Is there value in the Employer Value Proposition?

One of the most significant hurdles for organisations everywhere, regardless of location or talent pool, is finding the right person for the job.

The talent acquisition process is often perceived as how a person can benefit the company, but in fact, should also be viewed as what employers can offer prospective talent and an effective way to hire people with the right attributes and attitude. Essentially it is a proven way to attract prospective employees who hold the same core values as your company.

Getting the right balance in talent acquisition, according to the latest research and thinking, involves incorporating an Employer Value Proposition (EVP).

What is EVP?

There’s a school of thought that dismisses EVP as just another marketing ploy or companies trying to revamp the image of HR, but is it that simple? How do we define EVP?

An Employer Value Proposition (EVP) presents an overview of what you can offer potential candidates outside of the standard remuneration influences.

Features include non-payment benefits such as:

  • Flexible working
  • Annual leave
  • In-house benefits
  • Wellbeing services
  • Employment commencement incentives such as paid relocation expenses

So what value does the EVP hold and should organisations be implementing an effective strategy to improve talent acquisition? In short, yes, they should.

This measurable strategy will, in time, become an essential metric for organisations looking to improve several factors including employee retention, recruitment costs, level of commitment and salary expectations.

EVP also defines your unique offering and what makes you different from other employers in the market.

Why employer proposition is important for organisations

There is often a generalisation that people only work for the remuneration benefits they receive, and although this is a significant influence on how employees compare potential employers, it is not always the deciding factor.

Employees face a host of decisions when choosing where to work, and these include everything from how a job fits into their lifestyle, how a position could improve their skills and knowledge, and how a potential employer might support their wellbeing.

By setting a clear and attractive employer proposition, all these elements can be covered and showcased from the outset. This strategy has to focus on the employee and can be tailored to create an offer unique to the individuals you are trying to attract.

What’s important in your working life? In what way do you want work to integrate to your life as a whole?

Companies such as Zevo Health are leading the way in researching what makes the workplace healthier for individuals, and how other companies can use that intelligence to create an all-around better workplace for their teams.

The areas that define your EVP have significant benefits for your organisation, and while this concept should be employee-centric, the by-product of its success will have considerable positives for many companies including:

Showcasing diversity and inclusion

The current emphasis to improve diversity and inclusivity in work environments is prevalent in modern business structure.

Highlighting the ways that your company captures these fundamental aspects within society, with benefits such as consideration for parental responsibilities, religious holidays, disability and mental health support, will ensure your hiring and HR policies are inclusive, without prejudice or judgement.

In 2017, Sodexo Ireland launched its own LGBTQ network for staff members, pioneering the kind of inclusion that will become a hallmark of future EVP practices. In the same year Cpl launched BeProud@Cpl with the aim to build an inclusive and safe network that empowers self-belief and confidence in all employees.

Improving commitment and employee retention

Getting the right balance for employers and employees is paramount to a harmonious and rewarding environment and having a concise employer value proposition in place can help to build and improve this relationship, resulting in a more productive and prosperous business.

Research carried out by the Corporate Leadership Council (CLC) concluded that a business that has a clear EVP had significant improvements in the commitment to the role at commencement, plus stronger levels after one year in employment compared to companies with no EVP in place.

Ensuring retention and continued commitment can be challenging for most companies but establishing the components of an EVP for employer-employee relationships can significantly improve both factors, creating a loyal and productive workforce in the process.

EVP - why it's valuable and how to utilise it | Future of Work Institute

Leading the way in talent acquisition

Aside from the standard EVP elements such as bonuses, leave allowances, flexible working and relocation some companies have adopted the talent acquisition process further to attract the best people that fit with their company culture, ethics and creativity.

These companies don’t just stick to the standard benefits. They’ve added a unique twist to entice not only individuals looking for the best rewards but also people that are dedicated to working to gain the benefits of them. Take a look at some of the best work perks from companies across the globe:

Collaborative working environment

In modern business, people rarely like to be cooped up in offices in total silence, and this is primarily unproductive for all types of organisation.

Although Google are well known for flexible working spaces, other companies such as Survey Monkey also provide a host of fun spaces to let ideas flow freely. This type of environment has huge benefits for employee wellbeing and makes feel people feel part of a team, whatever role they play.

Earlier this year, engineering firm ARUP were awarded a gold medal for workplace wellness in their Cork office, from the International WELL Building Institute, showing that every kind of industry is benefitting from research into how we work better in places that are conducive to that.

Unlimited annual leave

Historically, annual leave has been a fixed number of days with some organisations offering extra days after years of service. However, many businesses are now taking up the idea of unlimited leave and encouraging employees to take time off to rest and recuperate for a more productive working environment in the long-term.

Unlimited annual leave is on the basis that it is mutually advantageous for both sides as employees work harder to get projects completed, and then reap the benefits. Both large and small businesses are offering this perk with Netflix and Virgin amongst the mix.

Once in a lifetime opportunities

For many, their working life doesn’t leave time to explore those once in a lifetime opportunities, but what about if you could offer your staff the chance to pick something they’ve always wanted to do and give them the opportunity to win it?

Via performance related targets, UK company, Propellernet do just that, and each staff member can enter to live out their dream experience. This type of incentive can boost morale and help build collaborative and supportive environments.

Co-workers with a difference

Petting an animal is known to reduce the production of cortisol, the stress hormone. So, some companies are giving employees the opportunity to bring their dogs to work to help manage stress levels and improve overall productivity.

This benefits not only dog owners but also people that just love pets. Allowing employees to bring pets to work also creates a non-paid incentive as employees don’t have to find a pet-sitter or pop home to check up on them. Made.com is one company to bring this into play and have seen positive benefits, sometimes just in the form of a smile.

The future of the employer proposition

If the Employer Value proposition is to become a valuable and useful tool for acquiring the best talent and help to improve staff retention, then it’s important to listen to feedback from all employees. People need to see that this is not just another buzzword; they need to know that companies are acting on research and giving their staff something unique.

To harness its power for the recruitment process, taking the context back to basics is something that should be considered. Today’s proposition culture focuses heavily on monetary benefits and in the long-term, how employees will profit the company, but it has to go beyond this.

This process should not only highlight your company’s unique EVP to incentivise prospective talent but also showcase that the policy is integral to everyday operations and recognises individual needs.

Listening to existing employees and gaining feedback is also a crucial step in planning an employer value proposition, and developing it with this input at the heart of the policy will ensure value is added to this process.

Can this be done, with large organisations as well as smaller projects? It will have to. Employers who don’t offer something more holistic will find themselves left behind when seeking the best talent.

The EVP is no longer just about creating something that will outshine your competitors with weird, sometimes wacky and often meaningless benefits.

It must surpass this superficial façade with meaningful, considerate and exceptional incentives that are tailored to the individual workforce.

The world of work is changing. The Cpl Future of Work Institute is an initiative that explores, questions and helps design future work solutions with our clients, partners collaborators and candidates. If you’re interested in working with The Future of Work Institute, get in touch: hello@futureofwork.ie