8 Quick “MUSTS” for Creating a Powerful Employee Value Proposition

03.14.2017 / Talent Aquisition


employer branding musts

So you’ve built a great brand for your company with a powerfully compelling story that grabs your consumer’s interest and inspires interaction.  Terrific! Now what brand are you building for potential employees? Yep, today’s organizations need TWO brands: one that serves customers and one that serves the employees who serve those customers.

By definition, an Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is a strategic set of tools that combines the power of brand storytelling with the science of candidate insights, creating an overall experience of employment prestige and value. Your EVP should communicate to employees that what they receive from working at your company is an equal or better exchange for the skills, experience and capabilities that they give to you.

And if top talent is a priority for you, then you’ll need to think through your EVP carefully. And don’t worry, the time and energy spent will pay off. Companies that use theirs effectively can keep employees 5 times more engaged than their less successful counterparts. And according to a study done by the Corporate Leadership Council, a good EVP can improve new hire commitment by up to 29% while reducing new hire compensation premiums by up to 50%. (And I didn’t even mention the fact that a strong EVP can increase the likelihood of employee led referrals by 25%. Oh, wait. I just mentioned it.)

But an EVP isn’t simply your best tool for attracting prime candidates.  By providing balance, a strong EVP can be your best resource to counter bad reviews on rating sites. And criticisms can hurt more than our feelings; every negative online source can tarnish your reputation to clients and candidates. Without a strong and compelling EVP, and the resources to communicate it, a company is nearly defenseless in managing the brand of its people.

Alrighty then, so you’re ready to get cracking on creating an employee value proposition that attracts top talent, retains the workers you already have, builds a positive company culture, and stops online negativity from impacting your brand, right?

Perfect.  Now here are the 8 MUSTS to consider when crafting your EVP:

  1. It MUST be built around attributes that genuinely attract, engage and retain the talent you want. If you’re consistently receiving interest from square pegs, you probably want to rethink your round-hole messaging. Know who your desired employees are, understand what attracts and appeals to them and adjust accordingly.
  2. It MUST be consistent with strategic objectives. An EVP that draws top talent and holds onto them is awesome – but if it’s creating a company culture that doesn’t drive you towards your corporate goals, it’s not serving its purpose.
  3. It MUST be real and based on where your company is now. Definitely accentuate the positive, but we’ve all been left dumbstruck when arriving at the hotel that looks nothing like the brochure. You don’t want future employees checking out as fast as you did.
  4. However, it MUST also contain elements of where you see the company going in the future.  Give employees and potential talent a sense of where your aspirations lie – as well as how you plan to get there.
  5. It MUST be articulated in a way that appeals to your target audience. Sure, use all the dull corporate speak you like when writing about your organization– if you hope to attract dull corporate bots to work for you. If not, adjust the language and look to suit your audience.
  6. It MUST be researched and tested with employees.  Find out what they value most about working for you, why they stay, and why (gulp) they’re thinking of leaving.
  7. It MUST appeal to different groups of employees from different cultures and demos. International research shows that the most effective EVPs are derived from combining needs of key workforce segments, forming a universal brand.
  8. It MUST have a cross-functional team developing it. HR can lead the process, but bring in a broad spectrum of experience to the process: include marketing, managers representing key business and geographies, and others. And be diverse regarding age and tenure as you cast your team.

Now these aren’t necessarily an easy list of MUSTS, but they’re vital. Leadership that can’t express its goals and visions clearly in their EVP leaves a window open for competitors to steal top talent.  And not having a well-crafted EVP disappoints candidates who have been intrigued by your public success and reputation only to be underwhelmed when they land at your website’s careers area.  If they can’t see or experience an employer that values people and talent, they won’t tell you.  They simply move on because it is easy to do so today.

Helping companies define their culture is just part of what Bayard does. Click here to learn more about how to reignite your employment brand.