In a fiercely competitive market for the best candidates, the need for a powerful strategy to attract and retain top talent has never been more important.
In this guide, we take you step-by-step through the process of creating an Employee Value Proposition – a compelling argument explaining why someone would want to work for your company rather than a competitor.
Then we'll show you how to use your Employee Value Proposition to give you a competitive advantage when it comes to attracting and retaining the best talent.
We'll cover key topics including:
- What is an EVP?
- High Performing EVP Examples
- Why Leading Employers Have a Clear EVP
- Step-by-step guide to creating your EVP
Before you start, we recommend you download your Free Employee Value Proposition Template. It's designed to work alongside this article and will simplify the process of discovering your EVP.
What is an Employee Value Proposition?
An Employee Value Proposition (sometimes known as an EVP or Employer Value Proposition) is a compelling answer to the question:
Why should I work for your company instead of somewhere else? What’s in it for me?
It’s a written statement that you can use in promotional materials, recruitment advertising, and careers pages. And it’s a guide for how you behave as an organisation, how you decide who to hire, and how you assess and manage performance.
It’s a window into the company’s culture - designed to entice the right type of people to apply for, and accept, roles. It’s about helping people understand what makes you a great employer.
High Performing Employer Value Proposition Examples
Your EVP Statement is how you present your employer brand to the world. We thought it'd be helpful to give you some examples from leading companies before you start to work on creating your own.
There’s no one kind of Googler, so we’re always looking for people who can bring new perspectives and life experiences to our teams. If you’re looking for a place that values your curiosity, passion, and desire to learn, if you’re seeking colleagues who are big thinkers eager to take on fresh challenges as a team, then you’re a future Googler.
Why Leading Employers Have a Clear EVP
Your Employee Value Proposition (or lack of) will make or break your recruitment and retention.
- Attract more applications from the best candidates
- Persuade those candidates to join their team rather than take an offer from a competitor
- Retain their best hires for longer / reduce staff turnover
- Reduce their recruitment costs
Creating Your Employee Value Proposition
Now that you understand the importance of an EVP, you’re probably wondering how to create one.
In the rest of this post, we'll share the six-step process that we use here at Pinpoint to help our clients develop an EVP for their organisation.
Phase 1: Discover
By the end of this phase you will:
- Have everyone on-board with the process and clear about why you're creating an EVP and how you expect it to help your organisation.
- Establish baseline metrics so you can measure the effect of your new EVP on future recruitment and retention.
- Collate any information that you already have available that will help you understand what your best team members want.
- Be clear about what your competitors are offering and how they are differentiating themselves.
Why do you want an EVP?
Being clear about why you need an EVP will help with your internal communications and getting the rest of your team on-board. It will also help make sure you craft an EVP that will actually help you meet your objectives.
Different organisations have different reasons for defining their EVP. Typically these might include:
Reducing recruitment costs
It’s easier to attract more of the type of applicants you want when you can present a compelling reason for them to want to apply.
Hiring more of the best talent
When you can clearly articulate why someone would want to work for you, you’ll attract people who are a better cultural fit and you’ll find that the people who are best for your organisation will be less likely to take an offer from a competitor.
Reducing staff turnover / improving productivity
Your EVP defines how you run your organisation and how you expect your team to behave. There’s no point in saying you’re a flexible employer unless you offer flexibility. When you run your organization in line with your value proposition, people that value the type of workplace you have will be happier, more productive, and stay longer.
It’s easier to attract more of the type of applicants you want when you can present a compelling reason for them to want to apply.
Get Your Team On-Board
Defining your EVP is not something that you can do in isolation. Whether you’re an organisation of 5 of 50,000, you’ll need the feedback and support of your whole team to get the best results from this process.
At the start of the EVP process you need to communicate what you’re doing, and why. You might do this as an e-mail, or during a team meeting. The key things to get across are:
- An explanation of why you’re going through this process (you’ve already worked that out in the previous step). Make sure to explain why this will be beneficial to your existing team, not just to your bottom line.
- Set expectations for what help you’re going to need whilst defining your EVP. This usually includes asking your team to complete an employee satisfaction survey and take part in focus groups.
- Set expectations for what support you think you’ll need to follow through and deliver on your EVP. Explain that you might need to make tweaks to things like recruitment advertising and employee benefits.
- Give an indication of timeline for the process.
Establish Some Baseline Metrics
Creating and implementing an EVP makes a huge difference to the teams that we work with, but it also requires an investment of time (and money) to get right, so you’ll want to be able to show the difference that it’s made to your organisation.
That’s why we always recommend documenting some baseline metrics that you can measure yourself against in future years. You can include any metrics you want to measure and improve but, as a starting point, we typically recommend including:
Existing Staff Engagement
- Staff Turnover: the number of employees who leave your organisation divided by your total number of employees.
