Attracting, recruiting and retaining staff is becoming harder and harder. Employees are looking for more than just who pays the highest salary or has the most prestige attached to their company.
In fact, what employees look for now can fluctuate widely depending what sector or industry you are in, but there are some core pillars that should go into every EVP, to make your workplace and/or company super attractive to even the most top tier of talent.
But first, what is an EVP really?
What Is An Employee Value Proposition?
An EVP can be defined as a “set of monetary and non-monetary benefits provided by an organisation to its employees, in return for skills and experience”, in layman terms it is the whole kit and caboodle that comes with working for someone, the pay, the bonuses, the perks, culture you name it, essentially it is the entire ecosystem of working life on offer.
An Employee Value Proposition (EVP), shouldn’t be thought of as transactional, or a set of promises between two individuals, but instead a company driven set of employer offerings to all of its employees, that come together to create a more harmonious workplace for all, that also boosts morale and in turn productivity.
The stronger the EVP, the stronger the employer brand, meaning the stronger the attraction is for not only new talent looking to join your company but also for existing talent looking to stay.
Why Is Developing An EVP Important?
If done right, an Employee Value Proposition (EVP) can greatly strengthen your employer branding and really set you apart from your competitors as the place to be if you are talented, not to mention recruiting is a time consuming and quite often expensive process for any company, so by spending time on your EV you can at least shorten the search and/or attracting parts, because if your EVP is good enough, top talent will be banging at the door to join at the sniff of an opportunity.
Google has an amazing Employee Value Proposition (EVP), not just from the pay, but also the environment and type of innovative work they are allowed to do, the forward thinking incentives and benefits, everything is centred around making the employees life better whilst they are under their employment.
This EVP has created an employer branding on a whole other level, to any other tech company competitors, allowing them to attract the best talent in the industry new and old, and then because they also create this innovative environment, they also retain them and gain new products from them, which in turn creates new revenue streams - It’s a winning formula, and all they did was create a strong EVP, complete with a nurturing environment, that allowed them to attract and largely keep the best in the industry.
What Makes A Great Employee Value Proposition?
Well first things is to remember what the purpose of the EVP is - To answer the question ‘Why should I work for you?”’
And the best place to start looking to answer that question is by asking yourself, what makes your company special? What makes you different from similar companies, and what are your core strengths and values?
This is where you can start to think about the types of people you want to employ, not just the skills, so that you can begin to develop a company culture.
Culture is important, not because it sounds cool, and trendy, but because it creates a unified purpose and a community. Using Google as an example again, not everyone wants to work in a campus style environment with sleeping pods and dogs running wild, some people might prefer the suit and tie environment, the more higher end corporate culture of say IBM. Neither culture is better or worse than the other, they are just different and by sticking to their core values as a company they create a culture that better suits those they would prefer to hire.
Once you have this laid out, you can start to consider building the 5 core components of an Employee Value Proposition (EVP) - Rewards, Opportunity, Organisation, People and of course the Job (Or Work).
5 Core Components Of A Successful Employee Value Proposition (EVP)
This is probably the most obvious part, salary, bonuses, benefits and any extras really that an employee can expect as part of their overall remuneration package for their expertise and time. However, don’t be fooled into thinking OK i'll pay the highest base salary or the biggest commission package, don’t get us wrong this will help (especially for sales based roles), but instead go back to the culture aspect and the just how you do for you customers, think what would these types of employees that I want to hire, want more than just money.
As an example: Gymshark wants to hire employees that are not only great marketers, sales people, product developers (whatever is needed) but they must also be fitness enthusiasts who are young and full of life.
Answer - They build a massive gym complex that their employees can use for free, complete with pretty much anything you can imagine a young fitness enthusiast would want, throw in some added holiday time for those all important festival dates and/or travelling breaks, and you instantly have an amazing EVP for the people who you want most, simply because you gave them what they want more than money.
Let’s face it, we all have to accept the fact that at least 50% of our lives are going to be spent working.
For older generations it was a given that it would most likely be for the same employer, however more modern generations usually will jump from company to company every 18months or so, why? Because they want something more, they want to know what they are doing is leading somewhere and then they want to actually get there.
When developing your EVP, make the career progression and future opportunities that working for your company can provide super clear and more importantly if you can promote someone, then do it. If you have or can provide additional training opportunities where employees can learn not only aspects of their own job, but even other skills they may be interested in, again make it clear and make it accessible.
This is especially important for graduates and hires just starting to carve out their career paths, as you can not only help them better understand the route to success, but also the excitement will help drive them to be the best possible employee they can be.
This part ties in with the culture to an extent, ultimately it’s the part where you get to showcase why working for you is so great, why they can be proud working for a company like yours.
Here is where you tie in the company mission into the Employee Value Proposition (EVP) and how everything they will do is helping make the world a better place.
For example: Tony’s Chocolonely - Their mission is to make chocolate production 100% slave free. This is not an easy task, but it is a mission that everyone can get behind and feel like they are working towards something bigger than just increasing revenues year on year.
This unified company mission, provides potential employees with a sense of purpose and as a company if you publish milestones that have been completed or awards received in line with the mission it also provides a sense of accomplishment that goes beyond the norm.
Ultimately as humans we all yearn to be part of something bigger than ourselves.
When most candidates ask what the culture is like, they usually mean what are the people like. This can be quite a tough question to answer especially if you are quite a large company and the people interviewing are part of a different department to the one being interviewed for.
This part of the EVP would be a good time to prepare ahead of time, try to get an overview of each department, who are the key stakeholders - managers, heads of departments and other important individuals who they may likely work with daily. Additionally, you may want to discuss team building events and highlight key achievements of individuals and of course later down the interview process, invite them to come in and meet the team to see if they fit with the dynamics.
When creating this part of the EVP for attracting potential candidates, be sure to highlight what a normal day/week or even month looks like in the role, this way you will be more likely to attract individuals more suited to that daily routine.
For example you wouldn’t want to attract an introvert type person, if your environment is a loud collaborative sales type, same as you wouldn’t want to hire an extrovert if the role is generally one of solitude or home working.
This part sounds like a formality, but if you invest some time into it, it will save you a lot of time in the recruitment and selection process.
At the end of the day, not all jobs suit all people right, but even more so not every job is the same at different companies. When developing thai part of the EVP, go into details, talk about what a good day looks like, the type of work you will be expected to do, and even the reason behind it (how it ties into the mission).
The idea is that you give the potential candidate the ability to imagine themselves within this role, allowing them to see if it really is what they are looking for, also it allows you to see if you are perhaps asking too much. We come across so many marketing roles that ask the candidate to do the job of a whole marketing department, this is impossible, especially if you want the job done well, and having that many responsibilities is only going to make them not want to work for you no matter the money, because it tells them that you are unrealistic. So, if you are finding that your EVP is great overall, but the job is just not attracting anyone, look here first.
In summary, How Do I Create A Great Employee Value Proposition (EVP) that lasts?
- Review and assess what you have on offer already
- Use employe feedback to help you determine what’s worked well and what’s not
- Determine your company culture & Mission and build your EVP
- Display and promote your EVP, not just within marketing materials but across all company communications.
- Repeat this process over and over again, until you have refined it.