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Positioning your horticulture organisation as an employer of choice

Get advice to help you attract top horticulture professionals.

What do great employers in the horticulture sector have in common? Pinpointing universal factors is a challenge when each business has its own set of values and unique culture. After all, one individual’s idea of a wonderful workplace surely differs from another’s.

One luxury the best organisations seem to enjoy is the ability to attract and retain top talent, even when times are tough. Sure, even top employers may sometimes struggle to recruit for a particular niche role. But if you build such a strong reputation as a brilliant place to work and communicate your employer brand values so effectively that the people you want working for you naturally want to work for you too - well you’ve cracked a hard nut and given yourself an edge already.

The Wonderful Workplaces 2019 Employer Branding Insights Report revealed that 88% of horticulture jobseekers would consider an employer’s brand when applying for jobs, yet nearly one-quarter (24%) felt their most recent employer did not effectively communicate their brand.

What’s your real story?

Do you offer a picturesque working environment in an area of outstanding natural beauty? Do you offer three months paid parental leave like Save the Children recently introduced? You pride yourselves on having a culture of rapid career progression? Start talking about the great initiatives or incentives you’re offering staff and what makes you stand out from other employers. But know that it takes more than just a few standard incentives to make your workplace culture great.

Have a strong vision and mission and use a variety of channels to communicate your positive messages - these may include social media, your website, relevant media sites and internal communications. Also consider how you’ll amplify those messages further through various partner channels that can access your target audience in the right places, at the right time.

But don’t paint an unrealistic rosey picture. There’s no point portraying you offer a clean and pleasant working environment when in reality the role involves a lot of hard grafting, being exposed to all the weather elements, and being covered in mud for most of the day. Some people love the idea of this kind of work so long as they knew that’s what they were signing up for when they joined. You won’t keep top talent for long if they expect one thing and consistently get another.

Who loves your workplace?

Before applying to work in your organisation, many candidates will spend time researching what it’s like to work there and will look out for what other people are saying about you. The people within your organisation who love working there are your biggest brand ambassadors and are the lowest hanging fruit when it comes to positioning you as an employer of choice. They may already be talking about why they love working there, so make sure you share their stories on your social media and other marketing channels, and don’t forget to show your appreciation to them as valued assets to your business.

What do people think of you as an employer?

Do you know how your current or potential talent perceive you as an employer? What would prevent someone from applying for a job at your company, or attract them to do so? Gaining insights into such perceptions will help you identify and address any issues with your employer brand, and will reinforce what you’re doing well. Employer branding surveys aimed at current and potential candidates can help uncover such insights and steer your recruitment marketing strategy accordingly.

Take part in the Employee Value Proposition Index 2020

Do you know how people perceive your organisation as an employer? Dedicated to recognising the best of the best, the Employee Value Proposition Index provides organisations wih valuable employee feedback to help build your employer brand and company reputation.

The survey is currently free to enter and has been conducted by the independent research company, Best Companies Group, in partnership with employer branding agency, Wonderful Workplaces - part of Haymarket Media Group (publisher of Horticulture Week).

The best ranked companies will be announced at the CIPD's Festival of Work (Olympia London, 10-11 June 2020). Will you appear on the index?

Find out more: #EVPIndex2020

Need advice to help you build your employer brand? Contact Wonderful Workplaces on 020 8267 4476 or email

This article is sponsored by Wonderful Workplaces.

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