- Absenteeism Rate: (Average number of employees x missed workdays) / (Average number of employees x total workdays)
- Average Cost Per Hire: your total recruitment costs divided by the number of people you hired in the period.
- Average Applicant Volume: average number of applicants per vacancy.
- Average Time to Hire: the amount of time it takes to fill an open position.
- Average Rejection Rate: the number of offers you make that are rejected by the candidate divided by the total number of offers you make.
Collate Existing Information
You may already have some information available that will help you develop your EVP and cut down on some of the work in phase two. Gather together any data that might provide insights into why people do or don’t want to work for you. Examples include:
- Results from any previous employee surveys
- Notes from exit interviews
- Notes from interviews relating to why candidates applied to work for your organisation
Make a note of these in section one of your EVP Template.
The objective of this EVP process is to define your organisation’s unique value proposition, so the last thing you want to do is copy your competitors.
However, looking at what your competitors are offering can give you valuable insights into what your employees might be looking for that you've overlooked in the past.
We’ve put together a selection of powerful Employee Value Proposition examples from some of the world’s leading brands in this post to give you an idea of what you’re looking for.
We recommend researching three to five competitors in your industry and location as a starting point. You can keep track of your research in section one of your EVP Template
Phase 2: Analyse
By now you should have a clear objective for what you want to achieve, your team will be on board, and you’ll have pulled together as much historic information as you can.
The objective of this Analyse phase is to:
- Understand why people want to work for you
- Understand why people are most likely to leave
Depending on what data you have managed to get hold of in the previous Discover phase, you will likely:
- Conduct a staff survey
- Run focus groups with your team
- Get feedback from external recruiters
- Speak to customers
- Analyse the data
Using a combination of electronic surveys, focus groups and data analysis will ensure you truly understand why people want to work for you, why they want to leave and identify cohorts that sway in one particular direction.
Employee Satisfaction Survey
The purpose of the employee satisfaction survey is to:
- Establish how engaged and satisfied your team is
- Understand what makes your organisation a great place to work
- Understand anything that is causing dissatisfaction amongst your team
We've put together a list of employee survey questions that you can use.
Employee Focus Groups
Much like the employee satisfaction survey, the purpose of the focus groups is to give your team the opportunity to voice their opinions and really get people talking. By asking the right questions you can really get the conversation flowing.
As with the employee survey, you’re looking to understand more about what people do (and don’t) enjoy about working for your organisation.
Speak to External Recruiters
If, like most businesses we speak to, you’re currently using external recruiters to fill some or all of your roles they will be a valuable source of information about why candidates accept or reject interviews and offers at your organisation.
It’s likely that you have a personal relationship with your key external recruiters so it’s usually a case of picking up the phone and asking the right questions.
Analyse the Data
By this point you should have plenty of information to answer the six key questions that will help you form your EVP:
- What is important to the people that you want to attract to work for you?
- Why do those people like to work at your organisation?
- What is most likely to make people want to leave your organisation?
- Are there differences in opinions between leadership and the rest of the organisation in terms of what’s important to them?
- Are there differences in answers across different groups of people? E.g. between genders, contract types, age, length of service, seniority, department, etc?
Section two of your free EVP template will help you to clearly document your analysis ready for the next phase.
Phase 3: Design
Congratulations on getting to this phase. By now, you’ve completed your research and have answers to the six key questions that will help you to create your Employee Value Proposition and that is what this phase is all about.
By the end of this phase you will have:
- Established a draft EVP
- Developed your draft into an Employee Value Proposition that is ready to share with the world
We'll show you how to:
- Create your candidate persona(s)
- Define each component of your EVP
- Write your draft Employee Value Proposition Statement
- Refine your EVP
Creating your candidate persona(s)
A candidate persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal candidate based on market research and real data about your existing team.
Your candidate persona(s) will help you as you continue through this phase and write your EVP Statement. They will also help you to target job descriptions and recruitment advertising to attract more of the right type of candidates in the future.
When creating your candidate persona(s), consider including information about:
- their personality
- their past experience
- their skills
- where they learn information / what they spend time reading
- what would persuade them to work for your organisation
- what would put them off working for your organisation
Your candidate persona(s) may vary by seniority, department, or location. Where there is a significant difference in the type of person you’d be looking to hire, it’s worth creating a separate candidate persona.
Defining Your EVP
An important part of your EVP is to define what your organisation offers that is unique in the market.
That’s not to say everything you do has to be different.
But the combination of what you offer should be as unique as possible, and it should be tailored to attract the ideal candidate persona(s) you defined above - particularly taking into consideration things that would attract or repel them from working at your organisation.
