It’s no secret that employees choose their workplace based on their own cost-benefit considerations. Considerations such as salary, work hours or geographical distance can be quantified, but it turns out that in the end, the vast majority of employees choose their workplace according to elements that can’t be converted into a cold numerical calculation, such as interest in the field of work, the company’s reputation, and its general atmosphere.
The leading companies in the market understand that the set of considerations that will attract an employee to them is made up of factors that don’t necessarily fit into an Excel sheet, and adopt strategies from the world of recruitment marketing in order to retain their employees and recruit new ones. At the center of these is the EVP – employee value proposition: the main factor that distinguishes the company from other companies in the eyes of employees.
Just like USP (unique selling point) in the world of marketing, each company’s EVP is unique, and defining it is not only an important tool for recruiting employees, but to a great extent defines the essence of the company. It is an essential part of the company’s employer branding, and a significant part of shaping the company’s organizational culture.
In order to create an EVP that reflects the company the way you would like it to look, you need to put yourself in the place of the average job seekers. When they hear the name of the company, what do they know about it? What would you want them to know? What distinguishes your company from other companies? The answers to these questions are critical in creating an effective model for attracting and retaining employees. You need to get to know the employees in the market, their interests and priorities, and adapt the EVP so it will be attractive to the employees you want.
It’s easy to make the mistake of thinking that the EVP can be department-based and leave it to the junior management to define it for new recruits. In such cases, the company’s EVP is reduced to bonuses and perks for employees according to their department. A company that chooses this path risks completely losing its uniqueness in recruiting employees. The right EVP needs to be the product of broad strategic planning for the entire company. Of course, it’s fine to include a benefits budget for the departments, but such a budget will only be one part of the company’s overall EVP.
Another mistake is to try to create an EVP by providing every possible benefit to employees. It’s easy to see why this possibility would appeal to recruiters: who wouldn’t want a job that offers a high salary, and convenient work hours, and splendid working conditions, plus training and enrichment, as well as generous bonuses? This is a strategic mistake. In practice, companies that try to have everything in this way risk their profitability and may deter potential investors. For example, the British start-up Buffer, which when moving to San Francisco boasted the most sophisticated offices, high salaries and exceptional conditions for employees, found itself cancelling many of the benefits it had started with when its expenses grew much higher than its revenues, and led to a situation where despite the company’s fast growth rate, 88% of potential investors declined the opportunity to invest.
Of course, it’s important not to forget your existing employees. Your employees, if they are satisfied with the EVP that you offer, will be your best ambassadors in the market. Invest time in getting to know your employees and understand how you can improve their experience at work.
A company’s EVP indicates its priorities, and it should be emphasized whenever approaching potential employees. Does your company offer the possibility of working from home? Special training for employees? Exceptional conditions?
You need to mention this when you “sell” the company to potential employees. Your company’s unique offer is what will make it stand out in a saturated market where employees have the upper hand. If you make sure to develop your EVP, it will bring you the most talented employees.
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