Your Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is crucial if you want to attract the best talent, but in a world where employees put different values on different perks it’s a difficult area to tackle and get right.
Enhancing your EVP and attracting top candidates should be a key part of your employee engagement strategy — it’s one of the biggest challenges I see companies face. So let’s start with the basics:
What is an EVP?
An EVP is an “employee value proposition,” which makes up all the reasons why candidates would join your company over a different one. Getting it right means really taking the time to focus on what your EVP actually is. Ask yourself: What makes my organization stand out over others? It could be your employee perks package, your purpose and values shown in your mission statement, your core leadership principles or how jobs are designed.
Most importantly, I believe your EVP is a representation of the human side of your organization.
Next, design your EVP to appeal to your ideal candidate...
When looking at what to include in your EVP or how to enhance it you need to start by identifying the type of people you ideally want to attract. Different personalities are driven by different incentives, so if you can identify what drives the people you want to hire then that should guide your EVP.
The best way to do that is to ask the people who already work for your organization. They’re at your company for a reason, right? So, identify a group of people that represent the "ideal" type or types of people you want to attract and run a workshop to find out what motivates them and what would attract them. A couple questions to ask could include:
What attracted you to our company?
What keeps you here, year after year?
What would have to change for you to consider leaving?
Remember, your EVP isn’t just about attracting new talent, it’s about retaining your superstars as well. My colleague Rob Hicks wrote about gleaning information from another interesting spot: your exit interviews. Find out why people are leaving, and think through how you can improve your EVP through the feedback.
Once you identify your ideal candidate and what drives them, you can start to deliver your EVP. For example if you want to attract ambitious, customer-centric employees who are hungry for growth and development then you know that growth and development should be key components in your EVP. Likewise, if you want to attract driven individuals motivated by sales and status then employee perks and employee recognition with financial benefits should be the key component.
Ask yourself: Are your employees helping you deliver your EVP?
Before a candidate or potential employee has even got to the detail of an EVP they will be reading your EVP statement or careers webpage. This will either encourage them to read more or put them off before they go further, so it’s important to get this right! Some examples that I really like are Square, who put their employees at the heart of a series of videos, explaining what it’s like to work at Square and painting a true picture of the company.
Refinery29 have a dedicated culture section on their website talking about what it’s like to be a part of the Refinery29 team, putting photos of the team in work and play front and center. You can really get a great idea of what it’s like to work at Square and Refinery29 just from their culture and careers pages. (Check out our own Culture page over here for another example!)
Your careers page and statements should represent your culture, the type of people who make up the organization, what you’re looking for in an employee and the attitude that comes with that. If a candidate can feel what it would be like to work at your organization just from your careers page or statement then you’re halfway to finding the best talent for you.
Let your employees deliver the message and be your voice. It’s much easier to connect and identify with an organization when you hear from the real people who work there and who you may be working with. Videos, pictures and articles starring or written by your employees, telling their story within the company, what they like best, why they enjoy working there and what their journey has been can be extremely powerful and give a genuine demonstration of your EVP in action.