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Learn how to create a strong employee value proposition (EVP) to attract the strongest candidates. See helpful examples and get tips to improve employer branding.

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HR professionals are becoming increasingly concerned about the rise in employee turnover, and it's easy to understand why. Replacing an employee can cost up to 150% of that role’s salary.

Why are employees leaving? Our recent study reveals that the top reasons for employee turnover are remuneration and benefits (35%), a lack of flexible work arrangements (29%) and a poor work-life balance (27%).

To reduce turnover and improve employer branding, you may be tasked with creating or maintaining your company’s employee value proposition (EVP). An EVP represents what a company can offer employees and defines why it’s the best company to work for. 

Keep reading to see how you can create a strong EVP using employee and candidate feedback, because when you ask the right questions, you can craft an EVP that sets you apart from the competition.

An employee value proposition (EVP) is the characteristics and qualities that make your business the best workplace. A strong EVP should include all the benefits, rewards and perks that your company offers. It should also demonstrate your workplace culture or ethos, which is a crucial part of employer branding.

Although competitive financial remuneration is essential to your employee value proposition, many other factors influence EVP:

  • Company culture and values: A company’s EVP should define who they are and what they stand for. When you’re transparent with employees and candidates, you’re more likely to attract people who are motivated to do great work.
  • Career development opportunities: Employees should understand that your company is invested in their growth, from upskilling to career advancement.
  • Work environment: Your company's workplace environment, such as work culture and even your physical space, will shape all employee experiences with your business.

Your EVP should explore these elements clearly, concisely and transparently.

A strong employee value proposition helps you capture the attention of job seekers and attract top talent to your business. Some may be looking for a specific kind of workplace culture. Some may want remote or flexible working options. Others may prioritise employee benefits or remuneration packages. 

You can’t control what a potential candidate looks for in your EVP. That’s why you should make it as transparent as possible, aligning with what your business wants to offer. A well-aligned EVP will attract the employees you’re looking for and streamline the candidate experience and hiring process.

Here are a few reasons why a strong employee value proposition is important:

  • Improve the recruitment process: When you include your EVP in job listings, potential candidates will learn everything they need to know about your company, which speeds up recruiting and decreases your company's total costs to attract well-suited candidates.
  • Boost engagement: Employees may feel more motivated to do great work when they can see that your EVP aligns with their values. Plus, an EVP constantly reminds you of your investment in employee health, happiness and growth.
  • Enhanced employer branding: Besides boosting employee engagement, your EVP can help you stand out from other companies competing for the same talent.

After understanding the various benefits of a compelling employee value proposition, many companies want to develop their own. Considering how important EVP is to the overall employee experience, we recommend that you take your time.

Your EVP shouldn’t be a near-carbon copy of your competitors’ EVPs: it should encompass your company values and offer something that sets you apart.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating a winning employee value proposition.

The first step of developing an EVP is to decide on your goal or what you’re trying to achieve.

A good place to start is by working backwards. Define your ideal candidate or employee, from their characteristics to their interests and motivators. This can help you outline the core parts of your EVP.

Alternatively, you can look at your existing core values and build upon them. For instance, if transparency is a central value of your business, consider including the expected salary range on the job posting.

It’s important to understand that your EVP should reflect the nature, values and objectives of your business and how you want it to evolve in the future. You need to effectively adapt your EVP to achieve goals such as attracting collaborators or a diverse workforce.

Most companies have an employee value proposition in one form or another. Some simply add a list of benefits at the end of every job posting, while others have a more elaborate section on employee perks and workplace culture.

Collect employee feedback to determine the effectiveness of your current EVP or create a new one. Employee feedback can help you identify the areas of your EVP that are working well and may need improvement.

You can gather that feedback with different types of surveys:

  • Employee satisfaction surveys: Use these surveys to determine employee job satisfaction or hear what employees think about your workplace culture.
  • Employee engagement surveys: Learn what employees enjoy most about your company. Engagement surveys can highlight areas where your EVP succeeds and others where you may need to rework what you offer your employees.
  • Onboarding surveys: You can use onboarding surveys to gauge a new hire’s first impression of your company. These surveys help your company to discover whether you meet the expectations you’ve set out in your EVP.
  • 360-degree surveys: A 360-degree feedback survey helps everyone in your organisation share respectful feedback on how others can improve at work. They offer a thoughtful way to learn more about employee performance and expectations in your business.
  • Exit surveys: One of the most impactful sources of feedback you can use when understanding how well you achieved your EVP is exit surveys. Departing employees will give honest and transparent feedback that you can utilise to refine your EVP.

 Analyse the feedback you receive to determine any potential gaps in your current EVP and your employee experience. You’ll also be able to establish your strengths, selling points and areas for improvement.

At this point, you should have a solid understanding of the successes of your current EVP and feedback from employees. It’s time to draft a new employee value proposition.

Remember that a good EVP covers much more than remuneration. You should outline how you improve the employee experience across every essential area. Think of the company culture, personal and career development opportunities, rewards and perks, benefits programme, remuneration and workplace dynamics.

Your EVP should answer the key questions that a candidate may have about working for your company, including: 

  • Why should I apply for this job?
  • What employee benefits will I get?
  • What makes this organisation different and a great place to work?
  • What are the company’s values?
  • Does the business culture appeal to me?

Remember that employees commit large portions of their lives to a company. The best return is always to make their time with your company as fulfilling as possible.

Once you've completed your employee value proposition, it’s important to promote it on multiple channels. Start by sharing it on the channel where your ideal candidate usually searches for job opportunities. You can promote it via social media or paid advertising, or on your company's website.

In addition to external promotion, it is also essential to share your EVP on internal channels. Incorporating your EVP into welcome packs, onboarding programmes and employee engagement frameworks will ensure that everyone in your organisation is aware of your new EVP.

If you’re introducing new benefits, make sure you spread the good news via a company-wide email. This is a great way to show current employees that you’re acting on their feedback.

Remember that releasing your employee value proposition is only one part of the process. The next step is to gauge reactions to your changes and adjust accordingly. 

Use pulse surveys to quickly determine employee satisfaction throughout the year. This consistent flow of feedback can help you refine and improve your EVP. You can also benchmark your results to measure whether there’s a marked improvement in employee morale, or the candidate experience, based on your changes.

Don’t forget to share the impact of your EVP with stakeholders and leadership. According to our recent study, approximately half of HR professionals (53%) say that leaders in their company view HR as vital to the culture of success. This is your chance to show how your carefully crafted EVP has an impact on employee retention, recruitment and engagement.

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  • Our company, SurveyMonkey, was founded 25 years ago. As you can imagine, we’ve had to rethink and update our own values many times over the years. You can see them in action on our careers page.
  • Zendesk highlights its people-first approach both for its employees and the customers they serve.
  • Greenhouse explains how its core values have a direct impact on their work and how they operate. They put employee voices front and centre, which makes sense for a company that sells hiring software.

Think about the brands you love and look at their ‘Career’ or ‘About’ pages on their website. It's likely that you’ll find some EVP examples that resonate with you and others that don’t. What does your employer branding convey to candidates and your own employees? It’s time to find out.

Get the feedback you need to create a compelling employee value proposition. Automatically survey employees and candidates, analyse the results and use the insights to build a better employer brand. You can collaborate with your team and integrate SurveyMonkey with software you already use, making it easier to manage your recruiting and retention all in one place. Learn more.

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