The talent needs of businesses are evolving faster than the labour market can adapt. In some industries, even recent university graduates are entering the job market with skill sets that are already outdated. At the same time, low birth rates and an ageing workforce are increasing the demand for labour, even as the economy slows and fewer young people are entering the job market.

These changes in the labour market have transformed, and are continuing to remodel, how businesses attract and retain the talent they need to succeed. To grow and compete successfully, companies need to develop an employer brand that reflects their values and culture in a way that appeals to potential candidates and aids in their recruitment efforts. One compelling way to do that, and to guide the process of creating that brand, is through the use of an employee value proposition.

Businesses Need to be Prepared to Compete for Talent

Employers often think of themselves as being in a dominant position when it comes to recruitment. Candidates are selected and rigorously interviewed to prove themselves before the best person for the job receives an offer. This doesn’t work when candidates are in short-supply; it’s a candidate rich market who make ethical and values-based decisions to join your company. Candidates want to know WIIFM – ‘what’s in it for me’ and they also want an insight into your company culture before signing on the dotted line. To attract the best talent, businesses need to ensure that talent will be willing to work for them through an appealing and compelling employee value proposition.

What is an Employee Value Proposition (EVP)?

An employee value proposition (EVP) is a defining statement that concisely communicates the relationship between an employer and their employees. It’s a type of branding statement that shows candidates both what they can expect from their employer, and what is be expected of them as an employee. An EVP needs to communicate an overall sense of what type of culture a business has which serves to catch the attention of potential candidates, and provides them with the intuitive context they need to decide to apply. Most importantly, it gives workers who are currently employed elsewhere a glimpse of what kind of an alternative your business might be able to offer and helps companies to attract otherwise unavailable talent. 

How to create a great EVP

When it comes to creating an EVP for your business, it’s essential to keep it short, meaningful, and memorable. This still leaves a lot of wiggle room, as good EVPs can range in length from just a single short phrase to a full paragraph. The key is to ensure that the intended audience will read and internalise the entire message, which becomes less likely the longer it is. An excellent way to keep things concise is to use evocative imagery or metaphors that can convey a complex picture in just a few words, rather than fully explaining your values. 

Bring employees into the process

Employers only know one side of the employer-employee relationship. When crafting an EVP, it’s important to understand the real perspective of the intended audience: current and future employees. Business leaders should work with current employees to discover how they see their relationship to their employer, and how they view the company culture of where they work, which provides the most accurate picture of what a job candidate can expect. Furthermore, it provides leaders with the information they need to implement any necessary changes, so that their working environment accurately reflects the organisational values.

A great EVP allows businesses to communicate with potential candidates, as well as their employees, who they are. It helps to define the business’ values and sets the tone for the entire relationship between employees and employers. By taking the time to craft a great EVP, companies can better build the culture they envision. Moreover, it provides them with a tool to aid in recruiting solid, more discerning talent that’s a better fit for the business’ culture and outlook.

Examples of Employee Value Proposition Statements

When building your Employee Value Proposition, consider that the most significant contributors to retention are development and career opportunities, together with the relationships and respect that the employee builds within your organisation, particularly those with managers and with peers.

The most important question to ask when creating your company’s EVP is “what do we currently offer to our employees in exchange for their time and effort?”

  • Google – “Do cool things that matter.” – Google
  • Nike – “We lead. We invent. We deliver. We use the power of sport to move the world.” – Nike
  • L’Oreal – “Lead the future of Beauty. When you love your work and the people you work with, amazing things can happen.” – L’Oreal
  • Honeywell – “You can make a difference by helping to build a smarter, safer and more sustainable world.” – Honeywell
  • Shopify – “We’re Shopify. Our mission is to make commerce better for everyone – but we’re not the workplace for everyone. We thrive on change, operate on trust, and leverage the diverse perspectives of people on our team in everything we do. We solve problems at a rapid pace. In short, we get shit done.” – Shopify
  • HubSpot – “We’re building a company people love. A company that will stand the test of time, so we invest in our people and optimize for your long-term happiness.” – Hubspot

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