Developing an Employer Value Proposition

Mike Beringer, SHRM-CP, HR Business Partner | Mar 9, 2017

Have you ever had an applicant, candidate, or even employee ask you, “Why should I work for you”?  What do you think your response would be? Seriously, go ahead and write something down, I’ll wait…

Now read that back to yourself out loud.  What do you think? Would this statement convince you to come work for your organization?  Would it give you a clear vision of what it’s like to work there, or the benefits of being employed by your organization over another?

This issue is something organizations of all sizes and shapes face on a regular basis, and sometimes it’s difficult to articulate why a candidate, or current employee, should work for your organization over another. One thing that may help is developing an Employer Value Proposition (EVP).  An EVP is defined as a statement that articulates the unique benefits, experiences and attributes of working for an organization. In essence, it’s the value an employee receives by being employed by your organization as opposed to others.

Having a compelling EVP can benefit an organization in many ways and has been known to contribute to:

  • Recruiting and retaining hard to find talent
  • Reducing overall need for premium compensation and benefit packages
  • Motivating and energizing your workforce
  • Connecting employee work with business strategy
  • Strengthening your brand and image

Let’s go back to your response.  Did you write down “Competitive Pay”, “Comprehensive Benefits” or “Advancement Opportunities”?   If you did, start thinking about how many other companies can also make that claim… Stop counting; the answer is INFINITY.  Just about every company out there can make the argument, to some degree, that they can offer those things to their employees.

In fact, most people these days, especially top talent, expect competitive pay and benefits as a minimum, and if you’re trying to win over the new VP of Operations to join your growing company, you’re going to need to show how s/he can benefit from working for your company by more than chunk of change.

To begin to understand what your organization’s EVP should be, consider the following:

  • Culture & Identity- You likely already have a sense as to what your organization’s culture is like, but it doesn’t hurt to talk to your employees and even get feedback. Ask why they like working for your company.  It’s important you truly listen to the feedback and take it at face value.  Convoluting employee responses doesn’t do you any good.  You want the information to remain raw and accurate. Your employee responses will be one of the main guiding factors in developing your EVP.
  • Strategy, Mission & Values– Having a deep understanding of what makes the company tick is crucial. If you have a strong alignment in your mission and values, it’s likely to be present in your employee feedback. Consider the overall business strategy and how the organization measures success and failure.
  • Compensation, Benefits & Rewards– Depending on your organization’s industry, your compensation, benefits and rewards might have a large or small impact on your overall EVP. Regardless, it should be considered. If you’re trying to recruit and retain top talent, competitive pay and benefit packages will be a “must have”.
  • Branding & Communications What does your current brand say about you? What types of colors, messaging, and statements does your brand make?  Your EVP should align with your branding and other external communications.


Now you have the information that will help you craft your EVP.  How do you get started?  Let’s go back to the original question, “Why should I work for you”? Answer the question again. This time, consider the information you just reviewed, and try to answer in a single, concise statement that is accurate, unique and compelling. Yep, write it down under your previous response, I’ll wait…

Now compare your two answers.  Which do you feel is more representative of your organization?  Which one is more powerful when trying to communicate your company’s philosophy, mission and values?  Which one would your employees say, “yep, that’s us. Isn’t it great?!” Which one would make YOU want to work for your organization?

You may not get it perfect on your first shot, many times organizations will craft these statements time and time again to get it just right. If you want to create an EVP, take your time and make sure you like your end result. Ultimately, your EVP should both help you attract those hard-to-convince candidates and retain your top talent.  Why?  Because it outlines why working for your organization is so great and what an employee can get out of being a part of your team.

Lastly, make this project a part of your everyday culture.  Don’t just paint it on your office walls or have little cards to hand out with the EVP reminder on it. Engrain it in your practices, communications and behaviors.  It shouldn’t be too difficult to do if your EVP truly does represent your culture and environment.

If you’re interested in creating an Employee Value Proposition for your organization, give The Employer Group a call.  We can help!

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