Updated 6 months ago by Oskar Duberg
To attract top talent today, your brand has to stand out. And that starts with a thoughtfully articulated employee value proposition.
Hiring is getting tougher. But not because there’s a dearth of qualified talent. Candidates are simply getting choosier. They’re spending more time researching their options and carefully weeding out companies that don’t fit their criteria.
On top of that, competition for top talent is growing, as startups enter the market, SMBs expand their teams, and large corporations continue to add employees to their payroll.
How are you supposed to stand out and attract job seekers to your brand, then? By creating an employee value proposition.
An employee value proposition (EVP) is the collection of offerings and benefits that an employer gives to its employees. It includes everything from the workplace environment and growth opportunities to salary and perks. Being unique to each organization, EVPs serve to differentiate a brand from its competitors and make it a desirable place to work for both job seekers and employees.
Since competition for qualified job candidates is fierce, you have to find a way to differentiate your brand, if you want to attract job seekers. Having an EVP makes it possible for you to set yourself apart from other companies, because it enables you to show off the uniquely positive benefits of your workplace.
At the same time, an EVP also helps you navigate engagement with job seekers and deliver an exceptional employee experience. Frontify’s Employee Success Lead, Adrien Fernandez, explains further: “Employee value propositions matter to employees and prospects. It helps them understand what the ‘deal’ is. But it’s primarily guidance for us as employers, for our HR department. It tells us how to work and how to communicate. And it shows us what kind of processes and initiatives we should have in place, in order to be seen the way we want to be seen.”
Your employee value proposition includes every benefit that comes from being an employee at your company. But these benefits can sometimes be difficult to identify, especially if they’re woven deeply into the fiber of your workplace. So, to help you pinpoint all the components that make up your EVP, we’ve put together a list of seven elements that differentiate your employer brand.
Though perhaps one of the most surprising things on this list, your brand story is a core aspect of your EVP. The reason for that is your story isn’t replicable. No other brand out there has been on the same journey you have. And none currently walk the exact same path you do. Your story is yours – and it can function as a powerful connection point between you and your employees. This, in turn, can give them the desire and motivation to be part of your story moving forward.
Beyond just knowing where you’ve been and where you’re headed, employees care about the “why” behind your brand. They want to know what makes your company tick and what you’re actually willing to stand for.
As a result, whether you intentionally incorporate them or not, your job seekers consider your brand values when applying for positions at your company. And why not? They affect the decisions you make regarding the workplace, and they heavily influence your culture.
This is something you can capitalize on, though. All you have to do is make your brand values as prominent in your EVP and recruitment marketing as possible. Not only will doing so help you establish them as a desirable aspect of your company, but it will also set clear expectations for both your employees and job seekers.
If you look on career websites like Glassdoor, you’ll notice that employee and applicant reviews nearly always discuss the communication quality of their managers and executive team. Why? Because they care about the way information flows in the organization. For many, it may even make the difference between pursuing a job opportunity and passing it up.
And here again, this is factored into their decision, whether you market it as part of your EVP or not. So establishing a positive communication style with your employees and finding ways to highlight it for job seekers can make a big difference for your brand.
If you’re going to spend 40+ hours a week working in a specific place with a specific group of people, it should be enjoyable. You should feel comfortable doing your work and interacting with your team. And you should like the aesthetic of the space (or at least be neutral about it). If you don’t, you’ll likely end up leaving to work for a company that has what you’re looking for.
What does that mean for your brand? It means you need to do the work to make your environment part of your EVP. It may require cultural adjustments or physical updates to the office space, but it’s worth it. Not only does it help you attract talent to your company, but also enables you to retain your current employees.
Unsurprisingly, your employees and job applicants are interested in financial rewards, as well. They want to be compensated fairly for the work they provide your company and they want to receive a reasonable benefits package.
Given that, it makes sense that the salary and benefits you offer make a huge difference in terms of whether people will come work for you or not. They may be absolutely smitten with your environment and brand story, but if your comp doesn’t pay the bills, they aren’t going to stick around.
That doesn’t mean you have to break the bank or emphasize the paycheck above everything else to attract and keep talent, though. In fact, you may even have some employees that are 100% purpose-driven. But competitive compensation should always be part of your EVP.
Perks are one of those benefits that brands are constantly phasing in and out of their EVPs to entice job seekers and keep employees happy.
Lately, many brands have moved beyond the foosball tables and special snacks to offer things like gym memberships, continuing education stipends, transportation credits, brand swag, unlimited vacation policies, company retreats, extended parental leave, and a lot more. And, as expected, people love it.
But these aren’t the only perks out there. Every brand has their own unique set to offer. So spend some time thinking about the special benefits your company already provides to employees and pinpoint a few new ones that you might incorporate into your EVP, down the road.
Very few people are content working the exact same job for 30+ years, with little to no mobility. In fact, when people enter their careers, hunt for jobs, and accept positions, many are already thinking about where they want to end up.
This presents an opportunity for you to enhance your EVP, as you can both give your employees a clear understanding of where they’re headed and provide serious job candidates with enough information to decide if they want to work for you long-term.
Snagging top talent is difficult in such a competitive landscape. However, by strategically differentiating your brand with an employee value proposition, you can effectively make your brand a more noticeable and desirable place to work.