What Goes Around Comes Around – Are you an Employer of Choice?

Posted  | 1 Comment(s)  |  by Heidi Schultz

Just last week, we celebrated with three individuals in our transition program who had found challenging and exciting new positions. And it wasn’t an isolated event. In our local economy, we’re seeing an handshakeuptick in activity. Job seekers are spending less time finding new positions and evaluating multiple offers. That’s good news and an indicator that our economy is moving out of a shrinking employment environment into a growing or maintaining one. (It’s an election year; put your own spin on it.)

But here’s where the story gets interesting. As companies recalibrate to invest in programs to develop and retain their existing talent or recruit new talent, a stark contrast emerges between those organizations that truly are talent-driven and those that are not. 

To put it bluntly, when it comes to Talent Management best practices, a well-known saying holds true: What goes around, comes around.  Strong performing companies have and keep top talent. These organizations are strategic and understand that maintaining their employment brand means taking a lifecycle approach to talent and investing across the board – in attracting, developing and transitioning talent. 

The Talent Market is Transparent and Fluid

So, back to our story. All three of the individuals I mentioned above tapped into their professional and social networks to learn the culture and values of the employers they were considering. And who did they ask? Current and former employees. And what did they find out? The truth about how the organization valued its people. Of course there are many ways to measure value – and people are complex and multi-faceted when it comes to ranking what’s most important to them. But, one measure that consistently came up was how the organization treated its departing employees.  And, that made the decision easy when deciding which employers to avoid.  

In case any employer is unclear – the emergence of social networks has increased the transparency of the talent market. How your organization handles outplacement today is not only more visible than you realize but also absolutely translates into how well you can retain and attract talent tomorrow. We see that so clearly in the daily conversations which occur in our office with all types of candidates, including those we are recruiting from the outside or assessing for management positions.

Reputation Matters

Another common saying: It takes years to build a reputation and minutes to ruin it. Imagine if you were a fly on the wall and could hear what people say about your organization’s employment brand. Would those conversations steer potentials to your organization or away from it?

It’s worth a reality check on your brand. Are you an employer of choice? Do candidates trust you? Studies have quantified real benefits to organizations that provide outplacement and transition services. They include reduced costs to recruit, less time to fill open positions and even increased referrals.  Also, top talent seeks out these companies and remains engaged once there.

An ‘Aha’ Moment

Outplacement has long been thought of as the ‘right thing to do’ – but in reality it is more than simply treating departing employees with respect. It is a strategic and brand-building investment that affects the overall caliber of your organization’s talent and the success of your business outcomes.

The recent news that U.S. layoffs hit a 20-month low gives us hope that we are heading into a sustainable period of employment growth. Talent-driven organizations are prepared to succeed. Is your organization?

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  1. Russ Knight's avatar
    Russ Knight
    | Permalink
    Great piece Heidi! We are seeing similar things in Tulsa. Regarding the hiring reputation we all know of companies with good reputations and poor ones but it seems in a down economy, when every possible expense gets cut, it makes it even easier for companies to invest wisely in their own culture and organization to really stand out and have their profile elevated.

    What are the hallmarks of a talent-driven organization?

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