What sets you apart from the crowd?
Companies strive to stand out from the competition. Differentiating their products and offerings to gain an advantage in the market.
When it comes to attracting and retaining the best talent to your business, the same rules apply. Your company is the product you need to promote it to the candidate market. HR professionals may refer to this as your “Employer Brand” or “Employer Value Proposition”.
Awards are a great way of doing just that. Winning, or even just being shortlisted, for workplace awards provides publicity, pride, credibility and sends a message to potential employees about what it is like to work at the organisation.
In the 2017 Sunday Times Best 100 companies to work for, the transport and infrastructure sectors were seriously underrepresented; no transport companies made the list and only six engineering or construction companies were included – Willmott Dixon (no. 14), Curtins (no. 17), Hydrock (no. 29), Lindum Group (no. 38), BWB Consulting (no. 59) and Buckingham Group (no. 96).
The judging criteria identifies workplace performance and best practice according to nine key factors; leadership, my manager, personal growth, wellbeing, my team, giving something back, my company and fair deal. Clearly, the companies that did make the list have a unique selling point to promote opportunities to prospective candidates. And from our perspective, as executive search consultants, it certainly makes our job easier if our clients have a reputation as a great place to work.
Clearly you won’t be winning any awards if you don’t actively have strategies and plans in place to make your company stand out; and obviously not all companies can make The Sunday Time Best 100 places to work. But if your company does do something worth shouting about, then there are plenty of awards out there that can boost your reputation in the candidate market place.
Entering industry specific awards like The Energy Awards, UK Rail Industry Awards, The Water Industry Achievement Awards, The Building Good Employer Guide or New Civil Engineer 100 can be a great way of getting publicity for any company wide initiatives that you may be doing. Last year MWH Global won the award for NCE Talent Development for their ‘Cradle to Sage Talent Development Initiative’ and Interserve took the Diversity Champion award for their ‘Diversity Action Plan’.
And then there are the more generic awards that demonstrate the company’s commitment to its people. Gaining accreditation from Investors in People demonstrates to potential employees that you value your staff and will help retain employees by showing you are committed to their development.
While awards are a great way of presenting the companies achievements to potential candidates, they are also a great way to build motivation amongst current employees. Especially if you actively look to nominate individuals for their contribution to the company. Major staff awards recognise the great achievements of the people or teams working in the industry, showcasing the best your company has to offer and rewarding your teams for their outstanding efforts.
A business award win, short-listing or nomination is great PR, acting as a 3rd party endorsement for your business. It provides a seal of approval and is a sign of quality for potential candidates, making it much easier to pitch opportunities to the best talent in transport and infrastructure.
The process of competing for awards can also make the management team improve the working environment by better engagement with staff at all levels to understand what they value from their employer. This can provide greater long lasting value to the business than the prestige, the brand attraction to candidates and the satisfaction of another shiny award to display in reception.
I’d be interested in hearing what awards your company has been entered in to this year and if you’ve noticed a positive impact on attracting and retaining candidates as a result. Click HERE to get in touch.