. At Cpl, we offer a unique, empowering and entrepreneurial atmosphere where everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential.

2. Encourage internal career changes

Time and time again, studies reveal that one of the top reasons people leave their job is they want a new challenge. Cpl's Q2 2018 Employment Monitor also showed that almost 70% of workers admit to being bored at work and three quarters wanted to completely change career.

As a result, companies can lose quality talent that are looking for a new challenge when they could potentially be utilised in other areas of the business. Using an internal mobility incentive can help companies retain this talent and in turn save on recruitment costs.

Uber, who ranked at #6 in LinkedIn's list, are a great example of a company that encourages internal mobility in its organisation. According to LinkedIn, in 2018 alone, over 3,000 employees transferred to a different role, a third of whom went into a totally different job function and 350 of those employees moved internationally.

There can be a stigma attached to internal mobility, it can be perceived as taking talent from teams within the company, but that's starting to change. It's slowly becoming a quality source for retaining quality talent.

3. Flexible working is the way forward

Giving employees the autonomy to work when and where they want can create a more productive workplace and reduce staff turnover.

In fact, a study in 2014 from the International Journal of Advance Research in Computer Science and Management Studies asked participants the following statement: 'Flexible working policy is a reason that I prefer to stay longer in current organisation'. Out of 100 respondents, 92 agreed. A recent Cpl survey revealed43% of people stated they'd value flexible work options more than a pay rise.

Computer technology company Dell estimates its 'work-wherever' policies have saved U.S. employees 136 million miles of travel a year. They even have a dedicated hub for flexible work positions in the company.

'Now we have a wide variety of flexible work arrangement options for our team members to choose; from full-time remote to select days on campus to job-sharing and more - no matter how or where you get the work done, you will drive great results for the business.'

4. Be transparent about your diversity and inclusion numbers

Reporting on your diversity numbers, including representation by gender, ethnicity, age, as well as the business's median gender pay gap, will ensure the business is fully accountable to improve those findings.

According to LinkedIn's list, the financial services company Citi was the first financial institutions to share its median gender pay gap globally despite unfavourable results. It reported that female employees currently earn 29% less than men.

As a result, it's now committed to close the gap, aiming to increase female representation in roles from assistant vice president through managing director to 40% by 2021.

'We know we need a comprehensive approach to our diversity initiatives to make the progress we want to see. In addition to the compensation work and representation goals, we have senior level accountability for our representation efforts, and we're working to continue to increase diversity by focusing on targeted recruitment, development and retention, and improved promotional paths and processes.'

Another ranking company SAP has set a goal to have at least 28% women in leadership roles by 2020 and 30% by 2022. The enterprise software company already achieved its goal of reaching25%by 2017.

5. Creating unique benefit packages will help you stand out

Standard benefits are no longer enough to attract top talent. The most in demand companies are clearly outline their unique benefits to help them stand out from the rest and acquire candidates.

Airbnb encourages its employees to get out of the office and into the world with $500 in employee travel credits each quarter. Employees can roll over their balance with no cap on its value.

Disney pays full tuition upfront for both full-time and part-time workers who are earning their high school diploma, college degree or are going back to school to learn a new skill.

Accounting company EY provides working parents and their university-bound children with college coaches to help them select schools, prepare applications, handle interviews and figure out the best way to pay for college.

Adobe allows U.S. employees with five years under their belt to take a 20-day sabbatical. Ten-year veterans get a 25-day sabbatical, and each following five years of employment accrues a sabbatical of 30 business days.

With the current employment rate at the lowest point in years, companies need to work extra hard to acquire quality talent. Creating unique packages will not only help you stand out from your competitors, but it will also retain current employees for longer.

6. Young jobseekers want a role that makes real change

According to Sparks & Honey, 60% of the Gen Z generation want to have an impact on the world, compared to 39% of millennials. If you want to leverage this demographic for your talent strategy, it's important that your company's values are parallel with that vision.

Elon Musk's company Tesla has been labelled a hot spot for young jobseekers. According to Autoblog, 89% of its employees believe their work makes a positive impact on the world.

According to the Wallstreet Journal, on Handshake, a student career-services app, 9 million student and alumni users showed Tesla received more job and internship applications than any other company on the app in the 2016-2017 academic year. A company spokesman has said Tesla collected nearly a half-million applications in 2017 - about double the volume from the previous year.

While things like benefits and salary are important, they can only get you so far. Make sure your company's mission statement, as well as your job specs, outline how your business is making real change and striking the right chord to attract young talent.

Overall, key takeaways are to empower your employees by treating like entrepreneurs, enable internal mobility, provide flexible work options and transparency around your company's diversity numbers. Using unique benefits will also help your business stand out from your competitors. Finally, make sure your company and job specs are striking the right chord with younger demographics.

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Cpl is a global provider to all types of companies, from start-ups to multinationals in every sector. If you'd like to discuss how we can help your business get in touch to book a free consultation.