Employee Value Propositions (EVP)

Attracting star candidates can be difficult, one of the most useful approaches an employer can develop is to create an Employee Value Proposition. An EVP is a summation of the key reasons an employee would want to work for you.

When creating an EVP it’s important to remember that employees live in four worlds – their job, their team, their leader and the organisation.

Let’s look at EVP’s in more detail.

Watch the next video in this series here:

Part 3 – How to Write Employment Advertisements

And watch the previous video here:

Part 1 – Creating Outcome Based Job Definitions

And if you know of anyone who would benefit from this video, please share it with them.

Video Transcript

Hi, Andrew from SACS, and welcome to video number two in our series about candidate attraction and candidate evaluation.

This one’s about making ads more appealing.

In the previous one, we talked about this process of job definition called outcome based job definition, which is a way of ensuring that the job is, of its very nature, attractive, and it’s that it’s defined clearly in a way that people can easily understand, but let’s now talk about a thing called an employee value proposition.

Many ads are written in such a way that they are simply not attractive enough.

They’re written in an evaluative kind of a sense, and we’ll talk about that in the next two videos.

Evaluation is not a good thing to attract candidates.

People fear being rejected, so why bring that to their attention?

Our job, as recruiters, is to get the best candidates that we can possibly get, and when we write their ads in such a way that we reject candidates who are not suited, we actually often reject people who are suited, so that’s what we have to avoid in this process.

And the way that we do that is by filling the ad with as many benefits as possible through a process called employee value propositions.

So candidate attraction is key.

Few organisations are really good at this, and certainly if you get better at screening, you’ll need to get better at attraction.

Later on in this series of videos, we’ll be talking to you about some really contemporary methods of how to ensure that we don’t hire the wrong people.

Now, what that means is that when people introduce these methods, they actually start rejecting people that previously they would’ve hired.

Now that’s a good thing, because many of those people would’ve been quite significant selection errors, but if you’re going to pump up your candidate evaluation, you also have to pump up your candidate attraction or you simply may not get the volumes of people that are necessary.

Post-Covid Workforce

I’m presenting this in early 2022, and right now across the world, it’s a very difficult time to hire.

The lack of movement of candidates around from country to country, as well as a whole bunch of other things, caution to deal with the post-COVID-19 world has meant that candidates are extremely hard to attract, but even in a general sense, talent is becoming less available in the Western world because you don’t have the population growth to correspond with economic growth, so the economy is outstripping the size of the workforce in many Western nations.

So we’re going to have to get better at candidate attraction, and in order to do that, I want to explain a concept called employee value propositions.

Developing an Employee Brand

Now, EVPs, as they’re quite often called, are often overegged in terms of complexity.

Basically, what you’re doing with an EVP process is you’re finding out the benefits that people love about the job, particularly people who are in the job right now.

Now, often people commission marketing firms or PR firms to write these things.

Well, why? What you really need to do is you need to find out authentically the people who are doing the job, who like it, why they like it, and then you tell people about it. It’s as simple as that.

That’s an employee value proposition.

So the concept of an employee value proposition is the development of an employee brand or brands, and the reason we say or brands is because the brand that you have for an accounting job might be different from the brand that you have for a direct service provision job.

And what it means is that we are putting the main benefits in front of people in a persuasive and consistent message.

And so, what we’re doing is we’re acting to identify through activities such as focus groups, the key benefits of the job, you know, what do people love about this job? What do they love about their colleagues? What do they love about the leaders that they have? What do they love about the organisation that they work for? And by the way, the first three here are most important.

People join organisations it’s sometimes said, but they leave the job, the team, or the leaders.

So that’s what an employee value proposition is.

Employees Live in Four Worlds

In an employee value proposition, you don’t necessarily have to have job, team, leader, organisation specifically outlined.

It may be that the colleagues are the real benefit, and so you would lead with that.

And this idea of job, team, leader, organisation originally developed by a gentleman by the name of Mark Gryphon, a psychologist from Western Australia, organisational psychologist, and he was really saying that employees live in four worlds.

And if you think of it, it makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?

They live in the world of their job, their team, their leader, and the organisation that they work for.

But the first three, job, team, and leader are the most important, because they’re the things that are most close to the employee.

