And retain or attract staff in a low unemployment arena

The Australian economy is in a prolonged growth phase. As of November 2006, unemployment stood at only 4.6% of the workforce; the lowest it has been in 30 years.

The past 10 years has seen the creation of over 1.9 million new jobs and the highest percentage of participation in the labour market by working age people. The graph below illustrates the Total Number of Employed vs. Total Number of Unemployed People in Australia over the past 30 years.



In these times of prosperity money is no longer the principle driver of success. Employees are finding that going out on their own can be more rewarding than working for an organisation. The long term success of a business depends greatly on who is coming up through the ranks.

Companies are witnessing an ever shrinking talent pool where the need to secure employees who can grow, manage and take the company to the next level has never been greater.

The old paradigm of reviews and pay raises is no longer enough. Asking the question “how can we attract, retain and remunerate the best staff?” only leads to an endless recruitment cycle, forever choosing the “best” candidate available. Ask yourself, what if the perfect candidate for this position never applied? Fortunately, the paradigm has shifted and the new model requires employers to set themselves apart from the pack. In other words it is imperative to become an employer of choice.

When an organisation becomes a preferred employer, the best talent comes to you. Recruitment transfers to selection of top tier candidates rather than sourcing them. In addition, organisations are free to design incentives and rewards which encompass the values of the business while addressing economic realities.

In the current environment, great employees are savvier, understand they are in demand, expect personalised rewards, have a plethora of options, achieve the organisation’s objectives and can change companies without difficulty. Money alone will not keep them. In fact, many employers make the mistake of thinking high remuneration only is the key to attracting and retaining great staff.

As the recent list of “100 Best Companies to Work For” in Fortune magazine demonstrates, it is not enough to talk the walk you must also learn to walk the talk. The best companies have developed a culture where employees are rewarded and driven in ways that deliver results.

Becoming a preferred employer requires employers to look beyond the obvious reasons why people seek work and develop a culture which is compelling to outstanding staff. When this happens, the best and brightest will seek you out as an employer of choice and you will gain a reputation as a talent magnet. Ask yourself:

  • Does our organisation have a dynamic and flexible employee incentive scheme that offers more than just a cash bonus?
  • Does our organisation provide an environment for continuous learning?
  • Does our organisation provide a platform for individual growth?
  • Does our organisation encourage staff to take risks and reward them accordingly?
  • Does our organisation convey the message that working hard = success?
  • Do we have what others might describe as a modern organisation?
  • Is our business seen to be successful and profitable?
  • Do we set a high bar for recruitment?

If you have answered yes to all of the above questions, congratulations you are already an employer of choice. If not, implementing the above criteria ensures employees of the highest calibre are interested in being a part of your team.

It takes time to develop the above traits but the benefits which come with them are exponential.

If you would like to discuss how Vantage Performance can assist you in becoming an employer of choice please feel free to contact us.


Michael Fingland

Executive Director


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