In today’s fast-changing HR landscape, companies project Employee Value Proposition as one of the leading strategic initiatives to attract and retain key talent. However, most of the EVPs are rarely understood and even more uncommonly adequately implemented. To begin with, let us know from where this term was coined and how it has evolved over the years.
Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is defined as the comprehensive offering by the employer to its prospective as well as existing employees. It should be a proper mix of characteristics, benefits and way of working in an organisation. It defines the unwritten contract between people and companies. It is the deal between employees and the organisation. The terminology was primarily borrowed from marketing department's ‘Customer Value Proposition’. We have all been at some point discussed and argued as to who is more critical? Customers or Employees? Some say that customers are the one driving business, so they are more important while others say that employees are the one doing business for customers, so they should be given priority.
Top leadership often focus on making precise, accurate and compelling CVP to attract and retain their customer base but miss out on having similar EVP to attract and retain key talent.
In today's scenario of huge skill gap, the new battlefield is to attract critical talent as they are the cornerstone of any successful organisation. The war for talent has never been more intense as the Job market has become candidate driven. Competent candidates pick the organisation fitting their personal goals and aspirations. Higher Compensation is no longer the only magnet to attract key talent. According to a research made by LinkedIn, the deciding factor for most of the candidates to accept or reject an offer depends on their perception about the company and how will it take care of their career advancement and intellectual appetite.
Organisations are continually striving in redefining their recruitment strategy to attract the best talent and be an ‘Employer of Choice’. The EVP is the solution to win this talent war. This has been positioned as the active driver of for attracting, engaging and retaining talent.
Let us look at the benefits of having a well-defined EVP:
- It acts as a differentiator in a highly competitive market-place
- It helps in attracting the key talent and hiring the right candidate
- It significantly reduces hiring cost
- It facilitates the development of a solid employer brand
- It creates People champion who lives the values defined in the EVP
- It improves the overall experience of new hires
- It becomes an inspiration and appeals to employees at all levels
- It keeps employees engaged and motivates them to stay committed to the organisation goals
- Helps in the alignment of employees as well as organisation goals
Realising the importance mentioned above of EVP, let’s focus on some of the main components required to make an EVP attractive and useful.
- Relevant - The EVP needs to be relevant and should appeal to the target audience. It should strike a delicate balance between tangible and intangible rewards.
- Concise - There is no shortage of opportunities for crucial talent; hence the pitch to be made to them via EVP should be short and captivating. In a few sentences, it should define the experience they are going to witness if they choose to join. We should articulate it in a way that it represents the essence of the organisation, and, employees at all levels understand and live up to it.
- Compelling - The EVP should be compelling enough for existing employees to boast about it in front of others working in different organisations. They should become self-hired Brand ambassadors of the organisation they are employed with.
- Accurate - The EVP of the organisation should be credible and authentic. It should define who you truly are and what values your existing employees are already living. In today’s fast-changing scenario, potential hires are no longer naive and certainly checks the value system of the company they are evaluating to join. There are various forums like Facebook, Glassdoor, Payscale etc. where any prospective candidate can read reviews about the organisation.
- Unique - EVP should be articulated in a way that it acts as a differentiator. It should not be packaged in a way that it sounds dull and same as other organisation. It should communicate two fundamental questions of potential hires: “Why should I work for your company instead of somewhere else” and “What’s in it for me”?
- Communicate - EVP if not appropriately communicated will defeat its entire purpose. EVP should run through every interaction between employer and employee. It has to be expressed in all recruitment forums as well as should be resonated in all employee engagement initiatives.
- Live your promise – This is one of the toughest parts of managing an EVP. Formulating EVP is not a one-time effort, but it is a continuous process of refining the same based on the needs of the people and the environment. There may be some aspects of EVP which you may not be practising anymore, but if you forget to remove that from the communication medium, then it can be extremely damaging. It is vital that someone is periodically assessing the adherence of EVP and modifying it suitably.
EVP if defined and appropriately implemented, can have a significant impact in attracting and retaining talent in this fiercely competitive talent market.
(The views expressed are strictly personal)