I mean, if I work for a company, that company’s a concept, but the people I sit next to or interact with every day, the leader that I report to every day, the job that I do every day, that’s very proximal to me. Proximal means close psychologically.

That’s what matters.

Who do you develop EVPs for? Well, they can develop for specific position.

They can be developed for a particular business unit.

They can be developed for a particular demographic.

So for instance, we’ve worked with organisations that have an ageing workforce, and so you want to develop an employee value proposition that’s going to appeal to younger candidates, so that’s something you can do.

You can make it demographic based.

Others have said, “Well, we haven’t got gender balance in our workforce. We don’t have enough women.”

Well, the women who like working for the organisation or in the job, identify, by asking them, what they like about it, and then take that show on the road to attract more women, to balance up your gender balance.

They can of course be organisation wide, although I would have to say that’s probably the least effective form of employee value proposition.

Two Forms of Happiness

So let’s talk about the wisdom of the ancient Greeks.

The ancient Greeks said that there are two forms of happiness.

The first is eudemonic

Now eudemonic sounds kind of weird and an unusual word, but what it means is meaning and purpose.

So if I do things in my work that give me meaning, which means that the work means a lot to me and purpose, which means that it’s resulting in some valuable outcome in the world.

That’s a eudemonic benefit.

The second form of benefit is hedonic.

Hedonic is pleasant things, so hedonic happiness, in the views of the ancient Greeks, would be things like, “I spend time with friends. I spend time with family. I do activities I like. I socialise. I drink wine. I have pleasurable experiences.”

Eudemonics benefits in the workplace are things like, “The organisation that I work for has strong values. I will learn a lot by working here. I will do good in the world.”

So what this organisation does contributes to the improvement of the world. “And I will work with great colleagues.” They’re all eudemonic benefits. They’re also hedonic benefits, so, “We’ve got nice offices. It’s close to home. The salary’s good.”

All of those things can be seen as hedonic benefits, and not only that, I mean, it might be stuff like, “People recognise my birthday,” or whatever.

Those hedonic benefits can be important, but for good candidates’ eudemonic benefits win all the time.

The research suggests that hedonic benefits tend to be short term in terms of their satisfaction, whereas eudemonic benefits, the longer term, the meaning and purpose things tend to endure and they tend to keep people working for you after the hedonic benefits, people have got used to it.

It just doesn’t matter that much anymore. So for really good candidates, eudemonic wins every time.

Highlighting the Eudemonic Benefits

How do you do this? I suggest a very simple process, select a cohort.

So let’s say for example, you’re in the disability support area, and so you’re going to use the example of direct support workers.

You get them together in a focus group activity and you ask them what they love about their job, their colleagues, their organisation, and their leaders, and you use this information to create an EVP, employee value proposition, for targeting potential candidates, and then you use this information in all your candidate attraction efforts.

And in fact, one of the ways that I like to do it is that you get the group together, let’s say you’ve got 20 in a room, and you split ’em into small groups, come up with what they love about the job or the team or the leaders or the organisation, and then post them on the wall.

And if it’s video based, you’re going to do this in a Zoom room or something like that.

And you get people to vote for the things that they think are the most important.

Now, if you do this with a few groups, you’ll end up with a good sample of what people love about the job, the team, the leader, the organisation, and that will be a really good foundation for an employee value proposition.

And you can use that information for everything.

You can put it on your website in the section that says work for us.

You can put it in your employment ads.

You can put it in your pre communication to try to attract candidates.

You can use it as a briefing for assessment centres if you happen to run assessment centres.

Any of those things can be really powerful.

That’s what an EVP is.

So far in this sequence, we’ve talked about outcome based job definition.

We’ve talked about making ads appealing, the employee value proposition, and the next video we’re going to give you some really specific advice about how to write employment ad copy, employment ad copy.

We don’t put ’em in papers anymore or rarely, but if you are going to write something, no matter where it appears digitally in social media on a tweet, whatever, still it comes down to the same thing.

The copy must work and it must appeal to candidates in the right way.

Join us for the next video to find out how to do that.

Watch the next video in this series to find out more about Candidate attraction & Evaluation:

Part 3 – How to Write Employment Advertisements

And watch the previous video here:

Part 1 – Creating Outcome Based Job Definitions

And if you’d like some help evaluating your next hire, contact us about our Psychometric Assessment Tools.

SACS Consulting