Becoming an “Employer of Choice”

Have a shortage of candidates? An “Employer of Choice” (EOC) like HP, for example may get as many as 1,000 resumes a day! Becoming an EOC isn’t easy but it certainly can help solve your shortage of applicants. An EOC is a conscious corporate-wide employment strategy designed to re-make a company image as “a great place to work.” EOC is a term used by recruiters to designate a company that, because of it’s status and reputation as a great place to work, is always the first choice (or at least on the short list) of world-class candidates. One obvious advantage to the company is that it can easily attract and retain the top talent it needs to produce a quality product. In addition, EOCs get name recognition, which helps build the firm’s brand, and it also usually improves sales. Many companies say “employees are our # 1 asset” but if you really believe that, then becoming the EOC needs to be the primary corporate goal… Because it is the only/best way to attract and retain those “most important assets.” There is no plaque awarded to for EOC status but there are many benefits that can accrue to a firm that reaches it. ADVANTAGES OF BEING AN EOC INCLUDE:

    • Ease in attracting quality talent.


  • Good PR and strengthening of the brand image when the firm is mentioned in articles and books citing the best companies.
  • Retention rates for current employees tend to be high.
  • Maintaining the corporate culture is relatively easy, as all employees and the public “assist in maintaining it.”
  • Customers and strategic partners are also attracted by its favorable image.
  • Employee motivation can be easy to maintain because of a shared pride/vision.
  • A positive image often results in a higher stock price.


  • Their CEO is highly visible and has wide, positive, name recognition.
  • The company is ranked/highly-rated in leading books and publications (i.e., Best Places to Work in America, Working Woman Business Week, Fortune, etc.)
  • College students consistently rank it in the top 10 of desirable companies. They are also the first choice when signing up for interviews.
  • The corporate culture is widely known. It contains unique elements (i.e., strong ethics, values, management practices, well known buzzwords, etc.).
  • Newspaper job ads bring such a volume of responses that they are seldom used.
  • The volume of unsolicited resumes and job inquiries is so large it can even become a burden.
  • Its managers are often quoted in the business press in response to new business problems and trends.
  • It is the first to be benchmarked against when companies are looking for the “best in the world” best practices.
  • It is generally among the most profitable in its industry.
  • The firm’s name, product, and brand are among the most recognized by the public.
  • Owning/using the firm’s products or logo is considered a sign of status or class.
  • Employees speak highly of the firm and it is generally union free or seldom struck.
  • Academicians often select the firm to study for business practices.
  • It is generally a leading giver to universities and charities.
  • Frequently they strongly support employee and family-friendly programs such as domestic partner benefits, childcare benefits, support for volunteer work, etc.
  • It has strategic partnerships with similar EOC’s.
  • Owning/using the firm’s products or logo is considered a sign of status or class. Sales of mugs, t-shits is significant.
  • The firm is known for its product quality and customer service. (High JD Power ratings)
  • Employees speak highly of the firm and it is generally union free or seldom struck.
  • They often have WOW programs and best practices that are discussed in the press.
  • Product advertising is coordinated with HR so it also makes the firm seem like a great place to work.
  • They have a “killer app” product to talk about.
  • Great people management is measured and rewarded. It is a condition of employment for managers.
  • Other firm’s recruiters and headhunters target your firm’s managers and employees. Bus Week rankings of the best managers (soon to be CEO’s) includes mention of your firm.
  • You win national awards like Baldridge or industry specific awards for excellence.
  • Your web site is among the firms with the most hits.
  • The firm name is recognized around the globe.

COMPANIES OFTEN LISTED AS EMPLOYERS OF CHOICE: (EOC’s are often mentioned in the book “the Best Places To Work In America, Fortunes most admired companies and in Working Woman Magazine.)

  • Ben and Jerry’s
  • Hewlett Packard
  • Cisco
  • Patagonia
  • Levi
  • Microsoft
  • Southwest Airlines
  • SUN Microsystems

Next week Part II – Steps in becoming an EOC

About Dr John Sullivan

Dr John Sullivan is an internationally known HR thought-leader from the Silicon Valley who specializes in providing bold and high business impact; strategic Talent Management solutions to large corporations.

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