When a company relies on an employer value proposition (EVP), they are better able to define what they can offer potential and current employees. Not only that, but it expects from them in return. So, it helps to know what an EVP is, and how you can create one that truly lasts the test of time.
In short, a well-rounded EVP sharpens the identity of the employer, strengthens the employer brand, and facilitates recruitment marketing. However, what it really takes is time. In this article, we take you through the steps to putting together a solid employer value proposition.
What Is An Employer Value Proposition (EVP)?
An Employer Value Proposition (EVP) is your company’s core benefits that make up your employer brand. In exchange for the skills and experience of an employee, they benefit from your company culture and what your organization can offer them.
The use of an EVP allows an organization to formulate an attractive argument for why talented individuals should come on board. Much like a strong application, an EVP is both attractive and realistic at the same time (it is not filled with buzzwords).
Therefore, careful preparation and consideration is key, meaning that a company shouldn’t just want an EVP, they should need one. It should reflect what your company can offer, what competition is also offering, and the kind of experience an employee should (and will) find from their first day onward.
Why Are Employer Value Propositions Essential?
It’s because the balance between applicants and employers has shifted. In recent years, employers have had to pivot to ensure they are not just getting applicants for a role, but the best ones possible. This concept of a ‘war for talent’ had completely changed the playing field. Companies are no longer spoiled for choice, and instead need to formulate an argument for why the ‘best and brightest’ should choose them over other, similarly-appealing companies.
Ultimately, skilled workers and talent individuals often have the choice of choosing between companies. So, a potential employer needs to not only show themselves in the best light but position themselves toward it. An EVP plays an essential role under the umbrella term ‘Employer Branding’ (you can find out more about that by following this link).
To sum it up, an Employer Value Proposition is essential because employers want the best talent. And, in order to do that, they cannot have a poorly-defined identity or a negative employer image. It is bad for potential applicants, bad for recruitment overall, and hurts business in the long run. It’s as simple as that.
Who Is In Charge Of Developing Employer Value Propositions?
So, who should be in charge of crafting an EVP for your organization? For this question, let’s turn to the industry portal employerbranding.org and their recommendation: ‘Include everyone who you can’t get away with leaving out.’ This may seem a bit wide-ranging, so let’s drill it down a bit more.
Let’s say we had a kick-off meeting to begin the process, this should include:
- Works council
- Senior management team
This collection of individuals should come together to create a lasting basic framework. That’s because any EVP we create needs to tie in with the company’s underlying strategy, guiding vision, and working philosophy. Therefore, employees, HR managers, and the management team need to be involved.
How Do You Define EVP Target Groups?
The impact of an Employer Value Proposition will always relate back to who you’re targeting. In that sense, it’s really not possible to make a grand, sweeping statement of how attractive any one particular EVP is at a given time.
Before you begin listing all the reasons to work at your company, you need to know who you’re trying to reach and what they are about. The best place to begin is by creating a somewhat-generic, wide-ranging EVP, and then tailoring it down to specific groups of employees (whether by department or function).
We’ll call this ‘target group-specific branding.’ Concerned that this might be spreading your EVP too thin? Keep in mind that you are trying to attract many different kinds of people, from many different disciplines, so you should feel empowered to create messaging that resonates with each.
For example, candidates applying for a post in the capital city office are likely to go for a different EVP to those who are interested in a position at a local branch in the country. They have different priorities and preferences, and therefore need a unique EVP to attract them.
A Step-By-Step Guide To Employer Branding
Give candidates all the right reasons to work for your company, by presenting yourself as an attractive employer. Download this guide for some help.
What Factors Affect Employer Value Propositions?
Here’s something to keep in mind: No two Employer Value Propositions are created equal. The challenge is preparing one to identify your own unique strengths as an employer.
To do this, ask yourself: What arguments do we have on hand that could really convince a potential candidate to apply here?
Now, there’s a whole host of factors we might consider. Here are some of the most important:
An EVP Starting Point: Remuneration
Remuneration is a great starting point for thinking about your EVP. In some cases, your remuneration may be:
- Below market average.
