What is an Employer Value Proposition (EVP)?

WRITTEN BY: Jörgen Sundberg

An organisation’s Employer Value Proposition (EVP) represents the values and culture they embody and the practical benefits for employees such as learning, growth and development opportunities. According to research by Towers Watson, people are five times more likely to be highly engaged if their organisation has an effective EVP, (2014, Change and Communication Global ROI Research Study).

Most organisations don’t have a long-term plan for an employment strategy that defines what as an employer they expect from employees and what is provided in return. The CIPD point out that an effective EVP aligns the whole work experience, from culture, mission and values, to total rewards, through jobs and people.

It’s the HR equivalent off keeping up with the Joneses: in their quest to find and retain top talent, businesses often try to match competitors’ offers, ensuring that their compensation schemes, health care benefits, training programs, and other talent-management practices are in line with the rest of the industry’s (Erickson & Gratton, HBR, 2007).

Defining your EVP

Managers working for an organisation should be able to explain their products or services and the customer base. Can they do the same to explain why people choose to work for the organisation? Think about EVP from the perspective of an employee or an applicant.

The war for talent, skills shortages, disruptive technologies, and volatile market conditions mean it is increasingly important to showcase an attractive offering to potential talent, optimising the selection process and engaging and retaining the organisational talent base. Getting it right is about convincing really good candidates that they want to work with you and that

To do this, organisations need to understand the needs that drive talent outcomes and what is right for their workforce. It’s a good idea to start with a broad brush approach:

  • How do we characterise ourselves as an organisation?
  • What is our mission?
  • Why does it matter?
  • Where will we source the employees we need to succeed?
  • Who are our competitors for the talent we need?
  • Who are the top talent and what matters to them?

A robust proposition is based on a strong employer brand strategy and clear communication plan that gives an honest picture of what it’s like to work for your business

Perception and feedback

In essence employer branding uses general marketing principles applied to the employment experience – viewing current and prospective employees as customers, and the employment experience as a product. Just like customers the people who work for you have a choice, so it is worthwhile making an effort to get your people management right.

Whether the organisation has considered the employment experience or not the reality is that employees and applicants have a perception of EVP based on their contacts and communications with the brand. Make this the starting point for an audit of the working experience and candidate experience – use internal engagement surveys, external surveys of applicants, interviewees and recruiters and then consider HR policies and materials and the organisational website.


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