We’ve all been there – you’re looking for a job because you’re fresh out of school or you’ve been through a layoff, a shutdown, or the dreaded downsizing. Or maybe you do have a job but are looking for something more fulfilling, something that fits better with you and your needs.
Either way, you want to work for more than just a paycheque. You want to work somewhere where you can put your talents to work, where you’ll be recognized and appreciated, a place that dovetails with your lifestyle and your needs.
Savvy employers know this, and they know that most people want to do a good job, that they want to make a meaningful contribution, and that they want to feel like they belong there.
Savvy employers also know that employee satisfaction, sometimes called “employee engagement”, is a key to keeping their business thriving. Hundreds of studies have proven just how valuable employee engagement is, not only for retention but for everyday interactions between management and staff. The best employers focus on people by investing in their core needs, which include physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental needs. When employees are at their best in these four areas, they perform better on the job and are generally happier at work and in their personal lives.
According to a survey, there are some commonalities among the top employers in Canada. The report covered various industries including technology, finance, and retail. and surveyed businesses with over 1,000 employees. Of the top 25 best places to work in Canada, the data revealed that the best places to work have a lot in common. The top Canadian employers continuously demonstrate a commitment to work/life balance, career development, and real opportunities for advancement. These are just some of the qualities to look for when looking for a great company to work for. Take a look at what makes the best companies stand out.
- Investment in Employees Research has shown that the more respected and engaged a person feels at work, the better their on-the-job performance. In addition, happy employees are more productive and, in turn, boost the morale of fellow employees. Even with this convincing data, worldwide it’s estimated that only 13 percent of employees report that they feel fully engaged at the workplace according to a Gallup poll that surveyed employees in more than 140 countries.Companies that have a high rate of engaged employees have a thorough understanding of why satisfied employees are so vital to a successful business and a positive work experience for employees. When searching for a new place to work, research the company’s record of workforce investment through education, training, and personal development initiatives.
- Wages and BenefitsWe all know that money isn’t everything, but adequate compensation is definitely one of the key predictors of a desirable workplace. The best places to work not only make a commitment to paying employees a fair and livable wage in line with national averages and offer competitive benefits, but also invest in employees in a variety of other ways. In the book, Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go, the author asserts that employers who focus on keeping employee skills up-to-date ensure staff longevity and overall employee satisfaction. Top employers invest in employees’ careers long-term and put initiatives in place to help them grow personally and professionally.
- TransparencyIt cannot be stressed enough: communication is key. The communication style of management has a lot to do with how happy employees are. No one likes to feel like they are in the dark and companies who keep a clear line of communication open between management and staff experience higher employee satisfaction.Always pay close attention to the company’s reputation. In the past, it may have been difficult to get a feel for a company’s communication style but with the advent of websites such as Indeed and Glassdoor, it’s easy to gain insight before you even decide to apply. On these sites, companies are not allowed to modify or delete the feedback from current or former employees, so you get to evaluate the feedback for yourself.Once you decide to apply, you can glean a lot of information by examining the communication throughout the hiring process. Yes, HR departments are busy but if communication is sporadic or there are excessively long stretches between steps in the process, these could serve as warning signs of poor communication. Though this is just one factor among many, it could be a vital factor in your decision to accept a position with a company.
- Values Work/Life BalanceThe best places to work understand that employees are people with personal interests, family obligations, and responsibilities outside of the workplace. When weighing your employment options, research the company and how they encourage employees to have a healthy work/life balance. Great places to work encourage downtime and offer incentives to employees who maintain both mental and physical health habits. Many top employers offer on-site gyms or substantial discounts to outside fitness facilities and some even encourage employees to break up their workday with exercise or other healthy recreational activities. Some offer flex time to enable you to participate in activities outside of work.
- A Great Reputation with Current and Former EmployeesThe interview phase of hiring is your time to really evaluate a prospective employer to see if you would easily acclimate to their company culture. When prompted for questions during a first or second interview, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Make a list of questions before you get there to ensure all your concerns are addressed. Of course, most interviewers will paint a favorable picture of the company but use these responses as a gauge of how willing management is to answer questions in general. All jobs have pros and cons so don’t be afraid to bring up questions that focus on the not-so-fun parts of working at that particular company.
Weighing the Options
If offered a position (especially on the spot), it may be tempting to accept right away but make sure you’ve adequately weighed all of your options. Think back to the questions you asked during the hiring process and use the feedback of current and former employees to make an educated decision. No company is perfect, but the best companies will have a track record of sticking to their mission statements and valuing employees.
When it comes to landing a job you love, you can never do too much research. Every interaction with a prospective employer – from the initial phone call to schedule an interview to office tours and informal introductions to management – is an opportunity to decide what you need and want from an employer and whether the company can meet those expectations.
Getting Help Finding the Right Fit
Did you know that as of 2018 in Durham Region alone there are just under 12,600 businesses providing more than 200,000 jobs? It may be a small world, but the job market sure isn’t!
If pouring through want ads while trying to determine which of those 12,000-plus companies is right for you doesn’t hold much appeal, help is at hand. Durham Recruiting is not your average recruiter. Durham Recruiting invests heavily in getting to know the companies for whom they recruit. They make a point of learning about these companies, what their products are, what their markets are, what their goals are, and what their company culture is. Durham Recruiting also learns about you – not just your skills and experience but what your goals and your needs are. Then they play “matchmaker” to find the perfect fit.
If this sounds like a shameless plug for Durham Recruiting, well, it kind of is. But their enviable retention rate, those placements that have been successful and lasting, speaks for itself.