The job market continues to be a job seeker market in the St. Cloud area.  That according to Talent Director Gail Cruikshank from the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation.  She indicates employers in Central Minnesota realize the importance of attracting employees and keeping the employees they have is vital to their success in the community.

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The Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation hosted a Employer of Choice Strategies Symposium recently.  The event was in partnership with a few GSDC Investors – Central McGowan, Blattner Company, PCI, Microbiologics and Boys and Girls Club.  Cruikshank says they presented on some key elements to focus on to become/remain an employer of choice.

Gail Cruikshank (Photo - Jay Caldwell)
Gail Cruikshank (Photo - Jay Caldwell)

The elements include:

Strategic Storytelling
• Everyone has a story – what’s important to them, life journey, ups, downs, etc
• Walk in their shoes to understand their needs/opportunities
• Different per generation/Different people see situations differently
• Our job as employers is to listen and help shape each person.

• What is your company culture like?
• Why Care? It affects/impacts how people behave, decisions people make, how they do their work and engage employees create better customer experiences
• Building culture is everyone’s responsibility – leaders and employees

Benefits that Matter
• Flexible benefit plans are a “thing”
• “Before 2020 people worked and fit life into that. Now people live and work needs to fit into their life.”
• Understand different benefits are important to different people. Listen to your employees to hear what is truly important to them.

Recognition: Inside and Outside of the Box
• Inside Examples:
o Recognition lunches
o Team outings
o Service Awards
o Pay increases and promotions
o Verbal or written praise
o Flexible work schedules
• Outside Examples:
o People – what skills do your people bring that are outside of job description, what are they looking to learn, what would their ideal job be?
o Organization – what work is most important to your organization, what percentage of time is being spent on that work, how might you get even more work done leveraging your people?

Attracting Candidates to your Culture
• You don’t get a second chance to make a positive first impression
• First impression with job postings highlighting what is most important from the candidate’s lens
• Attract candidates with your culture through engagement of your marketing team
o Employee testimonials
o Day in the life stories/pictures
o Internal events/celebrations
o Community impact efforts

Employee Growth and Development
• Imposed roadblocks – understaffed, too small organization, employees will leave
• Companies with employee growth and development programs
o Achieve higher productivity
o Employee retention is higher
o Agile workforce
o Preparing our future organizational leaders
o Current examples: PDP, mentors, new projects/responsibilities
o New Example: Community Emerging Leaders Program

If you'd like to listen to my conversation with Gail Cruikshank it is available below. For more information on jobs in area click here.



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