Winning the war for talent: The employee value proposition

June 27, 2023
B2B Employee insights Employer branding

To grow and improve performance in this competitive world, businesses need top quality employees who are aligned and engaged. However global demographic predictions have identified that in the coming years certain areas of the population will have a reduced supply of talent due to decreasing population. In these instances, businesses will struggle to win the best and brightest over their competitors. In other areas, exploding population size will result in an oversupply of talent, with businesses struggling to identify which employees are the right fit.

Alongside these challenges, there is also the inevitable instability in the market to contend with. Economic downturn brings the requirement to drive down expenses and reduce margins, yet maintain quality of output. This results in smaller recruitment budgets and more pressure internally to ensure optimum productivity of people.

Faced with these challenges, a strong employee value proposition (EVP) becomes a vital tool in the battle to find the right people, as we found when we spoke to 14 senior brand leaders as part of our Brand Leaders 2017 Report.

How an EVP helps win the war for talent

An EVP summarises the wider vision of a business and defines the employee’s role in delivering against that vision. In its simplest form, an EVP defines where a business is going, what it requires from its employees to get there and what it will provide to them in return. But is an EVP really that valuable in winning the war for talent? Yes it is.

With 75% of prospective employees considering an employer’s brand before ever applying for a job, and 69% of prospective employees saying they would not take a job with a business with a poor employer brand – even if they were unemployed, the power of an EVP in attracting talent is clear.

A strong EVP attracts applicants by:

  • Defining what your organisation offers your employees over and above competitors
  • Expanding the meaning of your business beyond commercial outcomes, helping prospects buy in to your wider mission
  • Outlining the benefits of working with you in a way that is relevant to what your prospects want from their employer
  • Providing a reason to buy in to your business above remuneration
  • Ensuring your reputation becomes a talking point, resulting in more talent proactively approaching your business

In time, this results in a reduced dependency of expensive recruitment processes and suppliers, and your HR team having a larger pool of applicants to select from.

Simplifying the qualifying process

However, a large number of applicants presents its own challenges, if the business then expends time and money sorting through and interviewing to get to the right candidate. This is why an EVP’s role is also to sort in, and sort out applicants at every stage of the process.

An EVP supports in the qualifying of applicants by:

  • Showing that you stand for something clear – by standing for something, you inevitably stand against something else, ensuring that applicants who don’t align to your values don’t apply.
  • Being clear on what is expected – by setting clear expectations around behaviours and values, you ensure you only review applications from those applicants willing to align – and you can check this during the interview process.
  • Ensuring a more straight-forward review process – armed with a clear EVP, HR teams find it easier to evaluate each applicant because the criteria they are using are simple and clear.

Key considerations when crafting an EVP

  • Make sure your EVP clearly stands for something – in order to do this, the organisation must be comfortable with not appealing to everyone.
  • Make sure it is distinctive and ownable – with hundreds of seemingly similar businesses in your industry to choose from, your EVP needs to be different to your competitors in tone and offer.
  • It needs to be relevant – does your target market care about what you are offering? With each passing decade, the priorities of the workforce change, is your EVP making promises that your workers care about?
  • Have personality – you are speaking to humans, so your offer needs to be expressed in a way that is human too. Professionalism is still important, but jargon-heavy offers paint a picture of an impersonal business culture.
  • Reflect the business on its best day – injecting a level of aspiration gives applicants something to be excited by however….
  • ….it has to be true. Painting a picture of a ‘tech focused workforce’ will attract the most innovative applicants, but they will leave quickly if the promises you’ve made are not being kept.

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