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The Talent Revolution - Episode 7
Insight

How to Nail Your EVP to Attract the Right Candidates and Weed Out the Wrong Ones

June 30th, 2021 4 minute read
Tom Hacquoil
Tom Hacquoil
CEO
Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is something a lot of companies struggle to get right. They try to compete with the loudest, best-known voices in the market—but, of course, those companies are fundamentally different.

In the end, we often see organizations making the biggest possible mistake. They try to make their EVP appeal to everyone, to cast the widest net possible. But when you try to appeal to everyone, you appeal to no one. The message is inoffensive, but it’s also irrelevant. It doesn’t inspire any passion or inspiration.

Watch the full episode below or read on for the blog version

This kind of EVP yields candidates who don’t want to work for your company in particular; they just want to work in general. They’ll take home a paycheck, deliver mediocre work, and leave the moment a competitor offers them more money.

But here’s the good news: you can compete with the best and brightest in your industry for top-level talent. You just can’t do it by playing the same game as everyone else.

That’s why our focus at Pinpoint is on being different, not better.

You can’t offer a higher salary than a multi-billion dollar tech giant. What you can offer is an entirely different working experience—and for the right candidate, that has value.

How to clarify your EVP

If your EVP includes elements like salary, paid leave, and a ping pong table, it’s time to take another look. Those things don’t separate you from any other listing on a job board.

Your EVP should answer questions like: How do you get people excited about working for your business? What can you offer that’s unique in your industry?

Good answers to these questions might include things like:

  • The chance to voice opinions and influence major decisions, even in an entry-level role

  • The opportunity to work with A-players and market leaders

  • True flexibility in working hours and location

  • Collaborating on an entirely new product

  • Working with an actual mentor who invests time and energy into your career

For more detailed EVP examples, check out our top EVP picks for 2021.

Your recruitment marketing should tell a compelling story. Show candidates who they’ll become as a direct result of working for you, and what their skill set and career will look like when they leave.

You can’t hire the right people if you aren’t in front of them, and the best way to ensure the right people see your message is to get as granular as possible about your value proposition. Good-fit candidates will be on the lookout for companies that are selling what they’re looking to buy.

Finding the right candidates from first-phase interviews

At Pinpoint, first-phase interviews are a little bit different.

Our central EVP is: “The place you go to grow.” There’s nothing in there about snacks or ping pong tables (the latter of which we don’t have). That’s not what sets us apart.

When we meet candidates for the first time, we don’t bother asking them to recite their CV or answer a random brainteaser. 

Instead, we ask how we can help them figure out if Pinpoint is the right place for them to be. Then we try to screen ourselves out.

We’re honest in the extreme about the good and the bad that come with working here. So we leave our rose-tinted glasses at the door and get real with candidates from that first meeting.

Pinpoint’s EVP is both good and—for the wrong candidates—bad. People learn quickly here, and influence big decisions in a fast-growing business. But we also have an environment that some people would hate. We work long hours and keep expectations high. The bar isn’t set at an easily attainable level. When we show up every day, we work hard.

That kind of job isn’t for everyone, which is why we work hard to determine what candidates want out of their employment experience. 

We recently had an opening on our marketing team, and invited four candidates in for first-phase interviews. Three of them fell out before the second round, because our EVP didn’t appeal to them. To us, that’s an excellent result; it got the right candidate excited about working here, and that hire turned out to be an excellent fit for all involved.

Putting off the wrong people is a great thing. It gives you more time to invest in the candidate experience of people you want to work with, and who want to work with you.

There’s nothing to be gained from promising candidates one thing, and offering another after the fact. All you’ll get for your trouble is a bad reputation in the market and high turnover. (Or worse, the wrong candidates will stay.)

Get your ideal candidate excited, and illuminate the exit for everyone else. Play a different recruitment game than everyone else, and you’ll have a much better time.

 

 

If you aren’t sure where to start, we’ve created an EVP Template you can download for free. Nearly 3,000 organizations have used it to clarify their EVP, attract the right people, and understand who the “right people” are in the first place.

Join us each week for more tales from the trenches and best-practice people guidance.

About the author
Tom Hacquoil
Tom Hacquoil
Tom is the CEO at Pinpoint and he's passionate about building world-class teams.