An Employment Value Proposition (EVP) is an important hiring tool. An EVP can help you be more effective at attracting and retaining talent.

What Is An EVP?

Your EVP articulates the value you provide to your employees in exchange for their contributions. They contribute their skills, experience, time, and energy. Your value proposition is what you give them in return.

It includes both quantifiable and intangible elements. Quantifiable components include salary, health insurance, pension plans, and tuition reimbursement. Perks include things like flexible schedules, telecommuting, on-site gym, meals, etc. If your company has a charitable arm, the humanitarian work might be important. If you operate eco-responsibly, that could play a part.

Why Is It Important?

An EVP is a useful tool in any labor market. But it’s especially important now.

Power dynamics in the job market have shifted. In 2008, unemployment skyrocketed during the Great Recession. Employees who had been laid off from 100K/year jobs took whatever they could find—sometimes at half the salary. Many were unemployed for months or years.

The pendulum has swung the other way. The number of open positions has outpaced the number of available workers. Now job seekers have all the power.

It’s never been more difficult to find top talent. And it’s never been more difficult to keep top talent. If you’re lucky enough to hire them, they can always leave if they’re not happy at your company.

You Can’t Express What You Don’t Understand

If you don’t have clarity regarding your EVP, how can you convey it to prospective and current employees? Furthermore, how can your employees articulate it to passive candidates in their circle of influence?

How Do I Use An EVP?

  • To market your company to prospective applicants
  • To inspire existing employees to refer applicants
  • To articulate the benefits of working at your organization

Employment Value Proposition stemmed from the concept of Unique Value Proposition. This is how marketers define the value you provide to your customers. It guides policies, marketing campaigns, and company messaging.

Similarly, an EVP is used to market your company to potential job candidates. It is used to create job descriptions, interview scripts, employee handbooks, and training materials.

Improve Employee Referrals

Your EVP plays a starring role in employee referral programs. If it’s well-communicated, your employees will internalize it. Then they can convey it to referrals and entice them to apply.

Employee referral hires:

  • Are less expensive to hire
  • Become productive faster (shorter onboarding time)
  • Are better employees
  • Stay with your company longer

And it gets better; an employee who refers a new hire will also stay longer at your company!

How Do I Create An EVP?

Start by figuring out your baseline. What implied EVP already exists? How do employees feel about your company? How is it perceived on the labor market? How is it viewed by competitors?

Conduct surveys of your workforce. Use exit interviews to figure out why employees leave. Scour Glassdoor and other workplace review sites. Read customer reviews. Talk to your customer service department. What feedback do they get?

You Can’t Spin It

You can only have a compelling EVP if your company is a great place to work. It’s only as useful as it is accurate. Which leads us to our next section…

How Can We Improve It?

Once you understand your current value proposition, determine whether or not it’s accurate. Are there misperceptions? Do your employees value what you currently offer? Does everyone know what’s available? Do they take advantage of your benefits and perks? In what ways is it lacking?

Improve Your Company First, Your EVP Will Follow

If your employees are loyal, but they can’t articulate why, you have a communication problem. Start getting the message out. You can do this with engagement programs and messaging in your HR portal.

If you have high turnover, it’s not just your EVP that’s weak, it’s the company culture upon which it’s based. If this is the case, it’s time to re-evaluate your employee experience. Create an ideal EVP to guide you as you work toward it.

By Liz Strikwerda