How to attract and retain talent with employee value propositions?
The pandemic has hit Canadian businesses hard. With almost 30 million Baby Boomers retiring early, an immigration pause, and an exit of women from the labour market, it’s safe to say businesses are struggling to keep their heads afloat. In today’s tight labour market, companies are overwhelmed in their attempts to captivate and retain current employees.
What is employee value proposition?
Employee value proposition (EVP) is the commitment and promise an employer makes to their employees in return for their skills, capabilities and overall performance. This promise entails a unique arrangement of monetary and non-monetary offerings such as financial rewards, health benefits, career development opportunities, and other perks.
Why is employee value proposition important?
Attracting talent: Your EVP is the foundation of your employer branding as it attracts desired skills and talent to the organization. To act as a driver for talent and retention, your EVP must be unique and compelling.
Retention: While hiring new talent is essential, retaining your top performers should be equally prioritized, if not more. A company that stays true to its EVP can improve employee experience and reduce turnover rates by nearly 70%.
Optimize hiring costs: If your EVP is compelling, you’ll see an increase in applications from talented candidates. As a result, less money is needed for recruiting, meaning your cost per hire should plummet.
5 main components of employee value proposition
- Financial rewards
- Employment benefits
- Company culture
- Career development
- Work environment
This component is associated with an employee’s expectation from the overall evaluation and compensation system. This covers all offerings such as salary, bonuses, commissions, stock options, and more.
While compensation appears to be the primary motivator, it is still only a small fragment in attracting employees.
This component addresses the additional benefits offered. Benefit packages should be customized to the industry, company culture, the organization and its employees. Employment benefits can include things like:
- Health insurance
- Life insurance
- Retirement planning
- Paid time off
This component refers to the factors that can establish an excellent company culture. This can include:
- Trust and collaboration
- Positive colleague relationships
- Employees align with company goals
Employees want to work for companies that support them and their values. Having a strong company culture will attract loyal and dependable talent.
For many employees, it’s important to see their job has growth potential and that their employer is willing to invest in their development. For this component, employers can include things like:
- Technical training
- Opportunities for promotions
- Working abroad
- Mentor programs
- Sponsored courses (can range from simple certification courses to further education such as a Master’s degree)
For companies unable to offer competitive salaries focusing efforts on career development can save you from losing out on top talent.
This component of your EVP addresses what factors go into making a positive work environment. This can look like:
- Work-life balance
- Recognition programs
- Team building
- Flexible working hours
- Workspace design
A suitable working environment is imperative to employee success. Having to consciously invest time, money and effort into creating such a space, employers can actively contribute to a positive employee experience.
5 Steps to improving your employee value proposition
Review what you currently offer
Figure out what you know and what you don’t know. Start by researching to assess your employer brand. Does your brand represent who you want to be? Now, what do you want to be seen as? Using online employee reviews or speaking with your current team, look for areas of need.
Make a checklist of all the EVP components, go through each item and determine how effective your company offers are. This will help you understand your strengths and weaknesses to focus on those gaps in your EVP moving forward.
Try to remain as objective as possible. It can be easy to stray from that, but relying on employees and fellow colleagues can help you stay accountable.
Who better knows what employees need than the employees themselves? If you genuinely want to better your EVP, your employees, past and present, are your best asset. Collecting feedback from various staff, both long-term and new hires and even former employees can give great insight.
There are a variety of ways you can conduct your research. You can do this through anonymous surveys, stay interviews, employee focus groups and many other methods. With whatever method you choose, you want to understand what motivates your employees, what leads them to accept your job offer, why they come to work every day and so on. Incorporating all this feedback, you can craft a job description and EVP and hopefully attract some new talent.
Define key components
Now that you’ve done the research, it’s time to evaluate and define each component of your EVP. When sorting through your findings, try to answer questions like:
- What is an ideal work environment for my target candidate?
- What salary range and benefits will appeal to my target candidates?
- What kind of career advancement opportunities are my target audience looking for?
- Does my company reflect the communities we serve? Do all employees feel welcomed at work?
- How is the company’s work culture perceived? Does this align with our current goals?
Unfortunately, your EVP isn’t one-size-fits-all. Two individuals in different stages of their careers are probably motivated by different EVP factors. Creating one EVP probably won’t be effective, so consider segmenting your EVP based on roles and levels.
Write and promote
Now that you’ve figured out what you’re offering, it’s now time to put it all together. Translate each offering into EVP statements. Do this in a way that’s relevant and understandable to job seekers. Keep your statements concise but be consistent with your branding.
To reap the benefits, you need to promote your EVP. Social media is always a safe bet if you want to reach many people quickly. You can also choose to boost your EVP on your website’s careers page, job postings etc. Whatever channel you use, concentrate on creating impactful connections with your audience.
Monitor your EVP
After launching your new EVP, continue to gather feedback, whether it’s through employee focus groups or social media engagement.
Over time employees’ expectations can change. Currently, it’s all about work-life balance and flexible work styles, but in 10 years, it could be something else.
Adapting your EVP to align with job market trends and candidate behaviour will help you retain and acquire talent that could have been missed otherwise.
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