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The Importance of a Compelling Employee Value Proposition

A compelling employee value proposition plays a critical role in your ability to attract talented people into the organization. It’s the structural mechanism that supports all other communication materials.

Marketers sometimes think of “brand architecture” as the underlying strategy or structure used to express the relationship between the brand and its sub-brands or divisions. A good visual might be a large tree with limbs growing up and out of the base – with branches and leaves radiating out in every direction.

The base of the tree is your core employer brand. The limbs are the different aspects of your compelling employer value proposition. The smaller branches and leaves are what is communicated and shared out in every direction through various channels to your potential candidates.

compelling employee value proposition

A compelling employee value proposition communicates the true “give and take” relationship, or the contribution and the expected return, between your organization and its people. It reaches out and supports communication, explains additional value outside of salary, benefits and perks, serves as a tool to engage prospective candidates (and employees), and can differentiate your organization and help it to stand out in a crowd.

Building Your New EVP

When building up your compelling employee value proposition, it’s important to keep a few things in mind:

  • Make sure your new EVP speaks to and resonates with your target audiences.
  • Clearly identify the benefits and advantages candidates receive by working at your organization. (similar to brand promise)
  • Your new EVP should convince others that your organization is a better place to work than the competition. You should be able to share how your organization is different and how it is better.
  • Your new EVP should be able to be delivered and understood within a few seconds – under 15 is ideal.
  • Your new EVP needs to be compelling and strong enough to carry the weight of all types of conversations with ideal candidates.

To support the many different types of conversations, you should expect your new EVP to cover the following:

  • What work/career experience value is your organization selling?
  • What is the end-benefit of working at the firm?
  • Who is your target candidate for working at the firm?
  • What makes your organization unique and different?

Example of EVP used as a general message – In 2007, the HP value proposition was as follows: “HP helps great people grow. We develop strong leaders who trust and respect our people, give them opportunities to stretch and achieve, and reward those who focus on the customer, drive innovation and help HP win.” It has changed a lot since then, but notice the give and take relationship – what employees needed to do and also what the organization promised to deliver.

Example of EVP embedded in targeted/niche messages – There are times when it makes sense to create multiple sub-messages for your different functional roles. For a technical sales role, EVP messaging might be embedded (or woven) into targeted content as follows: “For experienced technical sales representatives interested in continued career growth and financial independence, our organization offers an in-house career development program and performance-based bonuses to those who take an active role in helping the company meet its obligations to its stakeholders and finding new ways to attract and retain customers.” It’s a bit on the long side, but notice how the give and take relationship is embedded into the content.

We hope this helps to explain the importance of building up a compelling employee value proposition. We’ve added a few related blog posts:

This is a big issue for many organizations, but fortunately, there is a step-wise approach to solving this problem.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Christopher Mengel is the founder of TalentSum LLC, a strategic talent acquisition consultancy and best practices implementation firm. Some of the world’s most notable companies partner with TalentSum to activate a strong employer brand, attract more people who fit, improve engagement and experiences, and deliver high-performing cultures.

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