Value proposition

What you need to know about an employee value proposition

Hays’ Nick Deligiannis explains what an EVP is and how it can be used by employers to attract and retain top talent.

A good employee value proposition, or EVP, helps an organization attract the attention of top talent. It is a clear and consistent message about the work experience in your organization and highlights the unique experience you offer that attracts, engages and retains top talent.

In short, it helps you understand and share what successful employees value most when working for you. Remember that your organization is unique. It may manufacture the same products or provide the same service as your competitors, but it is unique in its own way.

What is an employee value proposition?

An EVP seeks to identify and communicate these unique benefits. Covering both tangible and intangible factors, from your company’s values ​​and culture to rewards and opportunities, it showcases the unique benefits and experience an employee receives in exchange for their skills and experience.

In doing so, it communicates why your organization is the right place for the type of people who succeed there, and no one else.

It is important here to make the distinction with your employer brand. While your EVP communicates to your potential and existing employees what they can get in return for working for your organization, your employer brand refers to the reputation that the whole world – and not just potential employees – has of you.

The two overlap, since an employer brand aims to take your EVP and present it externally in a creative and captivating external message. For this reason, the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably.

However, you can think of your EVP as the promise you make to your employees, while your employer brand is the message you communicate to the world about what you stand for, how you do business and what it’s like to be. work for you.

Why is an employee value proposition important?

How many times have you seen boring, predictable EVPs such as “Our employees are our greatest assets” or “We value our employees”? Such statements do not describe what is unique about working for your organization.

An EVP is important because it tells the candidate what they will get in return for working with you. By communicating work experience in your organization, you’ll attract candidates who are a natural fit for you and appreciate the benefits they’ll receive for their skills and experience. Additionally, those who do not align with your EVP will be less likely to apply.

But defining the essence of what your organization offers its people isn’t just about sitting down with your marketing team and creating a catchy slogan or a captivating image. It takes a genuine reflection of the real value you offer. With that in mind, here are our tips on how to develop an employee value proposition.

Tips for defining your employee value proposition

1. Identify your competitive advantage

Establish your competitive advantage. Find out what your current employees think is unique about working for your organization and why they’re staying. Once you have discovered the existing perceptions, you can exploit them to raise your EVP.

Conduct anonymous surveys, focus groups, or one-on-one interviews with current employees to find out what’s important to them, what engages them, and why they stay with your organization. Ask candidates during job interviews why they applied for a position in your organization. Organize exit interviews to understand why departing staff left and what may have encouraged them to stay.

The recruitment agency you use can also give you information on what attracts candidates to your job.

The information you gather should include your employees’ perceptions of your culture, values, goals, career progression, leaders, support, salaries, and benefits. So when doing this research, go beyond salary and financial benefits to identify the experience and intangible rewards that staff value.

For example, do you offer mentorships that allow employees to grow and develop their careers or clear and transparent promotion paths so everyone knows exactly what needs to be done to qualify for a promotion? Or does the value you provide to your people come in the form of regular development or a culture of collaboration?

2. Consider the importance of employee rewards and benefits

Candidates today are looking for a more engaging EVP than perhaps existed at many companies before. Offers like free lunches and team drinks are nice, but candidates see through such gimmicks if flexibility, hybrid working, work-life balance, and rewards aren’t also provided.

Your values ​​and purpose are also increasingly important to candidates. Employees want to know that their work matters and that the company they work for is having a positive impact.

Within your EVP, communicate the societal, environmental and cultural issues that you defend and how staff can participate in these programs.

3. Highlight common unique selling points

Once you’ve gathered this data, you’ll be able to clearly list the core values ​​and unique selling points that your employees strongly value.

Being able to define what your top talent enjoys most about working for you gives you clear direction when writing your EVP.

4. Write them in simple language

Your message should be succinct and clear. It should highlight what is most important to your employees, why they stay, and which job openings in your organization are unique in your market.

5. Check that it is based on the truth

Your EVP should be more than just descriptive sentences. It should be based on truth and should represent the sum of work experience in your organization as simply and honestly as possible.

This will ensure you attract people who will thrive in the everyday experience of your workplace, rather than those who are drawn to the message but unengaged by the reality.

To do this, you can test your EVP with your top talent to confirm that it accurately conveys the work experience for your organization.

And then ?

Defining your EVP is the easy part. It is its implementation that is the challenge and where many employers fall. Once you’ve defined your EVP, creatively bring it to life in your external employer brand.

All of your touchpoints with potential recruits and customers, from your website to the application process, should reflect your EVP. Consistency is key when communicating your EVP, both internally and externally.

Keep messaging consistent across all channels and at every stage of the employment relationship, from initial job description to available career progression.

If you don’t have a consistent message about your company’s values ​​and what you work for, potential employees can’t determine if your organization will be right for them and vice versa.

Remember that your EVP isn’t just a message you communicate during the recruiting process – it needs to be practiced in every interaction in your organization. For example, if you claim to support work-life balance or continuous development, but do not offer training, career development, educational leave or flexible hours, the reality of your workplace does not match your promise.

Always refine your EVP

Continuously measure the success of your EVP, for example by monitoring employee applications and retention rates. Conduct employee surveys to understand what’s important to your staff. Make sure existing employees are consulted throughout their career with you, not just after their first 12 months.

If necessary, adapt your job offer so that it remains relevant and comes alive throughout the daily lives of your employees. Reshape your EVP when necessary to authentically align with employee expectations.

By Nick Deligiannis

Nick Deligiannis is Managing Director of Hays Australia and New Zealand. A version of this article previously appeared on the Hays Blog Point of view.

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