Today’s job market is fiercely competitive. With so many career paths and industries to choose from, job hunters can afford to be picky when looking for their perfect role. As such, companies need to stand out from the crowd to attract and retain the top talent in their sector.
Employee value proposition (or EVP) is crucial for creating a unique and strong brand that can be marketed to existing and potential employees. According to one study, an effective EVP can decrease an organisation’s annual employee turnover by nearly 70 percent and increase new hires by nearly 30 per cent, emphasising the importance of employee experience and the true power of company branding.
But what, exactly, is an employee value proposition? What are the key components of an EVP? And how do you create one successfully? Read on to find out more…
What is an employee value proposition?
Traditionally, an employee value proposition was perceived as a two-way street - defined as the unique set of benefits an employee receives in return for the skills, capabilities and experience they contribute to an organisation. This could include perks like financial compensation, career development opportunities and healthcare benefits.
These days, an employee value proposition is less transactional and more focused on how these benefits can be used to boost performance and engagement, improving the employee experience with a view to hiring and retaining top talent.
An employee value proposition is also crucial to defining and promoting a company’s brand, providing new, existing and potential employees with the true ethos of the organisation. All of the actions carried out by a company to recruit or retain talent feed into an EVP and therefore serve as a reflection of their brand.
What’s so important about an employee value proposition?
Designing a unique and powerful employee value proposition can have huge benefits for an organisation of any size. In today’s crowded job market, companies need to stand out in order to recruit and retain the top talent in their field. A compelling EVP can assist with this by highlighting the advantages of working for an organisation.
An employee value proposition eases the process of talent acquisition and management, even when attracting passive candidates (who are not actively searching for a new role and make up 70 per cent of the global workforce.
By emphasising the company’s unique selling points, an EVP can speak to the needs and wants of varying job hunters. In turn, candidates can use an EVP to ensure the organisation’s ethos is aligned with their values and beliefs.
As well as recruiting new talent, an employee value proposition can help to retain existing staff members. By offering opportunities for career growth, recognising and rewarding achievements and investing in a strong employer brand, companies can work to ensure their top talent stays loyal.
Through improving the processes of hiring and retaining employees, an employee value proposition can also alleviate company spending. An attractive EVP will result in more applications from talented candidates, leading to less time and money spent on recruiting via routes such as agencies, advertising and marketing campaigns. Replacing top employees is also time consuming and expensive, so improving retainment can result in less recruitment and training costs for an organisation.
What are the key components of an employee value proposition?
An employee value proposition should be distinctive and tailored to the values and needs of an individual company. It’s important to determine the core strengths of an organisation, while identifying the unique benefits that make it a great place to be employed. That said, there are some fundamental components that constitute a successful EVP.
1. Monetary compensation
Monetary compensation is perhaps the most obvious component of an employee value proposition. It can include benefits such as salary, bonuses and share schemes. While salaries can differ hugely between roles and industries, any company needs to offer a fair wage to ensure they stay competitive in the market. For some job hunters, financial compensation may be the key motivation in finding a new role, but others may value benefits that are less tangible.
2. Lifestyle benefits
Companies can provide a range of lifestyle benefits to ensure their employees are supported and financially secure. These perks can be tailored to suit the particular industry, organisation and culture of a company, but there are some typical benefits that employees will look for when job hunting.
Illness and injury benefits can be particularly important to workers – these can include sick pay, health insurance and dental/optical insurance. Some larger companies may also offer insurance to the families of their employees. A stable workplace pension scheme, where both the employee and employer contribute to the fund, is also commonplace.
Some organisations might grant a car allowance or cycle to work scheme to provide discounts and support for commuters. Gym memberships are also popular, encouraging employees to stay healthy and motivated.
3. Positive work environment and culture
A positive work environment is vital to the success and productivity of employees, and organisations should put time and effort into creating this atmosphere. Offering flexible working hours, remote opportunities and ensuring employees have a good work-life balance is of the utmost importance, particularly to staff members with families.
Rewards and recognition should be provided for hard work, while team building and effective communication should be encouraged. Company offices also need to be designed with productive working in mind, while remote workers need to feel included and valued in order to stay engaged.
Furthermore, an appealing company culture can have a huge impact on employee satisfaction. Managers should empower their employees and encourage them to strive for excellence. The company should also promote diversity and equality and employees should feel that their work aligns with the purpose and ethos of the organisation.
4. Career development opportunities
Employees need to be given ample opportunity to grow and develop within an organisation. Whether they are a junior staff member or a company executive, feeling stagnant in the workplace will have a negative impact on an employee’s performance and motivation. If a company is unable to offer a clear career development path, talent may look elsewhere for a more rewarding position.
