In today's competitive job market, attracting and retaining top talent is a tough challenge for many employers. Everyone is looking for a competitive advantage when it comes to attracting the best talent. However, there are certain steps that companies can take to improve their employer brand and help them cultivate better relationships with potential employees. An employer value proposition (EVP) can be a fundamental tool used by organizations to boost their recruiting efforts and attract the top talent they desire.
In this article we will discuss what an EVP is, why it is used by top employers globally and how you can start creating your own EVP today.
What is an Employer Value Proposition (EVP)?
An employer value proposition (EVP) represents the way that a company wishes to be perceived by current and potential employees. It is essentially a statement intended to express the company’s core values, company culture and benefits that the company offers to its employees. This statement is used as a branding strategy to attract and retain quality employees and become an employer of choice. However, it also embodies the values and impact that employers expect their employees to contribute to the workplace in return.
Why Focus on EVPs?
Using this definition, it's easy to see how a good EVP is important for attracting top talent. Having a strong employer value proposition can reinforce the identity of the employer and showcase the assets that quality candidates are looking for in their future employer. For example, in today's talent market, many people are looking to move into a position that can help them improve their skills and advance in their career path. If an employer can include their commitment to support professional development as part of their EVP, it will be easier for them to recruit people who value their professional growth.
An EVP can be an essential part of employer branding practices. In addition to improving your talent acquisition strategy and finding candidates who align with your core values, there are several other advantages to consider as well. It can also decrease the time and money it takes to hire each new employee by attracting the candidate pool that you are looking to hire.
Investing in career development, training, compensation and benefits can show that employees are being taken care of. All of these elements can make up a good employer value proposition that improves the company culture, boosts employee morale and builds credibility among customers. This is due to the fact that the employer brand is a reflection of how employees are treated and how these employees, in turn, interact with your customers. It is essentially a cycle that benefits everyone in the end.
What Factors Affect Employer Value Propositions?
The following factors can affect a company’s employer value proposition:
The first factor is corporate culture. If a company has a strong, healthy work environment with open communication and collaboration between employees and managers, then it will be much easier for them to attract top talent. In fact, research from the Corporate Executive Board found that workers who were satisfied with their jobs were twice as likely to stay on the job than those who were not.
By showcasing their company culture, employers can give prospective employees an idea of what it would be like to work at their organization. This includes things like how they have fun together after-hours or the types of events that are held within the office environment.
For example, some companies will host social activities where workers get to interact with each other outside of normal business hours. This can include team lunches, company retreats or even summer barbeques where employees get to kick back and relax while they enjoy the great outdoors together.
Other companies invest in creating a corporate culture that helps strengthen their brand identity within the industry. For example, if a business is known for innovation and creativity then they might include this in their EVP.
Job Security and Benefits
Job security and benefits can also affect EVPs. Flexible work schedules, ample vacation time and opportunities for telecommuting are becoming increasingly popular perks among job seekers—especially in the tech industry where many companies have adopted a "work from home" policy to expand their talent pool beyond geographical boundaries. In fact, nearly one-third of employees are more likely to stay in their current job if they have the option of working from home. This is especially true for Millennials who tend to value work-life balance over financial compensation or benefits such as retirement plans.
So while some companies may be able to offer a higher salary and benefits as well as additional perks, it can be difficult for them to compete with other employers who prioritize these other intangible elements that make up the company culture.
The work environment is the third factor that can be important for your EVP. This includes everything from office space to noise levels, lighting and even temperature controls. In some cases, employees may be willing to trade a higher salary for better working conditions if they feel it will improve their overall productivity level and well-being at work.
In fact, research from The Workforce Institute shows that the work environment is a top priority for about one-third of employees. In another study from The Workforce Institute, nearly half of all respondents said that they would take an 11% pay cut to improve their office space while more than 70% were willing to relocate if it meant working in a different building or department.
A company that specializes in providing attractive office spaces for employees may be able to attract top talent if they show that they prioritize the safety and well-being of their employees.
How can Smaller Companies Compete?
While it is often difficult for small and mid-sized companies to compete with larger firms when it comes to salary and benefits, there are other ways employers can create value propositions that appeal directly to potential employees. For instance, many startups have made their name in Silicon Valley by focusing on perks like casual dress codes and unlimited vacation days. These types of benefits are financially feasible for many younger companies who are still working to establish their brand, and they can help small businesses stand out.
