How to use your EVP to attract and retain staff within your organisation
Most employers ask themselves the same question: how can we attract the right people, and how can we keep them in the business? This is particularly challenging in a candidate-driven market where skills are in very high demand. Fortunately, Let’s Talk Talent has a solution!
Our many years of experience helping clients optimise their talent management strategy have taught us that businesses looking to thrive in a tight labour market should focus their efforts on their Employee Value Proposition (EVP). With a recession looming and the rising costs of doing business, developing a compelling EVP is one of the most effective ways to increase the efficiency of your talent management efforts and to reduce staff churn.
Why is your EVP such a crucial part of staff attraction and retention? “In short,” says Jo Taylor, MD at Let’s Talk Talent, “your EVP is your shop window. It should resonate with the kind of people you want to recruit within your organisation, and who can help you deliver your long-term goals.”
As such, we have developed a surefire way to create, refine, and launch the kind of compelling EVP that will generate a buzz around your organisation and help you stand out from the crowd.
Need help understanding the concept of an EVP? Find out what an EVP is and why you need one.
Developing a compelling EVP: the main stages involved
Whether you know it or not, you already have an EVP. Your existing materials, the employee reviews left on company review sites such as Glassdoor and your internal culture all tell future candidates the story of who you are as a business.
Now it’s time to refine it and make it as compelling as you can. Here are the four stages involved in doing so.
Stage 1: Discovery
- Set goals for your EVP (e.g., reducing staff churn, increasing your onboarding programme’s success rate).
- Collect as much information as possible through your existing channels. Use employee surveys, workshops, qualitative feedback, social media platforms, and employee review sites.
- Engage your team in the process as well, so your EVP rings true on all levels.
Stage 2: Analysis
- Review your data. Find out why people like to work for you, and what puts them off.
- Dig into the kind of people you tend to attract to your organisation, and what draws them to your business. Capture the specifics.
- Split your data into overarching themes, such as management and leadership, ways of working, culture, or equality, diversity and inclusion (ED&I).
Stage 3: Design
- Define and articulate your new EVP. Start by building out its different parts. Your output should be a clear and concise EVP statement.
- Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect at first try. You should aim to refine it over time, regularly review your EVP and reiterate.
Stage 4: Launch
- It’s time to put your message out into the world! Think about how you’re going to communicate your EVP so it reaches the right people.
- Use all available internal and external communications channels, including your social media platforms, career website, company website, and internal materials.
4 tips for writing a compelling EVP
Now that you have a plan, the process should be fairly clear. However, it’s important to make your EVP as attractive, honest, and targeted as possible. Here are some of the LTT team’s top tips for writing a compelling EVP.
Tip 1: Use your EVP to tell your story
Your EVP is your shop window. It lets people know why they should want to work with you, and what they will have to do in return.
“Your EVP is the contract between the business and its employees. It should state what you expect from them, and what they should expect from you,” says Jo. “It needs to paint a complete picture of what it’s like to be part of your organisation.”
Your EVP should include everything from the benefits you offer and how you reward and recognise staff, to the career opportunities available to people. It should also clearly illustrate what it’s like to work for you on a daily basis.
Make sure you include details of your company culture, and the attitudes and behaviours that are valued within the organisation. Describe the working environment, so potential new joiners can find out straight away if the kind of work-life balance or level of autonomy you offer matches their expectations.
Tip 2: Find ways to appeal to your talent pool
Different people will need different things to feel fulfilled at work. Someone working in technology may require lots of autonomy, regular opportunities to update their skills, and the freedom to work from a quiet environment. A salesperson, on the other hand, may prefer somewhere with a buzzing vibe, and financial incentives or targets.
When developing your EVP, keep your target audience in mind and put their needs at the forefront of everything you create.
How can this be done when an organisation is a collection of wonderfully varied individuals? Start by auditing your talent pool, and grouping key audiences into personas (such as new managers, subject matter experts or members of the leadership team). This should help you customise your communications effectively.
Check out our blank persona mapping template to help you get started.
Tip 3: Closely align your EVP with reality
Your EVP is not a marketing gimmick, nor is it just about having a shiny careers website to attract job applicants.
Whatever messages you push forward as part of your Employee Value Proposition, all of them should be a true reflection of the reality of working with you. As we like to say at LTT, your EVP should capture your uniqueness, warts and all.
What if there are some things you’re not great at? “Admit your mistakes, say you got it wrong and endeavour to do better in the future,” advises Jo. “Don’t just paper over the cracks.”
Tip 4: Communicate your EVP through multiple channels
Your EVP will be an important attraction lever, sure. But just because candidates have joined your business, it doesn’t mean you should stop the charm offensive there. Pay particular attention to every message issued throughout the employee’s entire lifecycle, and particularly the pre-life and early life stages of any new joiners.
Review job postings and interview questionnaires, build effective onboarding programmes and design competency frameworks that reflect your values, purpose, and expectations. This will ensure the people you recruit at the right fit, which will in turn reduce staff churn.
Check out our free Competency Frameworks whitepaper to help get you started.
Making your EVP as great as it can be
Developing an EVP that both attracts and retains great talent doesn’t happen overnight. It requires time and effort from all areas of the business, as well as a close collaboration with teams such as Marketing and Internal Communications.
However, it is an essential part of your talent management efforts. It could be the main difference between having the team you need to reach your business goals, or falling victim to the skills shortage.
And now that you have the tools and techniques you need, you can go ahead and develop the kind of compelling EVP that generates a buzz around your business and creates energy and motivation, both internally and externally.
If you’re looking to overhaul your employee value proposition and need a bit more guidance, don’t hesitate to book a call with us. Alternatively, you can purchase our EVP toolkit to help you get started with creating a winning EVP.
Related EVP resources:
- Buy our EVP Toolkit to help you get started [Paid Resource]
- Building an Employee Value Proposition (EVP) that attracts and retains top talent [Podcast]
- What makes a good EVP and who does them well? [Podcast]
- 5 trends in employee value proposition (EVP) for 2023 [Blog]
- What is an Employee Value Proposition (EVP) & why do you need one? [Blog]
- Employee Value Proposition (EVP) examples that work [Blog]
- Linking employee (EVP) and customer (CVP) value propositions [Blog]