If you are struggling to recruit the right employees for your business, you may be missing a key element to your recruitment strategy - designing, and communicating, a compelling Employer Value Propostion (EVP)
For many roles and professions, long gone are the days where the hiring companies line up qualified candidates, put them through a gruelling selection process, and then take their pick. Candidates are becoming much choosier about where they work, and the selection criteria the candidates use are changing. As an employer, it is more important than ever to stand out from the crowd. In this article, we will describe the Employer Value Proposition concept, and explore how to put it to work to boost your recruitment outcomes.
What is an Employer Value Proposition?
Put simply, the Employer Value Proposition (EVP) is the combination of the tangible and intangible benefits an employee will receive in exchange for working for its employer. It is an important component of an employer's overall Employer Brand, which is how a company is perceived by its current employees and the potential pool of candidates.
An EVP will likely include core elements such as compensation and benefits package, but these are seldom enough by themselves. Put yourself in the shoes of a candidate who feels that they are strong enough to apply and be accepted by many potential employers. As part of the application and selection process, you will surely be equally concerned with why you should work at a particular company, as you are presenting your own capabilities. The balance of power has shifted. The candidate is selecting the company, not the other way around.
Unless you are a very rich company with ridiculous profit per head ratios, it is unlikely that competing for talent on comp and financial benefits will be a winning strategy, and even if you do succeed do you really want to hire a team motivated mainly by financial incentives? How long will it be before they receive a stronger offer elsewhere? Will you be able to keep these employees happy long term? It isn't a very sustainable approach.
Of course, having a competitive compensation and tangible benefits package is important, but it hardly makes your company stand out from the crowd. Every company will claim that they have this. If you find yourself responding to the standard question from candidates "Why should I come and work here?" in terms of comp and benefits, you need to up your game.
What is the purpose of an EVP?
The purpose of the EVP is make your company the employer of choice in the eyes of your potential candidates. Ideally, the candidate should be taken on a journey during the hiring process, to lead them to the following conclusions:
- This role will meet my immediate career goals
- This company will compensate me fairly for my contributions
- I see a good fit between this company and my longer term career goals
- I feel comfortable that I will fit in with the company's culture and values
- The purpose/mission of this company resonates with me
- All things considered, accepting this offer from this company is my best option
Of course, there are too many factors to list them all here. The key bullet is the last one. Your EVP influences many of the conclusions in the above list, but its real purpose is to lead the candidate to conclude that your company is not just a viable option for them, but it is the best option. No matter how good an opportunity you think your opening is, You should always assume that the best candidates have a number of viable options to choose from. Your EVP helps communicate what is unique and valuable about your company, and gives the candidate a reason to choose you over the others.
In many regards, the EVP is the recruiting equivalent of a USP - Unique Selling Proposition. Think of filling your opening as trying to sell a product in a crowded marketplace. You need to highlight what is unique and valuable about a product to convince a would-be customer to choose your product over the competition. Your EVP works in the same way to attract candidates to 'buy your product' - i.e. come and work at your company.
How do I define my own EVP?
Now you know what an EVP is, you might be interested in creating your own. Watch out for Part 2 of this article coming soon, where we'll take you through the steps.