What is an Employer Value Proposition and how to create one

Last updated:
February 18, 2022
August 1, 2022
min read
Karim Gharsallah
employer value proposition
Table of contents

If you’ve just stumbled upon the term employer value proposition or EVP, and you’ve got no idea what it meant, you’re in luck. We’re addressing what an employer value proposition actually means, what it does, and how you can create one. 

An employer value proposition is a relatively new term in HR, but the concept itself isn’t. 

So, what is an EVP?

In short, an employer value proposition refers to the salary, benefits, and compensation an employer offers employees in return for their skills, experience, and contribution to the success of an organization.

The definition of an employer value proposition makes complete sense. It seems logical and straightforward. What it doesn’t do is explain why there’s such a buzz surrounding the notion of an employer value proposition.

The short answer? There’s such emphasis on EVPs nowadays because employers have realized that an employer brand proposition is an essential piece of the puzzle for a meaningful employer branding strategy.

What exactly is employer branding?

Employer branding is an extension of the corporate brand. Everything that’s embraced in the corporate brand is projected through the employer brand, but to attract talent and offer employee value.

The need to attract and retain top talent has seen the role of HR dramatically change from an admin-driven function to a focused marketing role. It’s not only HR that has had to adapt; the new trends have altered the recruitment industry forever as well.

Both HR and recruitment have now embraced traditional marketing concepts to attract candidates and retain employees. They work in the same way as sales and marketing departments to attract and retain customers.

All employer branding must be consistent and genuine. Employer branding runs parallel with corporate branding but instead, it’s marketed through separate platforms on social media, your careers site, and job boards.

What’s the difference between an EVP and employer branding?

EVP is the value proposition that will encourage a job seeker to apply to an organization and keep an existing employee working there. The EVP of a company must be designed to fit the industry, align with the corporate branding and appeal to the type of people the organization wants to attract and retain.

No marketing efforts can succeed without a value proposition. An employer value proposition tells people why a company is an employer of choice. An EVP must be an employee-centered strategy that is kept alive and up to date through ongoing interaction with employees and external market research.

Your EVP can’t be successful if you don’t know what is considered appealing and wanted by potential and existing employees.

While the employer branding surrounds what your organization is well known for, the EVP states directly the benefits you offer as an employer. Employer branding presents your organization’s unique selling point (UVP), and is used to differentiate you from competitors for both your candidates and consumers.

Who is the Employer Value Proposition for? 

An EVP is viewed and considered from two perspectives.

  1. From a company’s perspective. The employer value proposition attracts and retains talent.
  2. From an employee and job seeker’s perspective. The employee value proposition makes people want to work for an organization, and most importantly, stay working there.

What’s the difference?

In honesty, not much. It’s the typical give and take that exists in all trade and business. 

The employer offers money, benefits, and rewards. In return, employees offer time, skills, experience, and dedication to the success of the organization. 

For both parties to benefit, each must give the other what they need, what they want, and what they’d like to have.

Ultimately, an EVP must be mutually beneficial if it’s to be successful.

What is the meaning of EVP in business?

Every business has a value proposition that they offer to customers, candidates, and employees whether they have consciously defined a strategy or not.
Without a defined customer value proposition or an employee value proposition model, you’ll have clear holes in your business strategy, which will be reflected in your revenue rates.

The value a business offers customers, candidates and employees are not only about their products and services or the compensation they give to their staff. Companies must provide a brilliant customer experience, excellent employee experience, and a great candidate experience. Employer Value Propositions in business encompasses everything from an organization’s culture, mission and values to service, rewards, and the type of people who work there.

A well-structured EVP will attract and retain the right staff for your business. You’ll have people on board who want to be part of the company because they buy into the culture, mission, and values. As a result, they’ll automatically offer customers top service because they want to see the organization succeed.

Employer Value Proposition: a definition

Let’s first consider the EVP definition before we look at employment value. 

