How David Beats Goliath in EVP Practices

I just recently completed a great Employment Value Proposition (EVP) benchmarking tool that was published to Brandon Hall Group’s membership center and I was struck by how adept small organizations, less than 1,000 employees, are at implementing practices that improve their EVP. Is this agility out of necessity to be able to compete with larger organizations, or is it because it is just easier to implement those strategies with fewer employees?

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I suspect it is a bit of both. But it is still worthwhile to examine a few of the strengths of small organizations compared to their cohorts, the mid-size (1,000 to 9,999 employees) and enterprise (10,000+ employees) organizations, to understand how it is possible for David to beat Goliath, especially in the area of EVP.

To begin with, here are a few examples of how small organizations outperform larger organizations in terms of consistently applying EVP practices.

Top Most-Consistently Applied Practices for Small Organizations Compared to Cohorts

EVP Practices Small Mid-Size Enterprise
Organization applies a standard approach for all applicants 71% 48% 52%
Organization values and encourages employee referrals 68% 48% 48%
Organization recognizes importance of its reputation in the marketplace to attracting great talent 63% 67% 49%
Organization sets clear expectations of cultural norms and values 61% 47% 38%
Organization has active initiatives to create an inclusive and respectful work environment 61% 53% 58%

Source: Brandon Hall Group 2015 EVP Study

Whether the reason for the lack of consistency in practice is due to a lack of focus, lack of control, or difficulty in application, the above practices clearly benefit organizations in terms of talent acquisition and creating a productive and engaging work environment.

For instance, the benefits of a dynamic employee referral program are tremendous and can give organizations a clear advantage over their competitors.  Employee referral programs not only reduce cost per hire, they extend the reach of the organization’s media campaign by motivating their employees to convince their qualified personal connections to consider the organization as an employer.  In addition, referrals tend to generate candidates who would be a good fit for the organization because the candidate making the referral already understands what it takes to be aligned with the organization’s culture and values.

Applying a standard approach for all applicants means that the basic criteria used to evaluate candidates is consistent in terms of what constitutes a quality hire and that the interviewing and selection protocols are executed consistently. It also implies that all candidates are given a fair chance to obtain the position. The key benefits of this approach are that the best candidate will be chosen for the job and there will be less “slip-ups” on quality of hire.

In order to be competitive in talent acquisition, mid-size and enterprise organizations need to develop strategies to effectively implement these important EVP practices on a large scale.  After all, they may be losing their best talent to smaller organizations.

Daria Friedman, Principal Analyst, Talent Acquisition, Brandon Hall Group


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Mike Cooke

Chief Executive Officer of Brandon Hall Group Mike Cooke Prior to joining Brandon Hall Group, Mike Cooke was the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of AC Growth. Mike held leadership and executive positions for the majority of his career, at which he was responsible for steering sales and marketing teams to drive results and profitability. His background includes more than 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, management, and operations in the research, consulting, software and technology industries. Mike has extensive experience in sales, marketing and management having worked for several early high-growth emerging businesses and has implemented technology systems to support various critical sales, finance, marketing and client service functions. He is especially skilled in organizing the sales and service strategy to fully support a company’s growth strategy. The concept of growth was an absolute to Mike and a motivator in starting AC Growth, in order to help organizations achieve research driven results. Most recently, Mike was the VP and General Manager of Field Operations at Bersin & Associates, a global analyst and consulting services firm focused on all areas of enterprise learning, talent management and talent acquisition. Tasked with leading the company’s global expansion, Mike led all sales operations worldwide. During Mike’s tenure, the company has grown into a multi-national firm, conducting business in over 45 countries with over 4,500 multi-national organizations. Mike started his career at MicroVideo Learning Systems in 1992, eventually holding a senior management position and leading all corporate sales before founding Dynamic Minds. Mike was CEO and Co-Founder of Dynamic Minds, a custom developer of software programs, working with clients like Goldman Sachs, Prentice Hall, McGraw Hill and Merrill Lynch. Also, Mike worked for Oddcast, a leading provider of customer experience and marketing solutions, where he held a senior management position leading the company into new markets across various industries. Mike also serves on the Advisory Board for Carbon Solutions America, an independent sustainability consulting and carbon management firm that specializes in the design and implementation of greenhouse reduction and sustainability plans as well as managing the generation of carbon and renewal energy and energy efficiency credits. Mike attended University of Phoenix, studying Business Administration and Finance. He has also completed executive training at the Chicago Graduate School of Business in Chicago, IL.