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EVP…What does it mean?
Officially, Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is the salary, compensation and benefits that the employer pays to an employee in return for the skills, capabilities and experiences they bring to the organization. Your EVP, in tandem with your Employer Brand, can be the determining factor in retaining or losing talent from your pool.
Every company in the world has an EVP. Recruiters, whether an in-house or an agency, sell the opportunity to work at a company based on this EVP. It must be unique, relevant and compelling in order to entice the best candidates.
Let’s break up the EVP into three parts: salary, compensation and benefits.
Salary is so often seen as the key selling point for a role. Essentially, it’s the most versatile part of any EVP. We can adjust someone’s pay or the level at which we’re willing and able to pay, easier than any other aspect.
Inflating salaries because of huge competition for talent is an economic bubble – and we all know what happens with those. It gets bigger and bigger until eventually, it pops. No company can solely compete with its competitors for talent on salary, because no company has limitless resources to hand. Over-value your employees and you lose productivity and any semblance of a profit at the end of the day.
Conversely, there is undervaluing employees. Bill Fisher, at the Big Data discussion at TruLondon, touched on an interesting point on EVP – over time as you develop and train your employees, a big mistake on the part of the HR team is not monitoring your employees’ core skills, development and learning. By losing track, you run a risk of undervaluing your team. For example, an employee completes a training course that now makes them fully capable of building a really complex database which is hugely important to your business – but you don’t take that skill into a factor of their salary.
If others are compensated accordingly for this skill, you run the risk of the employee being targeted by your competitors and may get poached out from under you.
Compensation is normally the word for salary, but it should be a separate term. Salary is what we pay people to do their job. Compensation is what we pay people who do their jobs really well.
Variable, performance-related pay. It mightn’t always be cash, it could be a bonus in the form of a prize, paid time off or other benefits. Money isn’t always the key motivating factor, and certainly a monetary prize won’t push everyone to over-perform. Finding compensation that works for your employees is part of defining your EVP.
Benefits come in three forms:
1. Supplementary compensation;
2. Values, mission and purpose;
3. People and culture.
Supplementary compensation benefits are your company cars, mileage, free coffee in the office, health insurance, stocked canteen, gym memberships, great office locations, flexible working times etc. These are partly cultural, partly bragging-rights-deserving factors in your employee value proposition.
Values, mission and purpose are most definitely benefits for employees, but rarely are they brought into EVP considerations. Clearly defined company values that the employees can relate to and live up to are important. The “My Job Matters” factor. This is sometimes an even greater motivator for performing exceptionally well, accepting an offer of employment, or staying with your company on a longer term, than salary.
People and Culture are an often overlooked benefit in organisation’s EVP too. Good people want to work with good people. Talent knows talent. No one wants to go to work every day to be surrounded by colleagues who are unfit for the task at hand. When you have the right people in your organisation, more of the same will want to work for you. It creates a culture of its own. While the brand can start off a culture, it’s only really brought to life by your employees living it. They will force
it to adapt or will have changed it entirely (in both good and bad ways).
Define Your EVP
Every EVP should be clearly defined because in doing so you can actively attract and retain talent. As you begin the process of defining your EVP, you have the opportunity to correct parts that don’t fit with your company vision or are out of line with your competitors. Try to comprehend which parts are really unique and can become a key selling point for your company and articulate this EVP clearly to both current employees and potential new recruits.
Start to get your EVP down on paper, even if it has already been defined by your company in the past. Don’t put a marketing spin on it, don’t try and kid yourself into thinking that every aspect of your EVP is amazing. Be realistic, and start to fill in each element of the EVP as mentioned above.
Then, objectively look at the EVP as a whole and see how you can best improve and communicate it. Keep it as a living document and remember to review it regularly.