An employee value proposition is the compensation, benefits, and rewards given to employees in return for their contribution to the ongoing trade and performance of an organization.

What is employment value?

So what is employment value?

It’s no secret that the global talent shortage is one of the top risks faced by businesses today. That means that the tables have turned on employers who used to call the shots when it came to employment. Skilled and experienced candidates can now shop around to find the best employer. Job applicants are well aware of the competition to secure top talent, and they’re making sure that they only select employers who offer them clear value for their time, skills, experience, and contributions.

Who is responsible for managing and creating an EVP?

The EVP strategy should be designed and implemented by HR. The strategy should be formed after conducting external competitor research and gathering internal data to best see what their staff want. This can be done through internal surveys and consultations. Once the EVP has been created, it must be written into best HR practices and shared with all management and staff.

All internal recruitment teams must adopt the Employer Value Proposition as well, and the focus must shift from outbound recruiting to inbound recruiting. Equally, all employees and hiring managers must apprehend the EVP. In most companies, staff and management can quickly tell you why you should buy from them, but few can tell you why you should want to work there. There’s the difference between a Unique Value Proposition and an Employer Value Proposition. As the weight the EVP carries becomes heavier, all employees must know how to communicate the benefits of working at your organization. In other words, they must understand, acknowledge, and agree to the EVP. 

Once the EVP is distributed and implemented, an Employer Value Proposition HR representative must be appointed to manage, maintain and improve the policy. To strengthen the policy, an internal team of EVP advisors should be selected to ensure that the employee value proposition remains competitive and relevant. This is particularly important in larger businesses that have multiple departments and branches in different states and countries. Input from EVP advisors in different regions will guarantee that the policy is attractive to a diverse mix of existing and potential employees.

What to consider when designing an EVP

No two EVP’s, whether an employer value proposition or an employee value proposition, can be the same. 

To be effective, an EVP must be an honest reflection of the candidate and employee experience that the applicant will receive if they apply, and are hired by your company. 

There’s no value in creating a false impression because people will quickly see through it and word will start to circulate on social media and review sites like Glassdoor. Employer brand damage can be tough to rectify. Instead, remain honest and transparent.

So, it’s clear that it needs to be totally unique to your company and working culture. There are, however, seven key factors that make up the pillars of every single EVP. These are:

1. Compensation

Compensation covers salary and any other cash components that are offered to employees. 

Salaries and wages must be competitive, reviews must be fair, and compensation structures must be flexible

Commission and bonus structures must be clear and uniform across departments. 

Production, sales, or performance targets must be communicated in writing and honored without question if an employee meets their objectives. Employee recognition plays a vital role in employee engagement and ultimately employee retention.

Annual salary reviews based on performance appraisals also don’t cut it anymore. Line managers and HR must conduct ongoing evaluations. Employees who continually go the extra mile or who have furthered their qualifications must be recognized, and their salaries adjusted accordingly.

2. Benefits

The value of individual benefits will differ from one person to another and employers must consider that. 

Allow flexible benefit options so that employees can choose what adds value to their lives. 

Benefits include medical, personal, and retirement insurance, flexible working hours, paid time off, sponsored subscriptions, and education opportunities. Benefits must be open for discussion, and new benefit options must be communicated to all employees.

3. Rewards

Rewards are separate from compensation and benefits in that they acknowledge employees’ deeds and activities that benefit the company or their colleagues. An employee referral program is an excellent example. Rewards can be in cash, vouchers, holiday accommodation and paid time off. Different reward styles appeal to different people. Employee rewards are usually accompanied by public recognition within the company and even in industry publications.

4. Culture

For any company to build a healthy and productive workforce the people they hire must be an excellent cultural fit

We don’t all have the same morals, ideals, and ideas of what’s right and wrong. Attracting talent that aligns with the company culture is essential. 

