Firms of all sizes can be an employer of choice

The mission to become an employer of choice should not be the preoccupation
only of large global businesses, according to Eversheds employment lawyer Liz
Fallon.

She urged all HR managers to strive towards it and highlighted the success
of four very different organisations – JCB, Ernst & Young, Addenbrookes NHS
Trust and US finance firm Charles Schwab – as proof that employers of all
shapes and sizes can make it work for them.

Charles Schwab is listed as number eight in Fortune magazine’s Top 100 Best
Companies to Work For. It has achieved widespread share ownership among
employees and its claim to fame is that it has more than 1,000 dollar
millionaires among its US staff.

Fallon claimed Schwab has become an impressive employer of choice. It
educates employees in how they can benefit from the success of the financial
services firm. In-house training, stock purchase assistance and access to
independent pensions advisers are part of the Schwab package.

Addenbrookes NHS Trust in Cambridge adopted far reaching family-friendly
policies in order to recruit and retain the best.

Eversheds’ Owen Warnock said there was an unequivocal business case for
Addenbrookes to be more flexible because it faced a fiercely competitive labour
market with zero unemployment in the area.

Its policies had to reflect the needs of the available workforce which was
mainly women requiring part-time contracts.

"Such flexibility broadens the pool of candidates, attracts
high-calibre applicants, responds to the needs of a 24-hour society and ensures
the employer is fulfilling a moral responsibility" he said.

Eversheds senior partner Viv Du Feu pointed to construction equipment
manufacturer JCB as an employer that has got to grips with knowledge as the new
currency in recruitment and retention.

JCB saw continual personal development as key to the job security of its
staff because it improves their portability. Du Feu urged HR managers to move
away from measuring what staff learn from this development to asking
themselves: what change has the business achieved?

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