Career development opportunities within a company can include training courses on technology, management or a specific vocation. Opportunities for promotion should be possible company wide, with mentors available to offer career advice to employees. Some job hunters might desire to work in a different city or country and therefore look for company travel or remote work opportunities.
How to create an employee value proposition
Creating a successful employee value proposition may seem like a daunting task. However, once the main components of an EVP have been recognised and understood, a company can begin to build its unique offering.
By following the five steps below, an organisation can ensure their EVP is relevant, compelling and effective.
1. Assess existing company perceptions
Before constructing an employee value proposition, an organisation should assess what it currently offers employees. By understanding the key components of an EVP (as explored above) a company can recognise where their strengths and weaknesses lie. For example, a start-up may not be able to offer huge financial compensation, but instead will provide employees with myriad opportunities for career development.
In this stage, it is important that an organisation is impartial about their offerings. Taking impressions from current and past employees is a great way of ensuring this objectivity. Managers should use surveys to collect feedback from focus groups and job applicants and set up exit interviews to understand why employees are leaving.
The process of surveying employees can be eased by using an HRIS with an inbuilt people directory, such as the Humaans Employee Database. This enables managers to access a wealth of employee data, providing details such as employment length, compensation and company department.
Through these surveys and interviews, managers can understand employee perceptions, discovering what they like and dislike about the company and how this can be improved. They can also discuss what motivates and improves employee engagement, as well as the goals and needs of individual workers.
2. Determine the key components
By reviewing the research above, a company can determine what employees value the most about working for them and what needs to be improved. This includes financial benefits, career growth expectations, desired company culture and working environment. All of this research will feed into the company’s unique employee value proposition and ensure they are hiring and retaining the top talent within their sector.
An EVP can also be tailored to suit the different roles and seniority levels a company is hiring for. For example, those early on in their career won’t be expecting huge salaries, but will want ample opportunity for growth, as well as a collaborative office environment and support from leaders. Meanwhile, job hunters with families will be looking for financial stability, flexible working hours and childcare benefits.
3. Put pen to paper
Once an organisation has determined the wants and needs of their employees and the benefits they can deliver, it’s time to create a compelling and unique employee value proposition. An EVP should be creative but concise, ensuring the company stands out from the crowd and is clear about the employee experience they offer.
Managers should ensure an EVP is aligned with the goals and ethos of the company and, while it should be inspirational, it should also paint a realistic picture of life at the organisation. The EVP should also appeal to all workers, and not be specific to a role or level within the company. Ultimately, a successful EVP fulfils the expectations of both the company and its employees.
4. Communicate the message
There’s no use writing a brilliant employee value proposition if the message isn’t communicated effectively. Organisations can make use of a variety of channels to promote their EVP both internally and externally. These include social media, newsletters, blog posts and internal comms tools such as Slack.
It’s also crucial to communicate an EVP during the hiring and interview process, so that prospective talent can determine whether the organisation is the right fit for them and their needs.
5. Regularly review the results
An organisation should review their employee value proposition at least once a year, ensuring the company’s brand is aligned with the changing expectations of their existing and potential employees. Regular surveys and focus groups can be deployed to examine workforce satisfaction.
The success of an EVP can be measured in key metrics such as social media engagement, an increase in job applications and in the retainment of talent. An HRIS can assist with the analysis of other crucial data – for example, the Humaans Insights function enables managers to monitor trends such as turnover and headcount changes quickly and easily.
Companies with successful employee value proposition
Let’s take a look at the top five (+1) companies on Glassdoor – rated highly for their employee experience – and see what makes their EVPs so successful.
“When people ask what it’s like to work at HubSpot, you’ll usually hear the same few sentiments.
There’s no inner circle - Everyone from the C-suite to interns share information, knowledge and ideas. Being radically transparent helps us all think like founders, and stay focused on solving for our customers.
Everyone’s empowered to work autonomously - We trust amazing people to do amazing things. At HubSpot, you have ownership over work that directly impacts the business. You can move fast, and learn even faster.
Diverse perspectives are celebrated - We believe different perspectives make HubSpot a better company. We’re committed to building a diverse and inclusive environment where you feel you belong.
Employees are treated like people, not line items - Employees are whole people, with families, hobbies and lives. Outside of work. We work remotely, keep non-traditional hours and use unlimited vacation to create work-life ‘fit’ for us and the people we love.”
HubSpot ranks at number four on Glassdoor’s top rated companies worldwide, and their EVP explores four reasons why the organisation is such a great place to work. It focuses on the diversity and collaborative nature of their workforce, who are given the opportunity to work independently and flexibly. The spotlight is on the people within the organisation, suggesting that their wants and needs are put above all else.
“We started Moneybox because we believe everyone should have the opportunity to save and invest for their future. We’re a friendly team of experienced entrepreneurs, developers, designers and marketers with a successful track record in building mobile apps. Inspired by our vision, we come to work every day because we believe everyone should have access to the tools and information to confidently plan for their financial future.
