10 Things that Make Employees Say, "I Love My Job!"

recruitment and retention; How to Become a Dream Company for Employees

It's no surprise that in today's talent market, it's tough to find and keep employees.

What might be surprising is what those employees are looking for. Hint: it's not just money.

A New York Times article about the nation's low unemployment rate provides a telling perspective from a job seeker: "I'm trying to find a company that treats you well." Out of the mouths of potential employees.

Recruitment and Retention? A Check List for the Hot Talent Market

So what exactly attracts - and just as important keeps - today's employees?

1. Ladders that go somewhere 

No working elevator stops at entry level. Show people growth potential...and clearly illustrate (and support) the stops to get there.

2. Lattices that go somewhere else

Up isn't the only way to go. Employees who are able to cross disciplines benefit everyone. "If we have an accountant who's been with the college for a while and who understands our culture and way that our systems work," one client told us recently about the rationale behind helping an accountant to become nurse, "it would be much easier to replace an accountant than it would to find a qualified nurse."

3. Support for tomorrow's education

 Help to pursue skills (via well-planned education assistance) is essential - especially since most Millennials told us they value career growth over pay.

4. And help to pay back yesterday's

Employees are drowning in $1.3 trillion in education debt. Paying it down is a great perk - and it frees up resources for people to pursue tomorrow's skills.

5. Appreciation for a job well done

The words "thank you" cost nothing; but you'd be amazed at the ROI.

6. Recognition for a job well done

Official recognition - via titles and corresponding salary increases - matter, too.

7. Flex time for planned schedules

Remote and staggered work hours are among today's most desired benefits.

8. Flexibility for things that can't be planned

Emergencies (regarding children, parents, or other personal responsibilities) shouldn't exact sideways glances, or worse...career penalties.

9. Support for people today

The trendiest benefit is worth little if your employees don't want or need it. Find out who your people are and respond accordingly.

10. Help for who they'll be tomorrow

Today's 25-year-old is tomorrow's working parent. And people gravitate to places where they can envision a future. Many employees told us they chose an employer that offers child care -- even if they didn't have kids.

Critical Recruitment and Retention Strategies

The Times quoted the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing that nearly 400 metropolitan areas have unemployment below 4%; a few are below 2%.

If the unemployment rate doesn't get you, turnover will. The BLS also shows the tightening talent market spurring an overall quit rate up by nearly a third between 2012 and 2016. And those quits are costly - well into the thousands per employee.

Salary is only one element in recruitment and retention. Because in an economy where the oft-quoted mantra is, "benefits are the new salary;" pay will only get you so far.

Written by: Lisa Oppenheimer

About the Author

Lisa Oppenheimer at Bright Horizons

As Director, Brand Storytelling at Bright Horizons, Lisa writes “from the trenches” about the real life challenges of people in today’s workplaces: from the tensions of being a working mother, to working with millennials in the digital age, and everything in between. With a career ranging from freelance to full-time, Lisa brings a diverse employment background to her perspective.