- Aligned with the market.
- Higher than the market.
In each scenario, the factors that are not pay-related will have a different level of importance. A company that pays its employees at a higher rate than the competition ensures that applicants will have a positive perception of the employer right from the beginning.
For this reason, all other factors become less relevant, although that does not mean that they are unimportant. Over the long term, a high level of remuneration cannot make up for a miserable working environment. A company that offers its employees only average or indeed low pay needs other unique selling points in order to attract skilled employees and talented individuals.
Along with pay, an engaging working environment is one of the most important factors. This includes propositions such as fitting out the workplace to a high standard, offering stylish office furniture, and supplying the employees with soft drinks and snacks. Furthermore, there is the option of allowing employees to work from home. These factors are particularly important for young target audiences who value flexibility and a healthy work-life balance.
It is important that applicants feel they can identify with the corporate culture, including all the values that a company stands for. The focus here can be very specific. The company culture can reflect attitudes towards human, social, or even political issues. For many applicants who are seeking long-term employment, it is important that their employer shares their views, at least when it comes to fundamental questions. In the end, most workers want to be able to go to work with a clear conscience.
Opportunities For Growth
How good are the career opportunities and promotion prospects in the company? The answer to this question can also tip the scales in favor of your company. Are employees supported and encouraged to develop their abilities? Are free training courses offered? Is there a prospect of moving to a managerial position within the foreseeable future? Are there positive examples of home-grown talent rising through the ranks? Companies who use their employer value proposition in recruitment marketing to present a transparent outlook to new employees will score points among high potentials on the job market.
How can a long-established company compete with the appeal of young, agile start-ups? One way would be, for example, to emphasize factors such as stability and job security. A long history, constant growth, or a market-leading position make employees feel secure. The feeling that a position is not under threat from a commercial perspective can be an essential decision criterion for the risk-averse candidate.
Keeping Track Of The Competition
By no means should companies blindly copy their rivals when it comes to preparing an EVP. Doing so would mean that no unique selling point is created, nor would it be guaranteed that their own intended audience is targeted in the best possible way. Nevertheless, it is advisable to keep track of direct competitors, their value propositions, and their recruitment marketing activities in order to respond to them should it prove necessary.
For example, if a competitor cannot offer an especially good canteen, you should emphasize this value proposition particularly strongly. As certain EVP factors, such as pay or tangible promotion opportunities, are not always communicated openly by competitors, resorting to ‘undercover’ measures is certainly an option. For example, going to career fairs incognito to seek information from competitors is a common practice in many companies.
Identifying Your Company’s Strengths
The easiest way to discover what strengths your own company has from an employee perspective is to ask the employees directly. Doing so in the form of a questionnaire or a detailed interview can bring important insights to light. The focus of the questions should be on why an employee decided to accept a position at your company, why they still enjoy working there, and why they would recommend the company as an employer to a friend.
Where Does Corporate Culture Fit In?
The culture of your company is going to have monumental impact on your employer brand and how you attract the best talent. Click here for our full guide to defining and expressing your corporate culture today.
How Do You Finish Formulating An Engaging Employer Value Proposition?
Once the target groups have been defined, your own strengths analyzed from an external and internal point of view, and the weaknesses of the competition taken into account, the final EVP needs to be drafted. In doing so, companies should be guided by certain ground rules:
The more specifically an EVP is worded, the more credible and powerful it will be. It is imperative that companies avoid generic phrases such as ‘good career opportunities’ or ‘a wide range of responsibilities’. Applicants will have already read them countless times, and they sound arbitrary and uninspired.
Employers should therefore determine precisely which of their arguments are really appealing and which sound somewhat interchangeable. An endless stream of self-glorification is less credible than the detailed description of a few key points. In the end, honesty and an EVP which presents a realistic view of your company will pay off.
Employees who are disappointed by the promises made can do a great deal of harm by disseminating a negative impression of your employer branding. A well-thought-out EVP supports the recruitment, retention, and motivation of employees.