If you’re a business owner, you probably know that it’s important to have a strong brand and marketing strategy to help attract new and returning customers. But what about employees? Does your company find it easy to recruit top talent? Do employees feel rewarded and happy in their work? If not, this can lead to high turnover and lower productivity, and have a direct impact on your bottom line.
A great Employer Value Proposition (EVP) is integral to attracting and retaining talent, and in today’s competitive labor market – this can make all the difference to your business.
What is an Employer Value Proposition (EVP)?
An Employer Value Proposition is part of employer branding, and sets out how you want your business to be perceived by current and future employees. It defines why prospective talent would commit to working at your company and should communicate the benefits, values and culture of your organization offered in return.
Essentially, your EVP is a promise of value exchange your company offers to employees and prospective hires in exchange for their skills, experience, and commitment.
- Employer Value Proposition – is a promise of value exchange your company offers to employees and prospective hires in exchange for their skills, experience, and commitment.
- Employer Brand – describes the actual perceptions people have of your business as an employer.
- Employer Branding – is the organised set of activities any company takes to build their employer image.
Why build an EVP?
An EVP not only helps employees understand the full value exchange outside of remuneration, but also helps prospective employees with their choice to leave another company and join yours.
A strong EVP increases employee satisfaction & retention
It’s not all about the money… well, it’s partly about the money, but employees also want to feel like they’re making a difference at work. They want their work to have meaning, and they want to feel like they’re contributing towards something bigger than themselves.
Employees are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs when they feel like their employer values them, what’s important to them, and offers them opportunities for growth. They also tend to be happier when they have a strong sense of purpose at work – that is, when they understand why their work matters.
An EVP helps your company provide a narrative to make it easy for employees to answer questions like: “What do I want from my job?”, “What makes me truly happy?”, “Does this organization reflect my values?”, “Does this company offer me a chance to grow in my career?”, and ultimately “Am I happy to commit my time and exchange my experience for what this company has to offer in exchange?”.
It costs money (and time) to replace employees who leave your organization; therefore, keeping experienced staff on board can save you money over time. A study from Gartner states that an organization can lower employee turnover by 69% with a compelling EVP.
In addition, turnover can negatively affect productivity because new employees need time before they become effective contributors or leaders within an organization. And likely, if you have a high turnover, more of your current workforce are unengaged and planning to leave at any given time – further lowering your productivity.
A strong EVP helps attract top talent
The balance between applicants and employers has shifted and the ‘war-for-talent’ has gone global with companies increasingly offering remote working opportunities or relocation packages. Candidates are being spoilt for choice when it comes to new roles.
A strong employer value proposition will help you attract top talent as it sets out all the reasons why a candidate would want to work for you, over and above remuneration – security, flexibility, personal development, career opportunities, culture and other perks.
A candidate will easily be able to form a positive perception about what your organization is like to work for from reading your job advert, your website, your social media posts and talking to your current employees. A consistently communicated EVP will help you fill vacant positions more readily and be able to compete for the top talent, reducing the time and resources required to fill available roles. As you are more likely to have found the ‘right match’ – a candidate who has a good perception of your culture and is happy with the full value exchange – you will have a more productive and engaged employee who will stay longer with your company.
How to build an EVP
What makes up an effective employer value proposition? And how do you build one that’s compelling enough to stand out in the minds of candidates?
An employer value proposition should be well-defined and provide a reason employees should want to work at your company. An EVP should be attractive, competitive and attuned to the market (data-driven).
However, it is important that your EVP is aligned with your overall company strategy and true to your working policies, so that it is credible. It also ensures your employee narrative reflects the company communications.
Employers should take a data-driven approach in the formulation of an EVP, developing both an attractive but realistc definition. While this should be led by HR, there should be buy-in from the top. If your policies or culture are not meeting the market expectations then your EVP, no matter how well-defined, will lack substance and credibility. This disparity will surface and this will become the dominant perception of your company as an employer.
What to include in your EVP
The internet offers many frameworks for the development of an EVP but essentially your employee value proposition should communicate;
- who you are as an organization
- what makes you unique (relative to the competition) and;
- the experience employees will have working for your company.
You should consider your strengths from an internal and external perspective. You should also consider the full life-cycle of an employee – recruitment, engagement and retention.
Consider the following factors when developing your EVP:
This is a great place to start. Why are potential employees attracted to your company? What do existing employees think makes your company unique and what do they value most about working there? Very crucially, why do they stay or leave?
This information can be quickly gathered through surveys, focus groups, or even from job applicants and exit interviews.
Remuneration, or pay, is a great place to start. Employers who pay more than the competition have a head-start as candidates will perceive your business as an employer that recognizes and rewards skills and experience. Your EVP should define salary, rewards, raises and any bonuses offered.
In the long-term however, great pay will not make up for a poor working experience. Equally, if your organisation offers a low or average salary compared to the market, you will need other unique selling points to stand out with potential candidates.
Employees are increasingly seeking better work-life balance. Flexible working policies such as hybrid working, working from home, core hours or flexi-time all demonstrate that a company values their people’s work-life balance too.
Work-life balance factors should also address the entire human need, not just the employee. How will working at your company support your employee’s lives? Demonstrating how you support retirement plans, paid time-off, and policies which support family life along with mental and physical well-being will all help make your EVP more compelling.
Stability & Growth
Job security and opportunities for career growth are important to candidates and should factor in your EVP. While your EVP should be consistent, you should communicate role-specific opportunities too.
When defining your EVP, it is important to focus on the ‘how’ – what you offer, and how you do it. Highlight your Diversity, Equity and Inclusion approach.
It is key here to be attuned to the market. The workforce in the UAE is made up of a large portion of ex-pats and migrant workers. Ensure you understand the needs of your ‘target audience’ and that your EVP addresses their needs and motivations.
For example, a large portion of the migrant workforce remains unbanked or underbanked. Offering payroll that gives access to financial services demonstrates that you are a responsible employer who is concerned about – and takes action to drive the financial inclusion and well-being of their people.
Find out more about how Payroll with Purpose can help you define elements of your employee value proposition by not only providing access to financial services to improve financial well-being, but also providing access to financial and digital literacy education.
Gartner states that “your organization can reduce the compensation premium by 50% and reach 50% deeper into the labor market when candidates view an EVP as attractive”. They claim that “organizations that effectively deliver on their EVP can decrease annual employee turnover by just under 70% and increase new hire commitment by nearly 30%”.
There are clear benefits to having a compelling EVP but remember, you need to balance being attractive with being realistic about what you actually offer.
- Does it align with your company’s overall culture?
- Does it differentiate your company from competitors?
- Does it paint a realistic picture of your employee’s true experience?
- Is it compelling and attuned to the market?