We’ve come to Moneybox from far and wide, from all over the UK and the world! From marketing grads to tech veterans, we’re all on this exciting journey together.”
Moneybox was named by LinkedIn as one of the top startups for 2019/20. Their EVP centres around the purpose, ethos and starting vision of the company. It highlights the diversity of roles and people working for the organisation, ‘from market grads to tech veterans’ and emphasises the inclusive company culture.
Create a world where anyone can belong anywhere.
It’s an audacious, incredibly rewarding mission that our increasingly diverse team is dedicated to achieving.
Airbnb is built around the idea that everyone should be able to take the perfect trip, including where they stay, what they do, and who they meet. To that end, we empower millions of people around the world to use their spaces, passions, and talents to become entrepreneurs.
Exciting challenges lie ahead—new regions, technologies, and businesses. Guided by our four core values, we’ll meet these challenges creatively and with the support of our global community. Join us!
Champion the Mission - We’re united with our community to create a world where anyone can belong anywhere.
Be a Host - We’re caring, open, and encouraging to everyone we work with.
Embrace the Adventure - We’re driven by curiosity, optimism, and the belief that every person can grow
Be a Cereal Entrepreneur - We’re determined and creative in transforming our bold ambitions into reality”
Airbnb’s EVP speaks to the mission and core values of the organisation, which are summed up in bold, powerful statements. As well as the building blocks of the company, their EVP looks to the ‘exciting’ future of the organisation and the ‘challenges’ to come. There’s also a strong sense of adventure and community throughout the mission and values.
“We live our values, and have created something pretty unique – a workplace where you are celebrated for everything that you are.
We are a company with a strong purpose and drive – one of our mottos is ‘build the world you want to live in’. So if you're passionate about positive disruption and giving more than you take, then we want to hear from you.
At our heart (and it’s a big heart), we're a group life insurance company. Yet we are so much more and we never stay still.
We’ve put wellbeing at the heart of the workplace by encouraging employers and employees to focus on the benefits of mental and physical wellbeing. All driven by our behaviour-changing YuLife app.”
Yulife is a life insurance company that rewards its customers for living well. As such, its EVP is heavily focused on the wellbeing and success of its employees. It depicts a positive and welcoming work environment, where staff members are encouraged to improve their habits with the help of the YuLife app. Their EVP also highlights the disruptive and evolving force of the company.
“At Butternut, our mission is to deliver health and happiness to dogs and their humans all over the world. In order to do just that, we need a team of forward-thinking, driven people who love dogs as much as we do. Our tasty meals and treats are gently cooked using human-quality ingredients because, the way we see it,we wouldn't serve food to our dogs that we wouldn't be happy to eat ourselves. We think dogs deserve better, and if that's something you think too, we want to hear from you.
Now, if you'll excuse us, we've got places to go and butts to sniff*.
*That last bit was a joke. If you do come and work for us, try not to sniff our butts.”
Butternut Box is a dog food company with a difference. Their EVP is lighthearted, speaking to a friendly company culture that doesn’t take things too seriously. That said, their mission is clear throughout the statement, as well as the personality and work ethic of their ideal hire. Their EVP goes on to explore the core values and perks of the organisation which includes, of course, office dogs.
Here at Humaans we're building a new kind of employee management system designed to help People Ops, Finance, and IT teams operate collaboratively by using the best in class point solutions they want for their staff while maintaining a central record of employee data.
We're at the beginning of our journey, and keen to build an inclusive environment that can support people in learning and growing. We plan to add 15 people to our amazing team by the end of the year, and we'd love for you to join.
Why you should join our team?
- Legacy category ripe for disruption
- Meaningful problem to solve
- Quality driven environment
- Career acceleration
- Amazing investors we can learn from
Do you want to jump in? Check our open positions in our Careers Page!
At first glance, putting together an employee value proposition may seem like an overwhelming task. However, once the components and steps of a typical EVP are broken down, an organisation can begin to effectively create and promote their company brand.
A successful employee value proposition will vary across companies and industries, depending on the wants and needs of employees and the benefits an organisation can offer. However, typical components of an EVP include monetary compensation, lifestyle benefits, a positive work environment/culture and opportunities for career development.
When creating an employee value proposition, organisations should firstly speak to past and present employees to assess the perceptions and current offerings of their company. This information will help to define the key components of their company brand. After writing an EVP, it’s crucial to communicate and promote it effectively, both internally and externally. Finally, managers should regularly review the EVP to ensure the company remains aligned with employee and industry expectations.
With a unique and compelling employee value proposition, companies can ensure their brand stands out amongst the rest. This will help them to recruit and retain top talent and provide an unrivalled employee experience.
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