What Is an Employer Value Proposition?

Think of the Employer Value Proposition (EVP) as your company’s core benefits: the perks. From salary to cafeteria food, what does your organization offer to keep high performers and lure potential applicants? Your answer will vary based on culture and industry type; however, most employers must provide more than fair wages to attract talent.

Why It’s Important to Understand and Articulate Your Organization’s Employer Value Proposition

The Employer Value Proposition is the single most important factor in attracting and retaining top talent because it is the employer’s promise to potential applicants and current employees. It speaks directly to what your company and culture offers them in exchange for their talent, time and effort. Here are some of the benefits of a strong EVP.

  • Employer branding. A company’s brand determines its ability to attract the best candidates. The EVP must align with your employer brand, or you’ll find it difficult to sell potential applicants on applying for a position at your company. For example, if you’re an employer that prioritizes creativity and innovation while promoting corporate wellness programs like meditation classes and bike racks, then you would be a great fit for someone who values both work ethic and health/wellness.
  • Trust. Having an EVP in place shows your dedication to attracting and retaining talent. If your company is transparent about the benefits it offers, potential applicants will be more likely to understand and trust what they can expect if they work for you. Your EVP helps build trust early in the process of working with potential hires, and makes you more competitive as an employer.
  • Differentiation. Your value proposition sets you apart from your competition, especially compared to companies within the same industry who are recruiting candidates with similar skill sets. The better your EVP, the easier it is to stand out among other employers trying to recruit top talent, and the less you’ll have to worry about keeping your bench strength up in times of famine.

Factors That Affect Your EVP

Your company’s value proposition depends on your industry, company values, brand, the budgets available to you, and many other factors. There are also different types of value that companies can offer potential employees: financial stability, longevity, benefits, resources and opportunities, leadership and culture, remote working opportunities, career development, and other types of flexibility. All these factors and more combine to create the most effective EVP for your company.

What Makes a Strong EVP

Strive to include a strong offering that consists of inclusive benefits, advantageous perks and creative wellbeing programs. Authenticity is key: don’t publicly state one thing but fail to provide it when an applicant starts working for your company.

Pull Out All the Stops on Benefits

It is important to be all-inclusive in your benefits, because the more you offer, the more needs you can meet outside compensation. The more advantages and safety nets you create to give employees peace of mind, the more your company stands out in the talent pool. The added benefit of greater productivity and higher retention is one that you will not soon regret, either.

Offer Exclusive and Exciting Perks

When it comes to the EVP, perks can be a huge selling point.  Make sure that they are exciting and unique; this even makes them great conversation starters for applicants. These perks can include anything from bonuses to paid time off to discounts at well-known electronic stores to movie and phone bill discounts. The possibilities are endless, and many benefit providers tack these on as part of their total offering for a strong package.

Incorporate Wellness Programs

It is no secret that EVP and corporate success go hand in hand.  Providing mental, physical and financial wellbeing programs and incentives are key to making sure employees can flourish and grow both at work and outside of it.

Steps to Create an Employer Value Proposition

Creating a value proposition is a time-consuming process, but the results are well worth the effort. You must first analyze what you currently provide and interview employees regarding their impressions of the current benefits package. Finally, look at the data and figure out where you’d like to improve your offerings.

Step 1: Analyze Your Current Value Proposition

Are your employees excited for open enrollment to come around, or is it more of a hassle? Do your benefits truly differentiate you from other companies, or are they just  boxes to check off? Asking yourself these questions and answering them honestly will help you build an accurate, real-time view of your current value proposition. It is also absolutely critical to conduct an EVP analysis on a regular basis in order for your company to remain competitive.

Step 2: Interview Current and Past Employees

In order to acquire a high-level third-party perspective on the individuals your value proposition effects, start by asking current employees the following questions.

  • Why did you join this company?
  • What did you like about the benefits package this year?
  • What would you add or take away from our current benefits package?

Another source of this information is exit interviews. Make benefits a regular question of employees who leave the company and document their responses.

Step 3: Identify Areas of Improvement

Once you have a good idea of what your current EVP provides, it’s time to take a look at what can be changed or improved. This is where all that feedback from current and past employees comes in handy.

Analyze the information in such a way that makes sense to you. You might order the ideas and suggestions from most realistic to least, and then consider the effect each will have financially. If a number of suggestions are simple things like more training or install a suggestion box, you can make good on them relatively quickly. Other ideas might be more costly and require a bit of investigation, such as better health insurance or more time off. While not impossible and certainly not out of the question, these types of suggestions require further research and approval.

As you work to improve your EVP, aim for one change every six months. By keeping up with these types of changes on a regular basis, you can ensure that your employer brand stays relevant and effective—and that talent attraction will never be a big problem as a result.

Step 4: Communicate Your EVP

Your EVP is like a puzzle. The pieces that make up your company’s values and mission statement come together to create an impression on potential hires as they read through applications, or even in person during interviews. Putting all of the parts together can make for a powerful value statement to potential hires—such as in an application or an offer letter for potential hires—and its own section in an employee handbook.

Once you have identified your company’s unique value proposition, it is essential to communicate it effectively. Whether you are writing job descriptions, sourcing candidates, or discussing EVP with current employees, communicating it skillfully can improve its effectiveness in attracting top talent. Below are some tips for doing so.

Tip 1: Speak the Language of Potential Employees

It is vital that your mission is communicated in a manner that entices top talent. If someone cannot relate to what you’re saying, they will not be interested in how great working for you could be. For instance, try using action verbs when describing tasks and responsibilities; instead of you are responsible for a certain function, say you drive it. These words are more engaging and convey more meaning.

Tip 2: Be Clear, Concise, and Specific

It is important to be clear when articulating your company’s value proposition. Make sure that the message comes across precisely, without unnecessary verbiage or fuzziness. Furthermore, it should be scannable–that is, easy to read at a glance. Keep everything short and sweet; no one wants to read a novel when skimming through a job description. And finally, tailor your language to potential employees who are in particular roles/fields/levels, so consider using industry jargon if it applies.

Tip 3: Keep Your Promises

The EVP must be kept as a company value, not something you use just for hiring. Promising new employees one thing but reneging on delivery once hired is sure to earn you a high turnover rate along with a bad reputation. Keep your EVP by delivering all promises to build loyalty and create an environment where productivity thrives.

Tip 4: Keep It Fresh

No one wants stale information! Your EVP must remain relevant by reflecting changes in your company or industry. For example, if you’re an early-stage startup with few employees but high growth potential, communicate your current offerings with a view towards growth and possibilities. Make sure you update the EVP as you add benefits and your company changes.