People who clash with, or hold vastly different opinions to management and their colleagues will either become disruptive, or they’ll leave. Culture also defines team spirit and trust within an organization.

5. Vision

Vision is very similar to company culture. 

We also don’t all have the same goals and future plans. Future and current employees must understand the company’s mission, values, and goals

People who have the same vision in life are more inclined to collaborate and support one another.

6. Career progression

Career progression is important for most people. 

Benefits like on-the-job training and development, career counseling, study sponsorship, mentorship, and defined succession planning can be a deal maker.

7. Work environment

A safe and healthy work environment is essential for most people.

 Employees want to know that they are recognized, heard, have clearly defined roles, and are appreciated. Many people want autonomy, the opportunity to be innovative, and a chance to make a meaningful contribution.

Employer Proposition examples

What are some good examples of employer value propositions? We’ve rallied together our top 4 EVPs so you can learn from the best. 

1. &pizza 

&pizza is an American pizza restaurant chain in the Northeast. Their unique selling point is the shape of their pizzas, opting for oblong shapes. But their EVP revolves around their ‘no ceiling’ policy:

“A strict No Ceiling policy means there is no limit to how high you can go. We don’t see &pizza as a job, but a career. And we don’t see a person as a mechanized robot with a set of limitations destined to fill a certain role; we see you as YOU. An individual. Who you are now, and who you want to be. So start your journey today, and see just how far you can go.”

We love this Employer Value Proposition because it addresses the employer’s dedication to human progression. It implies a strong desire to watch you, as an employee, succeed to where you want to go. It feels employee-focused and shows the validation for an individual when working there.

2. Yelp

Most people are familiar with Yelp. It’s a business directory service review forum. However, the perks of working for Yelp - or their Employer Value Proposition - is less known. That said, it’s fantastic:

“Live your best life with five-star benefits.
We know that keeping you healthy and wise translates to an overall better work experience. Whether it’s world-class health benefits, support for your family, or a wellness reimbursement, we believe happy employees are successful employees.”

Immediately, Yelp is showing that their priority is your health. With so many people falling ill due to work-related stress, this is an incredibly appealing prospect. It also ties the link between health and happiness, showing that they value both physical and mental health. 

3. Coca Cola 

The Coca Cola brand offers more than just a delicious drink. For their employees, they’ve set up the Coca Cola Company’s Total Rewards program:

“​​Our Total Rewards represent the total value of working at The Coca-Cola Company. This includes the complete package of total compensation, benefits, well-being and recognition you receive as a Coca-Cola employee.” 

The Total Rewards program offers benefits like medical plans, dental plans, vision plans, supplemental plans, and tax-free accounts. On top of these, it also offers their Life+ benefit and their Financial program. 

With clear benefits laid out before you in an easy-to-digest manner, who wouldn’t want to work at CocaCola? 

4. Gartner

Gartner outlines their Employer Value Proposition with clever language that just works:

“Work works better when life is lived well. We offer innovative and inclusive benefit programs that support your physical, financial and emotional well-being, so you can live well — in all aspects of your life.”

Gartner continues by diving into each of their key benefits, like comprehensive healthcare plans, generous time off, insurance, discounts, and stock purchasing programs, and ongoing professional development and learning opportunities. 

Digitization is essential to have a meaningful EVP

With so many elements involved in designing and implementing a meaningful and competitive EVP, it’s not a task that can be assigned to line managers or a junior in HR. 

An Employer Value Proposition is an ongoing marketing exercise that must be shared across an organization. It should be closely monitored and evaluated by the HR department and internal recruiters for maximum success. An applicant tracking system that integrates your HR systems is essential to connect all stakeholders.

Using metrics and analytics is vital for any EVP to successfully reach the right target market and attract and retain the best talent. Decide on your key performance indicators and evaluate them routinely. 

Analyzing data allows you to predict future trends so that you can adapt and optimize your EVP to keep your employer brand one step ahead in the war for talent.

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