Most organisations include a combination of two or more of the following in the core of their EVP:
- Compensation: salary, raises and promotions, fairness, evaluation system
- Benefits: time off, holidays, insurance, retirement, education, flexibility, family, wellbeing
- Career: progression opportunities, stability, training and education, career development, consultation, evaluation and feedback
- Work Environment: recognition, autonomy, personal achievement, work-life balance, understanding of role and responsibility.
- Company Culture: understanding of the organisation’s goals and plans, colleagues, leaders and managers, support, collaboration and team spirit, social responsibility, trust
We’ve put together a detailed list of things you might consider in each of these categories here but most teams come up with some of their own ideas during the research and analysis process in phases one and two.
Section three of your Employee Value Proposition Template provides the best format for documenting your new EVP.
Write Your Draft EVP Statement
Now it’s time to bring together your candidate personas and EVP components from the previous two steps and create your draft EVP statement.
Your EVP statement should:
- Align to your organisation’s vision, mission, and values.
- Be achievable and honest – your EVP statement should reflect what your organisation is actually like, not just what it aspires to be like.
- Be targeted to attract the candidate persona(s) you created as part of this process.
- Be unique in your marketplace.
- Be written in your brand’s tone of voice.
- Be concise and easy to read (e.g. one sentence for each key point).
Use section three of your EVP Template to help you write your draft EVP statement and, if you need some more inspiration, you’ll find some great EVP Examples here.
Feedback and Refinement
Now that you have your draft EVP, you'll need to get feedback from the people who provided input and gave feedback through the previous phases.
For small organisations, this might be through an all-hands team meeting, or for larger organisations, you might want to involve the heads of each department. Carefully consider the feedback you receive and refine the EVP if necessary.
Sometimes, you'll get pushback from certain people - particularly managers who will need to make some changes to how they work if the organisation is going to deliver on its EVP. You'll need to assess this feedback carefully and determine whether they have legitimate concerns that need to be addressed - either through additional education and support or through a refinement to the EVP.
Phase 4: Launch
Once your EVP has been finalised, it’s time to launch. The first step is to communicate your new EVP to your own team.
This is all about getting people fired up and, because you involved them in the process from the start, they’ll feel a sense of ownership and satisfaction when seeing the end result.
Depending on the size of your organization, you might decide to present this in a team meeting, a number of meetings with different groups, your annual conference, or via a personalised e-mail from your CEO to the business.
Whatever style you choose, the key things to communicate are:
- A reminder of why you started the process.
- A thank you for your team’s input.
- A walk-through of each part of your EVP, why it’s important to your organisation, and an example of it in practice.
- An appeal for ongoing support to make sure your organisation delivers on the EVP.
At the same time, you will need to update your external communications and internal documents to reflect your new employee value proposition.
Some of the key things most companies need to take care of include their:
- Employee handbook
- Recruitment website and careers pages
- Job descriptions
- Recruitment advertising
- Marketing website and social media accounts
Phase 5: Embed
Whilst communicating your EVP is an important step, for it to have any real impact it needs to be reinforced at every opportunity - you need to live up to what you promised.
As well as the obvious things (if you promise flexible working then you really do have to offer it!), you should consider how the overall tone of your EVP is reflected in your:
- Candidate Experience
- New Hire Onboarding
- Performance / Appraisal Process
- Employee Offboarding
Phase 6: Measure
Measurement allows you to validate that your EVP is making a difference and delivering on the objectives you set at the beginning.
Depending on the size of your organisation, you'll want to review the key metrics that you designed in phase one every six to twelve months. We’ve included a template to help you do this in section five of your EVP Template.
You should expect to see incremental improvements in each metric but if you are finding that your new EVP isn’t helping to achieve your goals, feel free to get in touch with one of our Customer Success team here at Pinpoint.
Even if you’re not a customer, we’d be more than happy to offer some advice and point you in the right direction. Two minds are almost always better than one. You can schedule a time to speak here.
You should also be reviewing responses to new hire surveys, exit interviews, and employee engagement surveys on a regular basis. This will give you the opportunity to review the feedback against your EVP and make changes to the value proposition or the way you’re delivering on it.
When to Review Your EVP
Outside of the ongoing checks as part of your measurement, you'll want to review your EVP as part of any major changes to your organisation – for example:
- A change in budget that affects what you’re able to deliver
- A relocation, restructure, merger, or acquisition
- A change to the purpose or values of your organisation
- A rebrand
If you have any questions about creating or using your EVP we'd love to hear from you. Our in-house team of recruitment experts who are passionate about helping companies like yours make better hires. If you have any questions at all, feel free to request a free consultation with a recruitment expert here and we'll do our best to help.