How to create an authentic employee value proposition

How to create an authentic employee value proposition
How to create an authentic employee value proposition

posted 07 Feb 24

Over the past five years, we have seen a remarkable shift in the work environment and focus on employee brand. Triggered by the pandemic and exacerbated by a new generation entering the workforce, we are witnessing increased employee expectations, including the need for flexibility, purpose at work, and working for a company whose ethos aligns with yours.   

Due to this shift in employee and candidate expectations, employers are now experiencing a highly competitive talent market – with a staggering 80% of employers facing difficulties attracting necessary talent, according to Manpower's latest findings.   

In this new era of hiring, organisations are now at a critical point where they need to reassess how they attract and retain their workforce. In our recent webinar, we were joined by Victoria Bond, CEO at Ten Space (employee engagement and experience specialists) and Jess Matthewman, Global Head of Employee Brand & Engagement at OLX and Consultant for EVP projects to explore the importance of creating an authentic employee brand.

The importance of employee value proposition 

The importance of employee value proposition 

An employee value proposition (EVP) is how we showcase our employee brand to attract prospective talent and engage employees in a competitive job market. While traditionally, employee brand was discussed at the final stage of interviews, employers must now consider much earlier touchpoints with candidates to tell their story and peak interest.  

However, there is no benefit in showcasing an EVP that does not align with your company. An authentic EVP unique to your organisation is crucial.  

How do we create an authentic EVP?  

1. Understand your state of play   

While you may feel you know how you would like your company to be perceived, if this is detached from what your people experience, people will see through it. This mismatch may lead to high attrition rates and difficulties in recruiting and retaining talent. It is crucial to ensure that the perception you want to create is consistent with the reality of your employees' experiences.

To create an authentic EVP, we need to take the time to understand how employees feel and what they identify as our key differentiators. Victoria recommends using engagement surveys and focus groups to do this, as it allows you to: 

  • Gather feedback directly from employees about their experiences, perceptions, and needs. 
  • Analyse responses to identify strengths and weaknesses of your company culture to leverage your strengths. 
  • Understand what areas of your employee brand resonate with employees to highlight within your employee branding. 
  • Inform employee experience improvement initiatives and address areas needing improvement.  

Jess also stresses the importance of listening more frequently “Having those mini check-ins rather than one big listening project a year is helping people shift the dial and be aware of any issues or developing trends that they can then quickly weave into the EVP.” 

2. Be transparent about who you are 

Victoria Bond, Ten Space

If you are selling yourself as a hybrid workplace, but you are making people come into the office four days a week, the words and the music don't match. So, it's really about understanding who you are and totally owning it, and then using that to go and find your tribe - who will love coming into the office four days a week!

Victoria Bond, Ten Space

Jess agrees: “They don't want to hear the nonsense. They don't even want a little bit of corporate spiel or spin. So, if you can give them straight facts about whatever it is, that is going to help you. You can't be all things to everybody, so make sure you know what you are.”  

Once you’re super clear about who you are, it’s crucial to be consistent and echo this across all touchpoints, including within the application process. Victoria explains that if you’re a company that claims to be fun, dynamic, fast-paced, or innovative, but the application process is long and overcomplicated, this needs to be reviewed and adapted. 

3. Consider how you will tell the story 

Telling the story of your EVP authentically involves using different mediums to convey your unique culture, values, and employee experience. You can’t simply create an EVP webpage on your website - we need to tell the story across multiple touchpoints in a way that our audience wants to digest. For example, virtual office tours, employee videos, or interactive quizzes allowing candidates to see how well they align with your company are great ways to engage with prospective candidates and current employees.  

Victoria and Jess both agree that the content does not need to be polished, corporate, or super planned, it’s often the less polished content showing your real people that has the most impact because of its authenticity. Jess gives an example:

Jess Matthewman, OLX

One of the best pieces of content we have is a day in the life of one of our software developers who works remotely from home and filmed a video on his iPhone.

Jess Matthewman, OLX

Victoria also touched on the need to consider the younger generations now taking a large percentage of the workforce and how they want to consume content, for example, TikTok.   

Remember, it is not just the job of the marketing or HR teams to talk about EVP. We also need our employees and leadership team to tell the same story. Jess recommends an EVP statement or EVP playbook to provide teams with a consistent story they can look back on, whether they are talking to candidates and recruiters or posting on their social channels.   

For more insight on creating an authentic EVP and positioning this effectively, access our recently recorded webinar ‘Differentiating your company in a competitive talent market’ featuring our expert panel.