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Six Steps to Building an Epic EVP

When your prospective candidates are searching for a job, they’re leveraging more resources than ever before to help decipher whether your organisation is the right fit. From reading employee reviews to checking out your career site, job seekers are doing their research. So how can you make sure that your company makes a good impression on the best talent..? 

Build a strong employee value proposition (EVP) 

So, what exactly is an EVP? 

An employment value proposition describes the characteristics and appeal of working for an organisation. It’s the combination of rewards, benefits, and opportunities you promise to provide employees in exchange for their productivity, time and energy. 

It includes tangible things like salary, benefits, and special employee programs (think: training & development, wellness programs or flexible leave time). 

And it also includes intangible elements. The things that don’t show up on a paycheck but are equally important. Consider an engaging company culture, a fast-growth future, challenging work, an altruistic mission, or the opportunity to excel professionally. 

Basically, an EVP is everything your employees brag about to their friends. 

How will this help your business you might ask? 

An effective EVP enables organisations to attract and retain great talent, while also motivating your current employees to drive your organisation forward. It’s what brings the best candidates in and ensures those same superior individuals stay – your talent!

Make sure your EVP genuinely connects with your workforce. Far too often companies create an attractive employer brand that doesn’t match the reality of what it’s like to work there. In return, these companies create disgruntled candidates who feel deceived and disappointed.

An effective EVP, on the other hand, creates engaged candidates who are more committed to your cause. As a result, they’re more likely to refer other talent who are a great fit for your organisation.

So let’s get started: Where should you begin..

Building an EVP is not a simple process. You have to commit time and energy to researching, identifying and understanding the key elements of your value proposition. This involves surveying employees, evaluating the talent market and refining your recruitment goals. It’s clearly not going to happen overnight. The good news is it’s worth the effort. Putting an effective EVP in place today will lead your organisation to better productivity and profitability in the future. To help get you started, we’ve put together a 6-step process for building and effective employee value proposition – happy reading!

Step One: Assess

Before you begin building an EVP, it’s a good idea to take a full evaluation of what your company offers to employees today. A good starting point is to ask yourself “why do I stay?” Your answer is most likely shared by many of your colleagues. Create a comprehensive list by splitting it into two categories: tangible benefits and intangible benefits. Once your list is complete, decide what items align with your overall recruiting strategy. If you invest heavily in a perk that won’t attract the specific professionals you need, it may be time to reconsider marketing that benefit.

Think about your target candidates and whether your benefits align with their interests. For a social service organisation, your causes and community outreach will be important to candidates. For a tech company, it’s more about the tangible things—the equipment they’re going to use, the newest platforms and the latest coding languages. 

Step Two: Research

Start your research by dissecting any data you have gathered. This could include onboarding or exit surveys, employee engagement, or any existing recruiting metrics. If you don’t have any data, consider investing in an employee engagement survey (many online tools offer a free version) or host an employee roundtable. The responses and conversations will help you understand what’s important to your workforce and what’s not.

Analyse your results by categorising data by key employee groups. Then, decipher the most common trends and themes among each one.

Also, it’s good practice to check out what your competitors are doing. If your EVP is too similar, it won’t be compelling. Understand how your EVP differentiates from other employers who are looking for the same talent—that way you can stand out as an employer of choice. Learn what your competitors are offering by checking out their career site or interviewing an employee who has worked for them previously.

Step Three: Discuss

Dive deeper into your results by inviting other important voices into the conversation. Interview key stakeholders and hold employee focus groups. These groups—like senior management, HR, marketing and any other existing employees are critical to providing further insight into the key themes identified in Step 2

Step Four: Create

Now it’s time to create your EVP. Using your research and insight, translate key themes into terms that reflect your company, culture, and values. It could be one statement that defines your employment brand, or several pillars of information. Remember, a marketable EVP is concise and uses conversational language. 

Step Five: Execute

Once you’ve established your EVP, it’s time to broadcast it to prospective candidates (and to your employees). Incorporate your value proposition throughout the recruitment process: onto your career site, within your job postings, and into recruiting videos.

Also, consider how to incorporate your EVP into every stage of the employment process, including onboarding, career development, employee relations and even through the exit stage.

Step Six: Review

An effective EVP is never truly complete. In fact, it should be continually reviewed year after year. Gain feedback from current employees and new hires regularly to ensure it’s aligned with your recruiting, hiring and retention goals. Also, consider implementing an annual employee engagement survey to assess changes and effectiveness.

A successful EVP can be the difference between your organisation losing and attracting the best candidates. When you make a solid promise to your prospective employees, you create a commitment that goes beyond a paycheck. Use these steps to create a strategic EVP today, so can ensure lasting results for your workforce and business tomorrow.

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