Your employer brand is a key element of your recruitment marketing strategy, and your employee value proposition (EVP) is at the heart of it. At a very basic level, your EVP is the unique set of benefits an employee receives in return for the skills, capabilities and experience they bring to a company. An EVP is about defining the essence of your company—how it is unique and what it stands for. It’s the deal struck between company and employee in return for their contribution and performance. This “deal” characterizes an employer and differentiates it from its competition.
Developing a strong EVP is a key element of any recruiting and retention effort. It is an extremely important component in your recruitment marketing efforts and campaigns. The EVP represents everything of value that an employer provides to its employees—pay, benefits, training, career development opportunities and so on—and it is then “marketed” to the workforce.
Shifting the Focus of Your EVP from Company to Employee
One of the mistakes companies make when creating an EVP is focusing on the leadership of their company, rather than making an employee-focused EVP. For recruiting and retention, your EVP statement must reflect the value to the employee, not the value to company leadership or bottom line.
As outlined in a case study from HROS on Thermo Fisher's launch of its employer brand, the company’s Employer Brand Leader Charlotte Marshall was tasked with creating a brand that could hire and engage 25,000 employees across 600 global locations within 5 years. Marshall explained, “When you step back and analyze what the words behind our mission, vision and values represent, they are our company’s expectations for how we behave and the projects worthy of our time. From an employee’s perspective, there is not a single reference to what the company offers its people in exchange for meeting these expectations. When you lead with these attributes in candidate outreach, you are missing the WITFM (what’s in it for me).”
In other words, to compete effectively in today's talent-driven market you have to start talking about “why” candidates should come work with you. You cannot let your company’s expectations for your employees lead the conversation. Said Marshall, “this is important because when we changed our language and started to talk about the compelling things we can do for our employees and candidates, we more than doubled traffic to the careers page, halved cost per hire and drew in a higher quality of applications within 4 months of launching our employer brand.”
Your EVP is not what your recruiting team or senior leadership wants, but how your employees perceive your company’s value and what resonates with them. It’s important to find the right balance between supporting company expectations and what candidates want from your company.
Creating Your Company EVP to Drive Qualified Candidates
It’s easy to throw a few value propositions into a statement and put it on your careers site. However, creating an EVP that reflects the employee values of your workplace means starting internally. How is your company morale? Honestly, how is it? If your EVP talks about how much your employees love working for your organization and why, but your current employees would roll their eyes at the statement, you have two options: 1) Rewrite your EVP or 2) Focus on improving morale for your current employees before you start marketing a value proposition to potential employees.
Think of the brands that “do recruitment right” and see how they promote their EVPs. Some of the most successful companies, like HubSpot, Google, and Nike effectively use the values of their collective workforce to create EVPs that resonate with candidates. The most important question to ask when creating your company’s EVP is “what do we currently offer to our employees in exchange for their time and effort?”
Recruitment Marketing Starts with Unifying Your Message and Audience Targeting
In order for recruitment marketing to truly be effective, a company needs an EVP to have a true vision and to create campaigns that align with how employees view the culture so that it can be featured in job postings, video, social media, and other campaigns.
An EVP isn’t a requirement to start in recruitment marketing but it is a great way to ensure that your recruitment efforts align with the culture of organization and it also correlates with better retention. If you recruit the right people that fit with your EVP, you can reduce turnover rates because you’re reaching and engaging candidates that have a culture fit that’s better in tune with your organization.