Employer Branding

What is EVP? And do you need it?

October 10, 2019

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What is EVP? And do you need it?

If you’ve just stumbled on the term employer value proposition, or EVP, and are wondering what it’s all about keep on reading! It’s a relatively new term in HR, but the concept isn’t. What is EVP? Briefly, it’s the salary, benefits, and compensation an employer offers employees in return for their skills, experience, and contribution to the success of an organization. 

That definition seems logical and straightforward, but it doesn’t explain why it has suddenly gained so much prominence. The short answer? Because employers have realized that an employer brand proposition is essential to a meaningful employer branding strategy.

What is employer branding?

The need to attract and retain top talent has seen the role of HR dramatically change from an admin-driven function to a focused marketing role. It’s not only HR that has had to adapt; the new trends have altered the recruitment industry forever as well.

Both HR and recruitment have now embraced traditional marketing concepts to attract candidates and retain employees. They work the same as the sales and marketing departments work to attract and retain customers. 

Employer branding is an extension of the corporate brand. Everything that’s embraced in the corporate brand is projected through the employer brand, but to attract talent and offer employee value. All branding must be consistent and genuine. Employer branding runs parallel with corporate branding but is marketed through separate platforms on social media, your careers site, and job boards.

What is EVP in branding?

EVP is the value proposition that will make a job seeker apply to an organization and keep an existing employee working there. The EVP of a company must be designed to fit the industry, align with the corporate branding and appeal to the type of people the organization wants to attract and retain.

No marketing efforts can succeed without a value proposition. An EVP tells people why a company is an employer of choice. An EVP must be an employee-centered strategy that is kept alive and up to date through ongoing interaction with employees and external market research. 

Your EVP can’t be successful if you don’t know what appeals to and is wanted by potential and existing employees.

There are two sides to an EVP

An EVP can be viewed from two perspectives. 

  1. From a company perspective, it’s an employer value proposition that attracts and retains talent. 
  2. From an employee and job seeker’s perspective, it’s an employee value proposition that makes people want to work for an organization, and most importantly stay working there.

What’s the difference?

Not much? It’s the typical give and take that exists in all trade and business. The employer offers money, benefits, and rewards. In return, employees offer time, skills, experience and dedication to the success of the organization. For both parties to benefit, each must give the other what they need, what they want, and what they’d like to have. 

Ultimately, an EVP must be mutually beneficial.

EVP meaning in business

Every business has a value proposition that they offer to customers, candidates, and employees whether they have consciously defined a strategy or not. Without a defined customer value proposition or an employee value proposition model, business is probably not going too well.

The value a business offers customers, candidates and employees is not only about their products and services or the compensation they give to their staff. Companies must provide a brilliant customer experience, excellent employee experience, and a great candidate experience. EVP in business encompasses everything from an organization’s culture, mission and values through to service, rewards and the type of people who work there.

A well-structured EVP will attract and retain the right staff for your business. You’ll have people on board who want to be part of the company because they buy into the culture, mission, and values. That means that they will automatically offer customers top service because they want to see the organization succeed.

What is EVP in employment value?

Let’s first consider the EVP definition before we look at employment value. An employee value proposition is the compensation, benefits, and rewards given to employees in return for their contribution to the ongoing trade and performance of an organization.

So what is employment value?

It’s no secret that the global talent shortage is one of the top risks faced by businesses today. That means that the tables have turned on employers who used to call the shots when it came to employment. Skilled and experienced candidates can now shop around to find the best employer. Job applicants are well aware of the competition to secure top talent, and they’re making sure that they only select employers who offer them value for their time, skills, experience and contributions.

Who is responsible for managing an EVP?

HR! The EVP strategy should be designed and implemented by HR after conducting external research to see what competitors are doing and internal surveys and consultations to determine what staff want. Once the EVP has been created, it must be written into best HR practices and shared with all management and staff.

