What exactly is an EVP?
An employee value proposition clearly describes the main appeal of working for an organization. It’s the combination of rewards, benefits and opportunities you promise to provide employees in exchange for their productivity, time and energy. Your EVP includes tangible things like salary, benefits, and special employee programs (think training & development, wellness programs or flexible vacation time). It also includes intangible elements—the things that do not show up on a paycheck but are equally important. Examples include an engaging company culture, challenging work, an altruistic mission, or the opportunity to excel professionally. Basically, an EVP is everything your employees brag about to their peers when describing where they work.
An effective EVP enables organizations to attract and retain great talent, while also motivating your current employees to drive your organization forward. It is what brings the best candidates in and ensures those same individuals stay. Make sure your EVP genuinely connects with your workforce. Far too often, companies create an attractive EVP that does not match the reality of what it is like to work there. As a result, these companies end up hiring candidates who are not a good fit for the organization and are not happy at work. An effective EVP, on the other hand, helps you hire more engaged candidates who are committed to your cause and values.
In fact, an EVP improves the engagement level of new hires by up to 29 percent. As a result, your employees stay longer and are more likely to refer other job seekers who are a great fit for your organization.
To help get you started, we have put together a six-step process for building an effective employee value proposition.
STEP 1: Assess
Before you begin building an EVP, it’s a good idea to take full evaluation of what your company offers to employees today. Start by asking yourself, “Why do I stay?” Your colleagues will most likely agree with your answer.
Create a comprehensive list of your offerings by listing out your tangible and intangible benefits. It is important to include both types of benefits in your list because research shows that job seekers consider and care about both. Think about your target candidates and whether your benefits align with their interests. For a social service organization, your causes and community outreach may be important to candidates.
STEP 2: Research
To better understand what your target candidates want and need, conduct some research. Start by dissecting any data your company has already gathered. This could include onboarding or exit surveys, employee engagement scores, or any existing recruiting metrics. If you don’t have any or much data, consider investing in an employee engagement survey (many online tools offer a free version) or host an employee roundtable. Ask your employees what they love most about working for you and what areas they think you could improve on. The responses and conversations will help you understand what’s important to your workforce and what’s not. Analyze your results by categorizing data into key employee groups, such as Marketing, Sales or leadership. Then, decipher the most common trends and themes among each one. This process will reveal which benefits and traits appeal to each of your organization’s employee groups, as well as all of them as a whole.
Next, do some research to see what your competitors are doing. If your EVP is too similar to theirs, job seekers won’t find it very compelling. By ensuring that your EVP differs from other employers that are looking for the same talent, you can stand out as an employer of choice. Learn what your competitors are offering by checking out their career sites and job postings, or by interviewing an employee who has worked for them previously.
STEP 3: Discuss
Dive deeper into your results by inviting other important voices into the conversation. Review your findings with key stakeholders and hold employee focus groups to determine which of your employment benefits and traits are most significant and marketable. Meeting with groups like senior management, HR, sales, and marketing will help you gain further insight into the key themes identified in Step 2.
STEP 4: Build
Now it’s time to create your EVP. Using your research and insight, translate key themes into terms that reflect your company, culture and values. It could be one statement that defines your employment brand, or several powerful statements. Remember: a marketable EVP is concise and uses conversational language.
STEP 5: Execute
Once you’ve established your EVP, it’s time to broadcast it to your prospective and current employees! Incorporate your value proposition into your recruitment process: on your career site, within your job postings, and in your recruiting videos. Also position it throughout every stage of the employment process—including onboarding, career development, and employee relations. Include your EVP in relevant marketing collateral as well, such as blog posts about new hires and press releases about company events. If you don’t currently have content like this, consider creating and publishing some to spread the word about your EVP. You should also incorporate your EVP into your organization’s exit stage. If your employees leave with a positive perception of your company, they may tell others about your EVP and encourage them to apply. They will also remember why working with you was a worthwhile experience. You can incorporate your EVP into the exit stage by conducting exit surveys, asking for feedback, and making plans to stay in touch.
STEP 6: Review
An effective EVP is never truly complete. In fact, it should be continually reviewed year after year. Consider implementing an annual employee engagement survey to assess your EVP’s effectiveness and any changes you may need to make. Also, remain transparent with your employees and communicate with them often to ensure your EVP is still meeting their wants and needs. A successful EVP can be the difference between your organization losing and attracting the best candidates. When you make a solid promise to your prospective employees, you create a commitment that goes beyond a paycheck. Use these steps to create a strategic EVP today so you can ensure lasting results for your workforce and business tomorrow.