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What Candidates Want is Changing: It’s Time to Update Your EVP

September 7th, 2020 6 minute read
Claire Murray
Claire Murray
HR & Recruitment Journalist
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The current consensus is that recruitment should be easy. On paper, millions of people are out of work and looking for roles. But actually, it’s not easy at all.

Recruiters still need to hire the best candidate, passive candidates (widely regarded as the most desirable) aren’t willing to take a leap, and job hunters are looking for more from roles than ever before. 

“I’m scared to move” confessed Emma, a Customer Success Manager, who, prior to Covid, was looking for a new role. “I know my current employer is doing well and I have a long-term job.” It’s a common refrain. People don’t want to move from a secure position while the world is so uncertain.

This means that to adapt to the next normal your employee value proposition will need to evolve along with what candidates, both active and passive, want.

So rather than shouting about perks, pool tables, snacks, and even salaries, here are the current EVP trends you should be focusing on, at least in the short term…

“I’m scared to move. I know my current employer is doing well and I have a long-term job.”

Security

Spend any time on LinkedIn and you’ll see a feed full of job seekers and redundancy announcements. The Office for Budget Responsibility predicts that by the end of 2020, UK unemployment alone could grow to its highest levels since the 1980’s. If people feel secure in a position, they’re wary of moving to new roles where they won’t have the same longevity guarantees.

This means a key area for candidates is security. They’re looking for assurance their position will be as safe as possible if they decide to take the leap. 

How to make it part of your EVP

Think about the ways you demonstrate job security. How have you helped new hires get off to the best start? How are they set up for success from the beginning? 

You need to ensure that your recruitment process is robust enough that you make good hires and, therefore, have low turnover. Being clear about who will and won’t do well at your organization is an important part of this.

Transparency

Part of this need for security includes knowing what they’re getting themselves into.

Candidates are already aware of exactly what their current role entails, what the company culture is like, and who is behind the organization they currently work for. But they don’t know that about your business. 

High production web pages featuring models smiling in a bland boardroom aren’t going to cut it anymore.

Our CEO Tom laid this out in a recent video: “Candidates are less interested in glossy PR overviews of what it’s like to work at your organization—they’re more interested in what your Glassdoor looks like.”

How to make it part of your EVP

People aren’t going to forget how your organization behaved during this period of upheaval, and matching your actions to your promises is vital.

This isn’t the time for sugar coating. Regardless of the current employment situation, honesty and transparency must be a key feature of your EVP and recruitment marketing. 

And it must be a key part of your recruitment marketing – real people, real stories, and clarity around who you’re looking to attract and what they can expect from your organization will help you deliver on this.

“Candidates are less interested in glossy PR overviews of what it’s like to work at your organization—they’re more interested in what your Glassdoor looks like.”

Flexibility

Office staff have spent the last few months working from home. Many will tell you it’s been their worst nightmare. But others have enjoyed the extra family time, adapting their hours, and not having to commute. 

This huge change in environments has made flexibility one of the key things candidates are looking for. Jobs that can’t be done from home, at least some of the time, or have very specific, arbitrary hours will be harder to fill than those offering increased autonomy.

Madeline Pratley, a Marketing Manager from London who was made redundant due to the pandemic echoes this. “Most good companies now offer flexibility, or they’re on their way to. If a company doesn’t offer flexibility, they’re not for me. Flexibility is a necessity now.”

How to make it part of your EVP

To be in with the best chance of attracting top candidates, you need to ensure that you offer flexibility where possible. If you’re offering remote working, think about how remote employees will fit in and how you’ll make them feel part of the workforce. (Especially as your team won’t benefit from the foosball tables and free snacks businesses used to consider “company culture”.)

"Your team won’t benefit from the foosball tables and free snacks businesses used to consider 'company culture'."

Purpose

Where are you going and why are you going there? Why is this role you’re hiring for so important?

2020 has been a time of huge social upheaval and for many people, they want to work somewhere that recognizes this. Candidates are looking for businesses with a purpose that’s bigger than just making money. 

Talking in the Financial Times, Teresa Hassara, Head of Workplace Solutions at MassMutual said. “We have been having a lot of conversations about social justice and managers are engaging in those conversations in a far more personal way than they ever have before.”

How to make it part of your EVP

Do you have a purpose above making profit?

Even if you can’t immediately identify it, it’s likely that you do.

Talk to your team, and find out what they think the company’s purpose is. Once you’ve identified it, make sure you use your recruitment marketing to clearly tell candidates about your “why”.

Support

People no longer want their workplace to just pay them a salary. As workers give more of their time and thoughts to work, they expect their employer to provide them with support in living their lives. The lines between work and home are increasingly blurred and if employers want to describe their organization as a “family”, they need to act like one.

How to make it part of your EVP

Supporting your employees can mean a variety of things.

In the US, good employers already provide private healthcare but this is also becoming more prevalent in other countries.

Offering perks like mental health support, gym memberships, and advanced learning opportunities will help show candidates that you really care about your people in and outside of work hours. 

But for some, it can be more directly related to the job—opportunities to learn faster, the chance to take on more responsibility, or having a meaningful say in what happens in the business can be more attractive to some candidates than the usual perks.

What next?

What candidates want has changed and the organizations that respond best to this will be the ones who attract and hire the best people.

Hiring freezes, switches to remote hiring, and cost cutting measures, introduced across the board over the last few months have given hiring managers and recruiters more time. This is the perfect opportunity to meet candidates’ expectations of your EVP. 

For a step by step guide on how to position and improve your EVP, get our comprehensive (and free) EVP template.

Read our step-by-step guide to creating or updating your EVP.

About the author
Claire Murray
Claire Murray
I love stories. Because of stories, I have degrees in history and journalism, and I've worked in hospitality, sales, and marketing. Personally, I'm a: 📚 Big book fan 🛸 Star Trek nerd 🏔️ Love a good hill 👟 Fan of cool sneakz

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