All businesses seek to attract and retain top talent in their workforces in an increasingly competitive labour market. To boost the retention of those great hires, managers are seeking to engage existing employees to build a powerful base of loyal, high-performing talent that offers a sustainable competitive advantage to the business as a whole. You don’t want just to find the right talent; you want to keep them with you by providing them with a workplace where they can fulfil their professional ambitions. And attract new talent by that.
For candidates, the big questions relate to what a business offers as an employer, whether that’s the chance for professional development, a powerful company culture, or flexible features that support work-life balance. Candidates who can understand a business’s proposition for employees will be able to understand whether that employer is right for them.
In a market where great candidates are picky and choosy about who they work for, this Employer Value Proposition (EVP) is often the difference between a job application or a ‘delete’ key on their keyboard! It couldn’t be more important for businesses to really understand the ins and outs of EVPs and understand how they can successfully devise and implement their own as part of an employer branding strategy,
In this blog, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the Employer Value Proposition (EVP); what it is, why it is so important to your business and brand, and how you can create one that delivers measurable benefits to your business. We’ll also examine how the EVP and employer brand intersect for maximum benefits.
What is an Employer Value Proposition?
Simply put, the Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is a statement that lays out the defining, unique benefits that a company offers to an employee in return for their own unique skills, capabilities, and experience.
The EVP replaces old ideas of psychological contracts because it recognises that today’s talented job hunters are prepared to wait for the right job. A big salary and the promise of a corner office no longer cut it. Today, great people want to work for businesses that will recognise their own unique needs and meet them in a flexible and increasingly tailored way. They also want to work for businesses that mean something and have clear, positive and – often – ethical values that go beyond commercials. Particularly with younger employees, corporate cultures and business values can define their decision to apply for a job.
Why is employer value proposition important?
If a business can develop a powerful EVP, it will be able to define the very essence of its culture and operation, with clear definitions of what it stands for and what makes it unique from other competitor businesses. The EVP then becomes an effective recruitment marketing tool that explains why existing employees are motivated and proud to work at the business. These types of attributes could be:
- a friendly and inclusive culture
- an attitude of flexibility and empowerment across management structures
- the chance for employees to innovate and work freely
- diverse and inclusive workforce
- corporate values that are sustainable, diverse and designed to support positive change.
When the EVP is defined and integrated into the business, it helps to attract excellent candidates and retain existing high performers. In this way, it can help to ‘close the loop’; by bringing in the best people and then encouraging them to stay. This is a clear departure from the recruitment strategies of old, which tended to focus heavily on bringing people in – without any clear plan for encouraging them to stay!
A business that both attracts and retains top talent will have the chance to fully:
- Build its internal base of skills, capabilities and experience
- Boost employee retention to maximise the value of talented, skilled and experienced employees
- Build a powerful internal knowledge base
- Reduce recruitment costs (with the opportunity to divert budgets towards training and development and HR technology investment for even greater efficiencies)
What is the difference between EVP and Employer brand?
The CIPD helps to explain it by defining the employer brand as the reputation of the business and the EVP as the narrative that explains why someone would want to work there.
How to create an Employer Value Proposition?
1. Understand the current reality
Business leaders can’t simply decide to create a new EVP and expect it to happen. Instead, engage your existing employees and discover what they think is important. Seek to understand their perceptions about the business, brand, and culture. You can do this by using various methods, such as focus groups, surveys, exit interviews and feedback from job applicants. The sorts of things you want to know are:
- Why might a potential employee want to come and work here?
- What do existing staff think is unique about the business – and what do they value most about it?
- Why do existing employees stay, and why do they leave (which is sometimes even more important for your EVP!)?
2. Define your business’s key selling points
This is a good point in creating a cross-functional team with people from across the entire business at all levels. This team of EVP advocates should review the research and work out which elements of the business are valued most. This links in closely with the employer brand, and it will start to encapsulate what your business embodies and how this might align with your people’s values. This information can then be used to create a draft EVP.
To help this stage, bear the following questions in mind:
- Will the draft support the overarching business strategy and its objectives?
- Will it actually be unique enough to differentiate the business?
- Is it authentic and realistic?
- Would it inspire someone if they read it?
- Is it memorable, simple and yet broad enough to resonate with different groups of people?
Test the EVP draft with your existing staff to see if it is hitting the mark. Do the same with some trusted people who are external to your business, perhaps a consultant, supplier or partner.
3. Communicate the EVP
After a period of checking and refining your EVP, you can progress it to sign-off with your business leaders. Once this is achieved, start to communicate it widely. Begin with your own internal employees, as these will be your advocates externally. Then begin incorporating it into your external messaging, including:
- Recruitment materials, including any employer-branded websites and materials you already have
- Stakeholder marketing
- Communications materials
The communication phase should be accompanied by work to embed the EVP consistently across your business, beginning with the recruitment process, continuing to the onboarding process and then throughout into ongoing training, development and performance review materials. Aim to get to a point where everyone in the business really knows the EVP by heart and can use it to refer, advertise and market your business as an employer to their own networks.
Employer Value Proposition best practices
Creating a sound EVP that will resonate with your target audiences takes time and energy. A systematic approach will improve the chances of you getting it right. Here are some good practices to consider to help get the best results:
- Engage people across all levels of the business, not just senior managers. Often your younger and frontline workers will have clear eyes and fresh thinking that really bring these types of projects to life.
- Show that you genuinely believe in the EVP by ensuring every business leader talks about it and seeks to embed it within the business as part of a positive, inclusive and guided working culture.
- Embed the EVP into everything within your business, not just within HR and recruitment but also within operational policies and stakeholder communications. Let it guide what you do as an employer.
- Review the EVP periodically to ask whether it still holds true and represents your business and how well it lives up to its commitments.
- Seek to create internal business advocates who are truly engaged by your EVP and employer brand and incentivise them to work as referrers and recruiters for your business. After all, talented individuals tend to know other talented individuals!
Common elements seen within EVP
Most EVPs focus on the main elements an employee is searching for when considering a place to work:
- Compensation & bonus programs
- Work-life balance
- Location, flexible and remote working opportunities, relocation compensation
- Modern and dog-friendly office
- Healthcare and medical compensation
- Career advancement and development opportunities
- Vacation policy, paid time off
- Team events, funded lunches, etc.
If you’re still looking for a little practical inspiration to guide your own EVP development, here are some of the phrases and elements that have appeared in some of the EVPs of the business world’s leading firms:
- We celebrate success
- We’re building something meaningful
- We offer a funded canteen, company-sponsored outings and events, and a dog-friendly environment
- We offer fully flexible working, duvet days and mental health days
- We’re optimistic, curious and flexible
- We celebrate differences
- We offer limitless growth opportunities
- We win as a team
- We make a real difference through our work.
Although the words may all be different, you can see how the themes of these statements span the elements that make up a fantastic culture – from rewards to celebrations – and really communicate why forward-thinking, talented individuals would want to forge a career at that business.
Find out more
Keen to learn more about EVPs and the world of modern recruitment?
From strategy to technology, our experts are here to help your business leverage the power of modern, cutting-edge recruitment solutions. Find ways recruitment software can help communicate your EVP effortlessly and effectively without spending additional resources. Book a demo to see how Teamdash’s recruitment marketing tools can help you get your desired results.