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The Talent Attraction Solution: Your EVP is Your MVP

Posted on in Recruiting Strategy

A company’s ability to attract top talent remains a key concern among CEOs of most businesses, regardless of their size, industry, and market position. While there are many strategies and tactics that should be deployed to solve this problem, our research has shown that most organizations suffer from a poorly defined Employee Value Proposition (EVP).

What is an EVP?

An EVP is the promise you make to future and current employees of what is available to them if they lend their time and talents to your company. It should be a single, simple, and compelling statement that summarizes the experience someone will have when working for you. The EVP will be supported by specific messaging articulating your company’s philosophies around issues such as:

  • total rewards
  • management and corporate culture
  • people management and developmental opportunities
  • job impact and career paths
  • community involvement and wellbeing

Your EVP must be unique, authentic, and compelling, while invoking a candidate to believe that you will remain true to your word and deliver the experience as promised. You will further want to tailor your messaging to make sure you are addressing different segments of your desired workforce.

Why is it a good investment?

A well-defined EVP creates stronger organizational alignment as it acts as an anchor for all of your people initiatives. This alignment leads to:

  • Improved active talent attraction – individuals will immediately see if there is alignment between their personal values and those of your company, and can quickly identify how your organization has differentiated itself in a competitive landscape.
  • Stronger organic talent attraction – a strong EVP will lead to your internal team generating more employee referrals. Research by the Corporate Leadership Council shows that companies with well-developed EVPs are nearly twice as likely to have employees acting as employment advocates compared to those without EVPs.
  • Higher employee engagement – tailored EVPs based on specific segments of the workforce lead to a significant increase in engagement. Towers Watson’s 2012-2013 Global Talent Management and Rewards Study shows that “employers that have segmented the workforce and deliver customized EVPs for critical employee segments are more than four times as likely to report that their employees are highly engaged than organizations with more tactical, less integrated EVPs.”
  • Enhanced company financial performance – strong employee engagement leads to companies who perform better than their peers. In the same study noted above, Towers Watson found that, “organizations that have segmented the workforce and that deliver customized EVPs for critical employee segments are nearly twice as likely as companies with more tactical and less integrated EVPs to report financial performance substantially above their peer group.”
  • Improved retention – the commitment you make to your EVP is motivating to your current employees as it is reinforced throughout the talent continuum.
  • Stronger brand awareness and appeal – the uniqueness of your EVP will give you a competitive cultural edge that cannot be replicated or imitated by anyone else.

How do I create one?

Every company has an EVP, often it’s just not formalized. Because authenticity is key, the EVP is best developed when you leverage insights gained from employee engagement surveys. If you don’t have any engagement survey data to fall back on, we recommend you start with focus groups consisting of your current employees. This will enable you to gather direct feedback about why they joined your company, what aspects of their job are most meaningful and rewarding, which benefits are most important to them, and what keeps them with you, among other things.

The output from your focus group will aid in the creation of a formal survey which you will send to the entire organization. This will validate that the right themes and messages have been identified. From that point, you should work with the focus group and marketing to develop a simple, broad statement about the promise you are making to current and future employees. You will then need to further align the supporting elements your team identified as being essential in their decision to join and remain with your organization. Once complete, your EVP should be “pulled through” and reinforced in each stage of the talent continuum.

While there are many initiatives you can and should undertake to improve your overall talent attraction efforts, don’t neglect the deliberate and thoughtful creation of your EVP. When done well and executed properly, it can truly be your MVP.

For more information on how to improve your talent attraction efforts, complete the form below to download our Talent Magnet Blueprint.

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