What is an ‘employer value proposition’, and how do you create one for your organisation?

Research has shown that the larger the organisation becomes the more content its senior people will read, watch and listen to. Whether it’s reading an article in a magazine or listening to a business-related podcast, if you’re responsible for some or all of the hiring activity for your organisation you will at some point have heard the term ‘employer value proposition’, or EVP for short.

An EVP is not the reserve of large scale national and multinational companies. Rather, it needs to be a serious consideration for employers of all sizes if they’re serious about wanting to compete on level playing field with their rivals in the war for executive talent.

But what exactly is an EVP, and how can it be introduced into an organisation if one doesn’t yet exist?

In short, an EVP encapsulates all that makes you as an employer unique. It is that rich mix of company culture, the benefits their people can enjoy, its purpose and values and the way in which these both inform and shape how it does business and benefits all stakeholder groups. Put another way, your EVP is the raison d’etre that makes people want to work with and for you.

Creating your EVP is essential in today’s ultra-competitive hiring marketplace and its primary function is to answer one simple question: “Why should I want to work here – what’s in it for me?”

This may seem a little self-centred. However, today’s talent – especially those with senior positions in their sights – want to work for employers whose values reflect their own and can offer them something different to similar companies operating in the same space.

Here we share the key steps to helping you create a successful EVP within your organisation:

Understand their needs

The workforce of 2023 is vastly different to that of 2020 and if your hiring practices haven’t changed during this time, you will likely lose any possibility of being positioned as an employer of choice. There have been several high profile cases of large organisations being publicly called out for the way they treat their employees, and this is a constant reminder that people want – expect – to feel valued and treated fairly.

Acknowledge the importance of being a values-led employer

You likely already have your company vision, mission, and values in place, so consider how they will benefit your people in a practical sense. For instance, one of your values may be ‘respect’ – this could mean that all employees must respect each other as colleagues and the environment in which they work, support one another if called upon to do so, and always respect their customers who after all pay for their salaries!

Identify their motivations

There is a plethora of research showing that one of the top three reasons why talent moves from one role to another is a lack of opportunity with their current employer. We all have our own motivations for the work we do and who we do it for, and one of the most effective ways that you can stand out as an employer against your competition is by showing how you will support the individual to achieve their career goals. This could be by creating opportunities for continued professional development, fast-track progression, a commitment to diversity and inclusion – all whilst offering a truly flexible working model.

Show and tell

Much like a prospective buyer will come to your website and seek out case studies showing how the work you do has positively benefited similar businesses, the mindset of executive talent is exactly the same. Create content involving employees talking candidly about their experiences of working for your organisation – this simple act has been shown to be three-times more effective than any recruitment marketing material (Edelman). But do avoid waffle. Make sure that the messaging is clear, concise, and compelling.

Finally, live up to your promises

A successful EVP is only that if the organisation itself delivers on the promises it has made. If it hasn’t, it will be found out and if we have learned anything in our 20+ years of executive search it is that word of mouth can be a phenomenal addition to a hiring manager’s toolbox both in terms of attracting and warding off potential talent. No employer has never had a disgruntled employee at one time or another, so seek feedback from your teams on a regular basis. Your EVP is a work in progress and by canvassing opinion you can continue to tweak and adjust it to enhance your overall proposition.

The above is by no means a definitive plan for achieving EVP success, but it will get you started and headed on the right road. It is important to view your EVP as a process – something that continues to evolve. In doing so, your organisation’s attractiveness as an employer of choice for current and future talent will be enhanced.

For more than two decades, the Maranello team have supported some of the UK and Europe’s largest employers. A significant part of the role we play is advising clients on how to position themselves as a destination of choice for senior and executive talent. If this is an area that you need counsel on, please get in touch.


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