Small Business Hiring Teams: Have You Created An Employment Value Proposition?

employment value proposition EVP

Liz Strikwerda

Content strategist and corporate blogger (2000+ posts). Her work has been featured on G2's Learning Hub, Human Resources Today, CloserIQ, Better Buys and over 500 business websites. She plays bluegrass mandolin and enjoys hiking in the red rock wilderness of southern Utah. Connect with me on LinkedIn

Updated July 12, 2021

An Employment Value Proposition (EVP) is an important employer branding tool. As such, an EVP can help you be more effective at attracting and retaining talent.

What Is An EVP?

Your EVP articulates the value you provide to your employees in exchange for their contributions. For example, they contribute their skills, experience, time, and energy. Your value proposition is what you give them in return.

It includes both quantifiable and intangible elements. Quantifiable components include salary, health insurance, pension plans, and tuition reimbursement. Less quantifiable (though important) perks include things like flexible schedules, telecommuting, on-site gym, meals, etc. If your company has a charitable arm, that is part of the EVP. If you operate eco-responsibly, that could play a part.

Why Is It Important?

An EVP is a useful tool in any labor market. But it’s especially important now.

It’s never been more difficult to find top talent. And it’s never been harder to keep them. If you’re lucky enough to hire them, they can always leave if they’re not happy at your company.

You Can’t Express What You Don’t Understand

If you don’t have clarity regarding your EVP, how can you convey it to prospective and current employees? Furthermore, how can your employees express it to passive candidates in their circle of influence?

How Do I Use An EVP?

  • To market your company to prospective applicants
  • To inspire existing employees to refer applicants

Employment Value Proposition stemmed from the concept of Unique Value Proposition. This is how marketers define the value the company provides to the customers. It guides policies, marketing, and messaging.

Similarly, an EVP is used to market your company to potential job candidates. Use it to create job descriptions, interview scripts, employee handbooks, and training materials.

Improve Employee Referrals

Importantly, your EVP plays a starring role in employee referral programs. If it’s authentic and well-communicated, your employees will internalize it. They will share it naturally with potential referral hires.

Employee referral hires:

  • Are less expensive to hire
  • Become productive faster (shorter onboarding time)
  • Are better employees
  • Stay with your company longer

In addition, an employee who refers a new hire will also stay longer at your company!

How Do I Create An EVP?

Start by figuring out your baseline. What implied EVP already exists? How do employees feel about your company? How is it perceived on the labor market and by your competitors?

First, survey your workforce. Use exit interviews to learn why employees leave. Second, scour Glassdoor and other workplace review sites. Third, read customer reviews. Finally, talk to your customer service team. What feedback do they get?

You Can’t Spin It

An EVP is only valuable if it’s authentic. You can only have a compelling EVP if your company is a great place to work. Furthermore, it’s only as useful as it is accurate. Which leads us to our next section…

How Can We Improve It?

Once you understand your current value proposition, you can make a plan to improve it. Do your employees value what you currently offer? If not, rethink your benefits. Does everyone know what’s available? Do they use your benefits and perks? In what ways is it lacking?

Improve Your Company First, Your EVP Will Follow

If your employees are loyal, but they can’t articulate why, you have a communication problem. Start getting the message out. You can do this with engagement programs and messaging in your HR portal.

If you have high turnover, it’s not just your EVP that’s weak, it’s the company culture upon which it’s based. If this is the case, it’s time to re-evaluate your employee experience. Create an ideal EVP to guide you as you work toward it.


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