While the jobless rate remains high, some employers may feel that they can take on a lax attitude in terms of creating a great corporate culture – they have their pick of the employee litter, so why try? In fact, regardless of the employment situation, this is never an attitude for any employer to take. The goal – regardless of how many resumes per job posting you receive – is to promote an environment and corporate culture that positions your company at its very best all the time – a great place to work. This is the surest way to attract top candidates; those that will propel you toward success. If Fortune magazines yearly ranking of the best companies to work is your guide, prospective employees look at everything from pay-scale to office environments in terms of ranking a company great – or not so great. Here are just a few of our top five guidelines you may want to follow to sweeten the deal for any candidate you’re looking to recruit. Be happy.

It may sound irrelevant, but people are attracted to anything positive. A happy company – one that doesn’t tolerate bad behavior, and promotes a stress-free and collaborative organization, are the ones that will survive in both good times and hard. Get a life. Reduced staffing means more work with less people, and although in some companies this can’t be helped, it doesn’t mean that you should not promote work-life balance. If you do require your employees to burn the midnight oil, consider offering alternatives such as flex time, telecommuting or various other amenities, such as dinner for those working late-night hours. Reward success. Whether great or small, employees like – and need – to be acknowledged for their achievements.

A compliment, opportunities for feedback, monthly rewards programs – anything that showcases to all employees that their hard work will be acknowledged and rewarded – will go a long way in creating a positive workplace. Keep learning. Whether you provide opportunities for higher learning, inter-office development programs, or education reimbursement, employees who feel they have an opportunity to grow – and learn – make better employees. Set expectations.

As with any employee organizational program, outlining specific expectations ensure not only that work assignments are completed, but that all employees perform to their highest potential. Defining clear and specific goals helps employees meet their work obligations. These are just a few simple initiatives that you can employee immediately to get on your way in showcasing to existing – and new employees – that this is a great place to work.

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