The war for talent is showing no signs of slowing down — job openings continue to exceed the number of job seekers on the market. For businesses, this ultra-competitive talent landscape reinforces the need to double down on initiatives that help you attract and retain top workers. But in a sea of companies touting laundry lists of benefits, what can you do to stand out against your competitors?
The answer starts with a strong, credible employer value proposition (EVP). A compelling EVP can make the difference between a candidate saying yes to a job offer (or even applying in the first place) or an employee choosing to stay.
Let’s take a closer look at what makes a good EVP and how to enhance yours to stand out in today’s labor market.
What is an employer value proposition?
An employer value proposition is the first flag of your company’s employer brand. It typically appears as a carefully crafted written statement, but it can also refer simply to a set of benefits or a promise you’re making. Whatever the format, it communicates to potential and current employees what benefits and cultural values they can expect from joining your organization.
While your EVP can definitely be used to aid your recruitment marketing efforts, it’s not solely a marketing tool. It’s a truth, a promise and a cultural value that potential and current employees can depend on. When the reality of a workplace does not live up to its promised EVP, employees can grow disillusioned and disengaged.
To be really effective, companies need to deliver on their promise. When your promise matches the practice, you can build real trust — and engagement — with your workforce. In doing so, you also instill confidence in your employer brand, which builds goodwill with both potential employees and the community at large.
Optimizing your employer value proposition
Even if you don’t formally have an EVP documented, you still have one. The question is, is it where it needs to be for optimal recruiting and retention?
Your EVP is something that’s worth revisiting regularly. Take time to see if it’s providing benefits your employees value, if you’re delivering as promised and if the EVP is keeping pace with your current business needs.
Key components of an employee value proposition
Let’s break down some common components of an EVP:
- A commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging
- Corporate social responsibility, including environmental efforts or community uplift initiatives
- Access to debt-free workforce education opportunities
- Dedicated professional development activities such as mentorship programs
- Financial incentives for employee performance
- In-office perks such as snacks or recreation rooms
- Flexible hybrid/remote work schedules
- Traditional benefits such as medical insurance and retirement planning
Take a look at these and see if there are opportunities to enhance your EVP — do you have any new programs or benefits that you don’t currently have highlighted? Or would any of these be beneficial to add?
Whatever you include, make sure it’s a transparent and truthful reflection of the values and benefits your company offers.
3 standout employer value proposition examples
Here are a few real-world examples of EVPs from industry-leading organizations:
- Banfield Pet Hospital, a giant in the field of veterinary medicine, puts inclusion at the core of its employer value proposition, where “associates can be themselves, so that we can find value in our differences.” The company prominently highlights testimonies from current employees about the experience of working for Banfield, and outlines key benefits relating to lifestyle, healthcare, future planning and even access to debt-free education.
- Medtronic, a leader in the field of medical device manufacturing, fronts cultural values in its EVP. With diversity and inclusion listed as “key to innovation,” the company is committed to an equitable and supportive work environment that allows workers to learn, develop and advance over the course of their employment.
- adidas is one of the world’s leading sports manufacturers and retailers with a globally recognizable brand. The company’s EVP focuses on DEI initiatives, flexible work opportunities, world-class facilities and interaction with world-class athletes, environmental conservation and employee betterment through education and training.
3 guaranteed ways to enhance your employer value proposition
In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become increasingly clear that employee expectations are changing. The modern employee is looking for far more than a paycheck — they want to work for an employer that aligns with their values and invests in their well-being and professional development.
Don’t think of your EVP as a static entity – it should evolve along with the expectations of the workforce to keep you in the top ranks of desirable companies to work for. What makes an organization a great place to work now looks very different than it did 10 years ago, and your company should be proud if it’s reflecting this change in the values it upholds.
Here are a few ways you can adapt your proposition for tomorrow’s workforce:
- Invest in employee education
Let your employees drive their futures with access to supportive, flexible learning and development opportunities. Employees consistently rank skill building and opportunities for advancement high on their list of desired benefits — and absolutely key to staying with a company. (In fact, frontline workers prioritize job growth over pay!) Adding education as a core benefit and company value will help you to both boost retention and maintain your status as a top employer.
- Create a flexible workplace
Simply put — when, where and how you require employees to work matters. Even for frontline jobs that don’t have the option to go fully remote, there are options available that allow for greater flexibility. Offering flexible schedules, other accommodations (such as childcare) or the option to remain remote will give you access to a much greater talent pool.
- Taking action on diversity, equity and inclusion
Make sure you back up your DEI statement with examples of the tangible actions you are taking to create a safer and more equitable working environment for your marginalized employees.
The value in your EVP
Remaining competitive as an organization in a job-seeker’s market is a matter of aligning company goals and values to the demands of the modern worker. Your people are your greatest investment, and doing so is worth doing from the very beginning — starting with a strong EVP. Taking the time to optimize your EVP pays dividends many times over in recruitment, engagement, retention, productivity and profitability.