Your employer value proposition or ‘EVP’ is a big deal. And it’s going to become even more important in the years ahead. The growth we’ll see in remote working means that top talent will be able to work for a much wider choice of employers – all from the comfort of their home.
So, why should they choose to work for you?
That’s the crux of your EVP.
It’s all the good stuff you’d want people to associate with working for you. It’s how they’ll answer the question ‘What’s in it for me’?
And for them to be able to do that, you’ve got to understand how to discover the answers they’ll need.
That’s why understanding the EVP is such an important skill set to have.
So, let’s start with the EVP itself.
The EVP is the set of factors and supporting evidence that articulate what makes an employment experience unique. What it’s really like to work for you.
And it’s not just about recruitment. Your EVP helps retain your high performing employees too.
But don’t just take our word for it.
Research company Gartner found that employers that effectively deliver on their EVP can decrease annual employee turnover by just under 70% and increase new hire commitment by nearly 30%.
What’s more, we hear a lot about the importance of a strong employer brand, and with good reason. But, the EVP comes first, and the Employer Brand is the creative execution of the EVP. Without it, you’d be building your Employer Brand on guesswork.
See why it’s such a big deal?
But what does an EVP look like?
Different employers present an EVP in different ways. For some it’s a bullet point list. For others it’s a creatively written statement that, more often than not, sounds like a generic recruitment message. Short and snappy, easy to read but very narrow to work with.
The EVP is about a lot more than attracting talent. That’s why we prefer to go a lot deeper.
We use ‘pillars’ to develop our EVP statement and we find that this process has outputs that are far more useful to a business.
Here are just a few of the benefits:
You can segment your audiences – it’s not just for candidates.
- It’s based on truth – so it’s believable. Your existing people will buy into it and new hires will find that it really feels like what they signed up to.
- Your hires will be better matched to your culture and likely to be more engaged and productive in their work.
- It allows you to build an emotional connection that people will relate and respond to.
- The depth of research behind the process will give you the understanding to be able to create different content, for different audiences.
- In practical terms this all means happier line managers from the outset. Turnover will be lower too.
The EVP framework
Our preferred style is to create a framework that underpins the core EVP pillars with well researched proof points. It not only tells your employees and candidates what the core points are, but also gives a flavour of how this will benefit and excite them.
Remember, you’re answering the ‘what’s in it for me?’ question.
The EVP helps you to understand what makes your workplace unique and the kinds of stories you should be developing for individual audiences.
It should be the touchstone for every piece of employment communication that you produce.
And that’s why research is so important. You might have a fair idea of what it’s like to work for you, but there’s far more depth (and confidence) gained from asking others.
You wouldn’t develop a consumer brand based on hunches and guesswork. Your EVP shouldn’t be any different. Especially given how important it is to retention and recruitment.
So, what are the firm foundations from which to build your EVP pillars?
Gathering proof points and verbatim quotes
We use a wide range of internal data sources such as focus groups and engagement surveys, and external sources such as audience surveys.
Here’s an example of the kind of employee feedback that helps shape an EVP.
“It’s quite an entrepreneurial environment and a culture where it’s about actually coming up with ideas and suggestions and feeling like you can then go to the next step and put some structure around that and maybe deliver it without having to go through a lot of bureaucracy.”
Building the EVP Pillars
The proof points we gather are then grouped under a series of between 4 and 6 core themes – these are known as our EVP pillars – the universal truths that we can call upon for all of our future content.
We then give thought to how these pillars translate into employee experience statements.
What do these attributes mean for employees? How will they benefit them? How do they make an employee feel?
Creating the EVP statement
We often then summarise the pillars in a short elevator pitch – our EVP statement.
Communications and messaging
It’s then a good idea to place your EVP statement into a wider corporate communications framework, showing how it sits in relation to the Values, Vision, Mission, Purpose and Consumer Promise statements.
Finally, we look to develop a message matrix, showing the relative strengths of each of our pillars with individual talent audiences. This helps us to make sure we are using the strongest most relevant messaging at all times.
Hopefully this blog has highlighted the importance and benefits of a strong EVP. It’s one of the key pillars to your employer branding and therefore your recruitment. We are experts in researching and developing EVP’s, activating employer brands, and then managing that brand. If you need help with any of your employer branding then please get in touch with us today. You can read the work we’ve done for other businesses here or you can contact us here.
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