Imagine yourself standing in front of an audience of ideal prospective employees for your business, each one better than the next. What are you going to tell them about you and your company that will persuade them to join your team?
All businesses compete for talent. Money plays a factor in any person’s decision to apply for a job, but it is not their sole determining factor. Company reputation, flexible work arrangements, training and development opportunities, career progression, and non-monetary rewards may all tip the scales, depending on the motivators and circumstances of each person. Many businesses fail to promote their complete employment offer to prospective employees.
If your employee value proposition (EVP) is unattractive, you’ll find it difficult to secure the best candidates. You need to make a compelling case if you want to be in the running when the most talented people are exploring their options. You do this by crafting an impressive EVP that highlights your value as an employer.
One of my clients had a problem attracting great people. The work they were doing (providing support to children with disabilities and their families) was extremely important, but the salaries they could offer were not competitive. They watched as, time and again, their ideal candidates chose more lucrative positions with deeper-pocketed companies and government agencies.
The problem was that their recruitment advertising wasn’t making it clear to potential employees what the organisation had to offer. They underestimated and understated their own value, and this made their EVP less appealing than it could have been. By workshopping the EVP with employees, they were able to develop a more attractive EVP, which highlighted the significant income tax savings specific to charities that made their salaries more attractive, bursaries for foreign aid projects, professional development allowances, flexible work arrangements, further education scholarships, and extended parental leave options.
The company’s marketing manager then developed this into an enticing EVP that they proactively promoted on their website, social media accounts, YouTube, and through a number of job advertisements. The extra effort paid off: there was an improvement in both the number and quality of candidates who submitted applications. By hiring the best of these new candidates, the organisation made itself stronger and more competitive.
Here’s how to develop and promote your EVP in 3 easy steps to attract awesome employees to your business:
Do your research
Start this by talking to new employees about your EVP and how they perceived it when they were still weighing their options. What was it about your company that convinced them that this was the place to work?
Do the same with some longer-term employees to identify what items they think should be included in your EVP. Ask your most loyal employees what it is about the company that has made them so loyal. Is there anything that your employees think you could be doing better as an employer? Get specific.
Your research should also extend to exit interviews with departing employees. These employees will often be brutally honest about why they are leaving. Ask them if there are any additional benefits or conditions of employment that might have led to a different outcome.
Develop the details
Once you’ve considered what you should be offering it’s time to develop the details of your EVP. Here are some suggestions for enticements you might want to include in your EVP:
- Flexible work arrangements, e.g. varied start and finish times, part-time, job share
- Professional development allowance
- Match superannuation contributions
- Birthday leave
- Staff discounts
- Family fun days
- Employee share plan
- Wellness program
- Professional association membership
- Discounted health insurance
- Option to purchase additional leave
- Open plan office
- On-site and/or subsidised childcare
- Mentoring program
- Employee recognition program
- Employee assistance program
- Annual employee awards dinner
Promote to prospective and existing employees
Once you’ve prepared your EVP, you need to promote it to both potential and existing employees. This promotion is just as important as crafting your EVP. Work with your marketing person to package your EVP so that it is impactfully featured on your website, social media sites, intranet, and on job board sites. As well, depending on how you source candidates, you may consider other forums such as universities, schools, industry associations, professional associations, and email campaigns.
Some of today’s’ most forward-thinking employers are using fun and engaging YouTube videos to attract prospective employees. This is an excellent supplement to longstanding recruiting practices, so, if you haven’t done so already, I highly recommend you check out employer videos on YouTube, such as InfoTrack, Atlassian, and the Starlight Children’s Foundation.
Written by Claire Harrison, Managing Director, Harrison Human Resources and Author of The CEO Secret Guide to Managing and Motivating Employees.