Employee Value Proposition: Back in Vogue

The employee value proposition is back–here’s why

employee value proposition chartEarlier this week, our analyst team had a lively discussion on the all-encompassing, incredibly complex nature of employee value proposition (EVP). While the concept of EVP has been around for a while, we’re getting renewed interest in research that redefines employee value proposition in a modern working world. I think this is directly related to the increasing emphasis hiring organizations are placing on employer brand.

As employers big and small are wrapping their heads around the power of brand and its impact on the ability to attract (and retain) high-quality talent, EVP is coming back in vogue. The reasons are many, but often come down to the fact that few hiring organizations have an innately strong employer brand. The rest have to think long and hard about why candidates would be interested in working for them.

The challenge for many is that generic claims of “competitive pay and benefits” and “exciting opportunities with room for growth” are subject to intense scrutiny these days. Anyone curious to know more can check out reviews on sites like Glassdoor (and usually do). Those who fail to deliver on these promises aren’t just struggling to retain new hires – they’re struggling to attract other viable candidates.

At Brandon Hall Group, we break employer brand into two pieces:

  • An employer’s public portrayal of the various elements of its unique EVP – from the language used in job postings and advertisements to the message conveyed by recruiters across various channels and mediums.
  • The combined sentiments of candidates, employees, customers and clients (past, present or future) regarding an organization’s viability as an employer of choice – usually (but not always) based on first-hand experience.

It’s not exactly brain surgery, I know, but you would be surprised how many hiring organizations fail to grasp just how great an impact reputation has on candidate behavior. This is because reputation validates image, and an image that over-promises and under-delivers isn’t something candidates are likely to engage with. Add in even a mediocre candidate experience, and you have a recipe for talent acquisition failure.

This is why I’m excited at the renewed interest in EVP – it means hiring organizations are waking up and taking charge to change course. We’re going to be digging into employee value proposition over the next few months in order to identify all of the contributing factors and components, as well as the external influences that inform the relative validity and attractiveness of an organization’s EVP.

The challenge will be finding universal truths for EVP, as its complexity lies in its subjective nature. But our hope is that with the right research and tools available, more companies will invest the time it takes to discover what truly makes their organization unique – and why candidates should care. Armed with this kind of insight, building a strong and compelling employer brand is a piece of cake.

In the meantime, I’d love to know what you think about employee value proposition: Why do you think it’s back in focus? What components of a modern employee experience inform EVP?

Kyle Lagunas, Talent Acquisition Analyst, Brandon Hall Group


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Kyle Lagunas