Attracting and Retaining Employees: Five Steps to Be the Employer of Choice

Attracting and Retaining Employees: Five Steps to Be the Employer of Choice

With the national unemployment rate at 4% (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics), the race to secure talent is tighter than ever. How can you stand out in this type of market? Be the Employer of Choice.

BDR defines an employer of choice as a company that offers an environment that attracts and retains superior employees. To create this environment, your company needs to offer meaningful work and a company culture that is employee-focused.

Recruit4Business, an affiliate of BDR, has filled over 6000 jobs in the HVAC industry, and we’ve identified five steps you can take to become an employer of choice in your market.

Step One:

Professional Development

According to the LinkedIn 2019 Workforce Learning Report, 94% of employees stated that they would stay at a company longer if that company invested in their professional development.

With the Millennial generation dominating the workforce, employers should consider how Millennials view their relationship with their jobs. The key is to develop a career path.

  • Implement regular weekly or monthly meetings between managers and employees instead of utilizing the outdated annual review process.
  • Invest in training your employees during the slow season or with a certification. This not only attracts candidates but also helps retain your current workforce.
  • Be supportive of your employees’ career development. Coach managers to ask employees about how they want to grow within the company and what they need from their manager to succeed. These steps can help managers be effective mentors to their employees.
Step Two:

Robust Benefits Package

Beyond health insurance, employers should explore additional benefits they can offer their employees.

  • Consider an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). An EAP is a work-based program designed to assist employees in resolving work-related or personal problems. This is a cost-effective approach to guide employees on a multitude of issues such as legal, financial, mental health, substance abuse, etc. Employees may access these resources via phone, online, or in person.
  • Offer at least two weeks of PTO within the first year of employment. Experienced employees may be hesitant to join your company if their paid time off is limited to a week per year when they were previously receiving three weeks of PTO as experienced employees.
Step Three:

Work-Life Balance

Create a company culture that supports a work-life balance.

  • Encourage employees to take paid time off. Managers should keep an eye for burnout, especially for sales or commission employees who may be resistant to taking paid time off because it affects their sales.
  • Notify employees or managers that are reaching their maximum paid time off accrual and remind them to take their PTO.
Step Four:

Competitive Pay

Evaluate your overall compensation package, including spiffs and bonuses, not just the hourly wage or base salary you’re offering.

Is your total compensation package competitive with the market? It doesn’t have to be at the 90th percentile in the market but should be competitive enough to attract and retain employees.

  • Focus on the present. Research what the market is offering now, not what has been offered in the past.
  • Review wages yearly to keep pace with the market.
  • Advertise the pay scale for your positions to receive a higher volume of applicants.
Step Five:


Employee recognition serves as an effective method for encouraging behaviors that you want to continue.

  • Employers should train their managers to recognize employees on an ongoing basis by saying thank you often and showing appreciation daily.
  • Ask employees if they prefer receiving recognition in public or private.
  • Conduct weekly check-ins with employees to discuss improvements that could be made in their performance and celebrate their recent accomplishments.

The path to becoming an employer of choice can be difficult and overwhelming to implement immediately. Focus on adding the items above, one at a time, to build up your reputation to better attract employees and retain them.

Do you need help recruiting and retaining employees? Learn more about Recruit4Business services. Recruit4Business offers recruiting services to lower your total cost of hire, reduce your hiring risk, and hire employees that fit your culture, in addition to HR services such as employee relations and policy handbook creation.

About the Author

Jessica Vu is a passionate HR Generalist who specializes in recruitment, benefits, employee relations, compensation, and compliance. As a SHRM senior certified professional in Human Resources, she supports the Recruit4Business team with complex HR issues and policy handbook development for HVAC companies.

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