Becoming an Employer of Choice – Part II


  • Do a preliminary survey of top management to identify possible support or resistance.
  • Do a benchmark study of current EOC firms that you wish to emulate. Place special focus on firms that have “recently” begun/successfully completed the transition to an EOC.
  • Do an external PR analysis of the company’s image to assess its current status.
  • Appoint a task force to lead the effort.
  • Develop a list of the steps others have used to become an EOC.
  • Do an internal assessment (gap analysis) of each of our programs that would have to be upgraded including:
    1. Analyze the PR strategy and PR team. Product ads must make us appear as a great place to work. Our sales force and employees must be involved in “spreading the word.”
    2. Assess the CEO’s capabilities and interest in being a “public figure.” They need to give speeches, get written up in leading business magazines and perhaps write a book.
    3. Do surveys of college students, business writers, academics, our employees, executive recruiters and influential business leaders to assess our perceived strengths and weaknesses and their view of our corporate culture and image.
    4. Analyze our recruitment strategy and team capabilities.
    5. Reassess our corporate values and culture. Must it change and can it be changed?
    6. Analyze our product strategy especially as it relates to public visibility and world-class (W.C.) quality and customer service standards.
    7. Hire “Best Place To Work List” consultants to coach you on additional things you must do to get on the best lists and to achieve EOC status. Hire the best HR people to drive the strategy.
    8. Analyze your compensation and benefit strategies and team to assess your ability to attract, motivate, and retain W.C. employees. Measure and reward managers for great people results.
    9. Assess your training strategies and our training team especially in the areas of PR and management/leadership styles for managers.
    10. Develop a W.C. competency list for managers and employees. Do an assessment of the gap between where we are and where we need to be for all “key” managers and employees.
    11. Do an assessment of the gap between where we are and where we need to be for all “key” managers and employees. Analyze the results, make a cost/risk assessment.
    12. Get top management and employee feedback and buy-in. Revise and develop measurement standards and milestones.
  • Get your CEO to write a book
  • Develop a plan to get corporate officers to go on speaking tours and industry events
  • Add “lifestyle” benefits and on-site amenities to give your employees something to talk about
  • Develop affinity groups and family friendly policies
  • Survey applicants and employees to identify what they expect at an EOC (and periodically assess your success in meeting those needs)
  • Train and reward managers for excellent “people” management performance
  • Coordinate product advertising with employment and PR efforts to ensure the EOC image is maintained in all three
  • Revise recruiting practices to include “WOW” (pizzazz) elements to make a lasting impression. Continually review our recruitment strategy and team capabilities.
  • Develop a WOW web presence and do a competitive advantage assessment to ensure that you maintain an advantage
  • Hire the best employment staff with “outside the box” marketing talent. Reward them for maintaining EOC status
  • Get EE’s to put decals on their license plates on their vehicles to broadcast their loyalty
  • Get mentioned in movies/video games
  • Get written up as a business success case study
  • Have movie stars/athletes endorse us


Article Continues Below
  • Executive recruiters often target your firm’s management and its employees.
  • The strength of the corporate culture makes changing it (and many operational changes) difficult.
  • Because of their “fame,” the firms’ employees have a tendency to become overconfident. Performance measurement and the acceptance of criticism often diminish due to this confidence.
  • The company’s image must be continually defended. Minor errors can be blown out of proportion by the press (i.e. Intel’s Pentium).
  • Pay levels (and thus costs of production) can be high due to the high cost of maintaining a world-class workforce.
  • New recruits may have unrealistic expectations based of image and PR that can turn to disillusionment if everyday reality does not match “the image.”
  • EOC helps a firm grow and this increase in size makes maintaining the culture and EOC status difficult over time.

Becoming an EOC is not for everyone but if you are in an industry where getting the very best employees is the top factor contributing to firm’s success it may be for you. Even if you do not adopt the total strategy using parts of it may result in an increased applicant flow.

Dr. John Sullivan, professor, author, corporate speaker, and advisor, is an internationally known HR thought-leader from the Silicon Valley who specializes in providing bold and high-business-impact talent management solutions.

He’s a prolific author with over 900 articles and 10 books covering all areas of talent management. He has written over a dozen white papers, conducted over 50 webinars, dozens of workshops, and he has been featured in over 35 videos. He is an engaging corporate speaker who has excited audiences at over 300 corporations/ organizations in 30 countries on all six continents. His ideas have appeared in every major business source including the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, BusinessWeek, Fast Company, CFO, Inc., NY Times, SmartMoney, USA Today, HBR, and the Financial Times. In addition, he writes for the WSJ Experts column. He has been interviewed on CNN and the CBS and ABC nightly news, NPR, as well many local TV and radio outlets. Fast Company called him the "Michael Jordan of Hiring," called him “the father of HR metrics,” and SHRM called him “One of the industry's most respected strategists." He was selected among HR’s “Top 10 Leading Thinkers” and he was ranked No. 8 among the top 25 online influencers in talent management. He served as the Chief Talent Officer of Agilent Technologies, the HP spinoff with 43,000 employees, and he was the CEO of the Business Development Center, a minority business consulting firm in Bakersfield, California. He is currently a Professor of Management at San Francisco State (1982 – present). His articles can be found all over the Internet and on his popular website and on He lives in Pacifica, California.



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