Not confusing career for life – Does your Employer Value Proposition matter?


One of the first things we find ourselves exploring with new clients at the moment is what an Employer Value Proposition (EVP) is and why it matters to their business. The bottom line is that it should be very high on the agenda of businesses here in Towcester and Northamptonshire and throughout the UK, because it could have a serious impact on the continued success of your company.

What is an Employer Value Proposition?

There is a rather simple answer for what is a rather complex question when it comes your Employer Value Proposition. Your EVP is all about how you will attract the best new team members, then not only keep them but also turn them into brand ambassadors for your company. In short, a good EVP you will help you attract the best and keep the best, so that they will then, in turn, encourage even more of the best talent to work for you.

That explanation is the easy bit, now it gets a little more complex. What makes up your EVP is tuned to the uniqueness of your company. That means to do it right you need to consider some key areas in context of sensible and practical considerations such as, what you can offer, what is reasonable or expected in your workplace and industry, where you are located and what sort of candidates you are trying to attract and keep. It’s all about the right offer not an off the shelf solution. To use an extreme example, a small engineering firm in a rural area with higher unemployment is going to need a very different Employer Value Proposition than a multinational, in a major city, with lower unemployment.

What makes up your Employer Value Proposition

Well, the menu is varied, but there are some fairly standard key elements that you need to incorporate into your offer. Firstly though, let’s just have a brief word about your salary offer. Naturally your salary offer needs to be as competitive as possible and appropriate for your marketplace. However, throwing a big bag of money at the salary component of your offer may not always produce the results you want and is only a factor in the decision candidates make. In fact, done wrong, it can actually be counter productive. We discuss this more the paragraph about the importance of a good EVP below, but money is rarely a primary motivator for candidates and almost never the only reason they move on.

Attracting and keeping the best people is actually about the working life they want to achieve. So primarily your EVP will be drawn from what your employees can expect in terms of various work/life related areas such as:

  • Benefits
  • Company culture
  • Working environment
  • Career development opportunities
  • Compensation

There may be other considerations that are specific to your industry, location, or the role itself, but usually they are an extension of these categories. For example, bonus payments or simple, quite small seeming things, like guaranteed parking or variable start times and so on. When we work with a business on these 5 areas, we always look to tailor the package to the target employees.

Is there really a benefit to spending time and money on your EVP?

There is an investment required in ensuring your Employer Value Proposition is where it should be, so naturally you will want to justify that spend. We pride ourselves on being practical and down to earth here at Haus of HR so let’s jump right to the real answer to this. The truth is that it isn’t so much a question of whether you need an EVP as it is about the danger of not having one.

Candidates have changed and the days when just posting a job was enough to get applications are long gone. The truth is that employees are now far more proactive when it comes to how they select the jobs they apply for. A shortage of experienced workers in the candidate pool and the skills gap is driving the employment dynamic, as is a general lack of available employees. Current employers are now having to focus on their EVP to maintain their teams. On top of this there has been a huge attitude shift because of recent events such as Covid, the move to hybrid working, the lack of available workers and other factors. People are re-evaluating their career paths and they are asking ‘why should I work for you as an employer’? They want to know what is in the role for them beyond the salary. Simon Sinek summed up the need for a strong EVP when he said:

“If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe in what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood sweat and tears”.

So don’t forget that candidates are looking to your Employer Value Proposition to tell them how working for you will enhance their world as well as their bank account. Yes, of course, a good salary helps, but ask yourself what makes a loyal employee? If someone is working for you simply because you pay a few pounds more than the next businesses, then will they remain loyal if a new offer comes along? Invested employees who have been attracted by your EVP will join you for more reasons than a competitive salary. They are with you because they saw, understood, and aligned themselves with your brand and culture. They will have seen who you are, know your values and understand with how you will treat them as people and colleagues. It’s the difference between a team who says, “I get paid a bit more” and a team that says, “I enjoy working where I work”. Guess which team is going to be more productive and likely to enhance your reputation?

It’s impossible in this one article to cover all the aspects of EVP but it’s worth remembering that the Employer Value Proposition is similar to the sales and marketing based Unique Value Proposition. The UVP in marketing is the core element that encourages a customer buy a product. So, going back to our earlier question about whether EVPs are worth the time and effort, I think it’s probably more appropriate to reframe it in real world practicalities. If an EVP is the route to getting the best people, can you risk being without one?

Call us on 01604 261380, or book a slot in our HR chat room and let’s talk about how we can help you with your EVP and employer brand.