All internal recruitment teams must adopt the EVP as well, and focus must shift from outbound recruiting to inbound recruiting. Equally, all employees and hiring managers must understand the EVP. In most companies, staff and management can quickly tell you why you should buy from them, but few can tell you why you should want to work there.

Once the EVP is distributed and implemented, an EVP HR representative must be appointed to manage, maintain and improve the policy. To strengthen the policy, an internal team of EVP advisors can be selected to ensure that the employee value proposition remains competitive. This is particularly important in big businesses that have multiple departments and branches in different states and countries. Input from EVP advisors in different regions will guarantee that the policy is attractive to a diverse mix of existing and potential employees.

What to consider when designing an EVP

No two EVP’s, whether an employer value proposition or an employee value proposition, can be the same. To be effective, an EVP must be an honest reflection of the candidate and employee experience that the applicant will get if they apply, and are hired by your company. There’s no value in creating a false impression because people will quickly see through it and word will start to circulate on social media and review sites like Glassdoor. Employer brand damage can be tough to rectify.

There are, however, seven key factors that make up the pillars of every EVP. These are:

Compensation

Compensation covers salary and any other cash components that are offered to employees. Salaries and wages must be competitive, reviews must be fair, and compensation structures must be flexible. Commission and bonus structures must be clear and uniform across departments. Production, sales or performance targets must be communicated in writing and honored without question if an employee meets their objectives. Employee recognition plays a vital role in employee engagement and ultimately employee retention.

Annual salary reviews based on performance appraisals also don’t cut it anymore. Line managers and HR must conduct ongoing evaluations. Employees who continually go the extra mile or who have furthered their qualifications must be recognized, and their salaries adjusted accordingly.

Benefits

The value of individual benefits will differ from one person to another and employers must consider that. Allow flexible benefit options so that employees can choose what adds value to their lives. Benefits include medical, personal and retirement insurance, flexible working hours, paid time off, sponsored subscriptions and education opportunities. Benefits must be open for discussion, and new benefit options must be communicated to all employees.

Rewards

Rewards are separate from compensation and benefits in that they acknowledge employees’ deeds and activities that benefit the company or their colleagues. An employee referral program is an excellent example. Rewards can be in cash, vouchers, holiday accommodation and also paid time off. Different things appeal to different people. Employee rewards are usually accompanied by public recognition within the company and even in industry publications.

Culture

For any company to build a healthy and productive workforce the people they hire must be an excellent cultural fit. We don’t all have the same morals, ideals and ideas of what’s right and wrong. Attracting talent that aligns with the company culture is essential. People who clash with, or hold vastly different opinions to management and their colleagues will either become disruptive, or they’ll leave. Culture also defines team spirit and trust within an organization.

 Vision

Vision is very similar to company culture. We also don’t all have the same goals and future plans. Future and current employees must understand the company’s mission, values, and goals. People who have the same vision in life are more inclined to collaborate with one another and support each other.

Career progression

Career progression is important for most people. Benefits like on the job training and development, career counseling, study sponsorship, mentorship, and defined succession planning can be a deal maker.

Work environment

A safe and healthy work environment is essential for most people. Employees want to know that they are recognized, heard, have clearly defined roles and are appreciated. Many people want autonomy, the opportunity to be innovative and a chance to make a meaningful contribution.

Digitization is essential to have a meaningful EVP

With so many aspects involved in designing and implementing a meaningful and competitive EVP, it’s not something that can be assigned to line managers or a junior in HR. An EVP is an ongoing exercise in marketing that must be shared across an organization and closely monitored and evaluated by the HR department and internal recruiters. An applicant tracking system that integrates with your HR systems is essential to connect all stakeholders.

Using metrics and analytics is vital for any EVP to successfully reach the right target market and attract and retain the best talent. Analyzing data allows you to predict future trends so that you can adapt and optimize your EVP to keep your employer brand one step ahead in the war for talent. 

Bev has enthusiastically worked to match top employers and candidates for almost twenty years. An endless curiosity of the human mind, HR tech development, how to help people reach their goals and the ever-evolving hiring landscape is what keeps her fired up.