Today’s job market has largely shifted from an employer’s market to one that is competitive for companies and job seekers alike. As such, it’s increasingly important for companies to entice job seekers if they hope to attract and hold onto top talent in their field. The job hunt is a two-way street, and as much as companies rigorously evaluate candidates, you can be sure that candidates are doing the same to their prospective employers. Job seekers have more options than ever before, due in part to the rise of remote work and flexible positions, and it has become more common for people to continuously switch jobs throughout their careers as opposed to staying with a company for 20+ years.
Given this changing and competitive landscape, what strategies can you implement to attract the best candidates and motivate them to stay with you long-term? The key is to create and offer an enticing Employee Value Proposition (which is also referred to as Employer Value Proposition) to both your employees and potential recruits.
What is an Employee Value Proposition?
A business’s Employee Value Proposition (EVP) represents both the culture and practical benefits that a company offers its employees, with the understanding that employees will contribute their skills and experience in return.
In a modern context, this generally manifests itself as less of a transaction and more as an environment and philosophy created by a company to support and motivate employees to do their best work. An EVP involves more than just great benefits and generous vacation time—it encompasses the organisation’s core values and perhaps most importantly, the way employees perceive it.
Your EVP should be unique to your company and convey your strengths as a workplace and overall organisation. If it’s a match to what candidates are looking for in an employer, you’ll be able to build a meaningful and productive relationship moving forward.
In general, there are several main categories to keep in mind when designing your EVP:
- Financial incentives, including base salary and bonus
- Employee benefits, like health insurance and paid time off
- Company culture, which refers to what your mission and ethics and defines your work environment
- Career development, which may include trainings and paid courses
Let’s dive into the benefits of offering an EVP to your employees.
The Importance of a Unique Employee Value Proposition
Creating your unique EVP will benefit your company in various ways, from increasing engagement rates of employees to setting you apart from your competitors. Here are just some of the advantages you will enjoy as a result of establishing a strong EVP:
Bolstered Attraction and Retention
Attracting—and holding onto—skilled employees is a major goal for most companies, and it’s becoming more and more difficult. With your EVP, you not only need to show current employees as well as interested talent that your organisation is a great place to work, but that it’s better than your competition.
When you make hiring decisions, you want to make sure that you’re not going to have to start the whole process over in a few months—losing and replacing valuable employees is expensive and time-consuming. A compelling EVP will make qualified candidates more likely to choose your organization as their first-choice employer and will also encourage them to stick around.
Once you have hired top talent and have an amazing team of employees, your EVP can do more than just help you retain them. If you’re successful with your creation and communication of your EVP, you’ll benefit from more engaged and motivated employees who will speak highly of your company.
Word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful marketing methods, and an employee who eagerly recommends your organization to acquaintances can help to increase your brand awareness and even encourage more qualified talent to apply for positions at your company over competitors.
As touched on above, recruiting can quickly become expensive. It can involve paying for listings on job boards and recruiting agencies, and it’s also a huge time commitment for your HR team. The increased attraction, retention, and advocacy produced by an effective EVP will in turn lead to more cost-effective recruiting and hiring. You won’t have to work as hard to receive qualified applications, and you won’t need to recruit and spend on training programs as often.
There’s no question that defining an EVP is a worthwhile and valuable endeavour for any business that’s looking to hire and build a solid team—but how should you go about doing so?
Determining Your EVP
Creating your unique EVP beings with nailing down your core brand values and mission. What do you stand for and what makes your company stand out? These are the fundamental ideas that you’ll want to try to get across in your EVP and manifest in the different areas of your company.
Try organising focus groups with your employees and collect feedback regarding what they find the most motivating and any improvements they might suggest. This feedback is valuable in gaining insight into what’s currently encouraging your employees to perform well and what you can build into your EVP to further increase engagement and dedication.
The most important aspect of an EVP is relatability—you need to make sure you’re focusing on your employees and creating value for them. It’s also important to keep in mind that your EVP is not set in stone. It may need to be re-evaluated and adjusted as time goes on to ensure it’s still relevant and effectively offering value for employees. We’ll discuss the long-lasting success of your EVO further in the next section.
How To Ensure the Success of Your EVP
There are a few main features to focus on to ensure the relatability and overall success of your EVP. First of all, your EVP should be authentic. It should match the core brand values that you determined at the beginning of the process and be exemplified in the daily workings of your company. If there’s an area you’re hoping to improve, don’t hesitate to include it, but make it clear that it’s a goal you’ll work towards together and not a current reality.
Along the same lines, all of your value propositions should be evidence-based. They should be built on research and you should be able to easily illustrate them with everyday examples.
Third, your EVP should be original and genuine. Use creative messaging and avoid using clichés to keep people’s attention and get your message across.
Your messaging should also be audience-focused. As discussed above, you should direct your EVP to your employees (both current and potential) and focus on relating to them and what they can achieve instead of what you’re doing or what you’ll get out of it.
Indeed, for your EVP to truly be effective, you need to make sure you’re sharing it with the right people in the right ways.
Communicating Your EVP
When disseminating your EVP, aim to incorporate your messaging in both internal and external touchpoints. You want it to shine through as a core part of your brand and use it to define what you stand for and what you can offer.
Avoid simply adding a section to your careers website page and calling it a day. You’ll need to include your EVP in all of your onboarding materials, reward and recognition schemes, internal communications, processes, and business plans. In addition, promote it on the external channels you’re currently using to spread the word and start attracting new recruits.
The most important thing to remember here is consistency. All of your internal and external communications and materials should convey the same message and present the same image of your company. Whether someone is simply perusing your website, watching any videos you may have released, or reading promotional content, they should get an idea for what your brand personality is and what your company is like.
Take Hubspot as an example of this. Hubspot uses testimonials and videos on their website to showcase their workplace and environment.
Using first-hand experiences is a great way to convey Hubspot’s culture, brand, and EVP.
The increased competition in the job market for employers has underscored the importance of having an EVP to offer employees and potential new hires. It will not only serve to differentiate you from similar companies but will help your organisation’s growth and stability in the long run.
If you already have an EVP but are not sure how effective it is, consider evaluating it according to the tips in this article and adjusting as needed. If you have yet to create an EVP, now’s the time to start!
For more tips and expert support on creating an EVP and company branding, get in touch today.