Another example is the rise in popularity of coworking spaces that now allow employees to work remotely from a shared office space. By offering this type of benefit, employers have shown that they value an employee's desire for flexibility which can make them feel more valued and appreciated.
5 Steps to Create an Employer Value Proposition
When you are creating an EVP, it's important to focus on benefits that will help improve the quality of life for your employees. From health insurance plans and retirement funds to professional development opportunities, there should be a number of ways that employers can show their commitment to making employees feel valued.
Here are 5 steps you can follow on how to create the employer value proposition that will attract the right talent to your company.
1. Identify Who is Responsible for Employer Value Propositions
While it's important for the entire company to be engaged in creating value for employees, you should designate someone on your team as a point person for crafting the EVP. This individual will work with human resources and other stakeholders such as management teams and employees, to align both business strategy and employee experience. In a smaller company, it may be the CEO who is responsible for this. In other cases, it may be an HR or marketing executive.
Once this individual has been identified, make sure he or she is able to keep everyone in the loop when it comes to creating the EVP. This can be done by sharing drafts via email, company meetings, or even a dedicated section of your intranet.
2. Identify Your EVP Target Groups
Instead of having one generic statement, you will likely want to create multiple EVPs that are targeted towards certain groups. For this reason, the next step is to start thinking about who your target groups are for creating an EVP. In most cases, you are trying to attract many different kinds of employees based on role, department, geographical area, etc. Job candidates in these different groups may have different priorities when it comes to job search. Therefore, adjusting you EVP while staying true to your core company values can be a good idea for fine-tuning your positioning.
Once you know what target groups are responsible for creating your EVP, it's time to start identifying how each group's needs will be addressed.
3. Analyze Your Company's Strengths
Before you can start creating an EVP, it's important to understand what your company is already doing well. This includes everything from hiring practices, training initiatives, and even team-building activities that are offered on a regular basis.
By taking the time to create a list of assets you've got in place for all target groups, you'll be able to identify what you can build on for future EVP initiatives. You can even conduct interviews or internal focus groups to ask current employees about their employment experience.
When companies focus on their strengths, they tend to start finding success in other areas of business growth. If your company is already offering several appealing benefits that are consistently enjoyed by employees, then it's time to use those advantages as a starting point for creating an employer value proposition that will keep them coming back for more.
4. Evaluate Your Company's Competitors
By identifying a list of the benefits your competitors are offering, you will have an idea of what you are up against. With a prevalent war on talent, you should be aware of what others are offering and address the question: Why should candidates choose you over the competitor?
This can be done by visiting other organizations' career sites and reading through their communications and job postings or simply asking current employees who would know what kind of perks and advantages they're being offered.
The key here is not to copy any of your competitors' efforts, but instead, use them as a benchmark for creating your own unique value proposition. Once you know what other companies are offering and what works well with their employees and the industry at large, it's time to start brainstorming ways you can improve upon those ideas. The goal is to shape your value proposition to better reflect your own company's needs.
5. Draft Your Employer Value Proposition
Once you've identified all of your company's strengths and analyzed the EVPs that competitors are currently offering, it will be easier to create a value proposition that puts you in a better position for attracting and retaining talent.
The goal here is to identify ways for employees in each of your target groups can live up to their full potential and enjoy as many benefits from your company's EVP as possible.
To accomplish this, you will need to focus on three major areas when drafting your EVP:
- The core benefits that are being offered by employer. This should be a single idea or value proposition statement that sums up your company’s core values.
- All the key audiences that will be addressed by the EVP
- How employees at each target group can take advantage of these core benefits, which should include how they are unique to what's being offered elsewhere. This is where you want to focus on things like employee empowerment and the potential for career growth within your organization.
One last thought…
An employer value proposition can be a key success factor in attracting, recruiting and retaining employees and future candidates. It is crucial that your EVP is authentic and accurately represent what your company stands for. If employees feel like there is a disconnect between the value proposition and their experience within your company, this can do more damage to your company’s brand image than good. Employees can be your best ambassadors if you give them a reason to be.