Company Culture

What Is An Employer Value Proposition, And How Do You Define It?

Nathan Ojaokomo

What do Gainsight, Box, NVIDIA, MathWorks, and Google have in common? Besides being technology companies, they’re all on the top 10 best places to work list

One significant reason they’re such great places to work is that they have an employer value proposition (EVP) unmatched by many of their peers. 

An EVP determines how employees and candidates feel about working for your organization, which affects how many employees you can retain and how much top talent joins your company. 

This article will discuss all you need to know about workplace value propositions and how to create one that’ll make your company THE place to work.

What Is An Employer Value Proposition (EVP)?

Your employer value proposition (EVP) is the core of your employer brand and consists of the core benefits employees and candidates will enjoy by working for you.

It clearly articulates the employer-employee relationship at an organization. EVP sets the standard of expectations for performance and behavior and the rewards of meeting and exceeding those standards. Among other things, EVP includes financial compensation, better work/life balance, a sense of purpose, career growth opportunities, or any other benefits employees stand to gain by working in your organization. 

Two employees in an office brainstorming with posters and sticky notes

Why Is EVP Important?

EVP, and by extension, employer branding, is gradually becoming a hot topic in C-suite conversations. However, it's still a relatively novel concept. 

Before the shake-up in the world’s economy and the Great Resignation, business leaders might have pointed to break rooms, pinball machines in the office game room, and similar perks as examples of an employer value proposition. 

However, as the recent mass resignations and the quiet quitting trend have revealed, such perks hardly help to retain key employees or attract top talent. 

The problems brought on by the pandemic have led to an evolution in thinking because savvy executives and HR leaders now realize that there's a need to communicate AND demonstrate their organizational values — the era of lip service is ending.

While some employees are "quietly quitting," employers don't have the luxury of quietly laying off staff. Several websites now report on organizational layoffs, and workers can post on social media about their working conditions and the manner of their layoffs.

Employees are vocal about how they’re treated, and candidates are avidly watching, noting how organizations treat their workers. 

In the face of this and other challenges, executives have a heightened sense of the value of organizational purpose and the team member experience.  

Now, more than ever, organizational purpose, team cohesion, and employee experience are critical drivers for potential workers considering joining new workplaces.

This is where EVP comes in. A well-defined employer value proposition can help companies create a clear and consistent employer brand image to retain and attract the talent they want.

An employee sitting at a desk with their phone and computer

3 Benefits Of An Employee Value Proposition

Here are specific benefits of an employer value proposition.

1. EVP Improves Talent Acquisition

This is the apparent benefit of a great EVP. When candidates learn about your attractive EVP, it increases their desire to work for your organization.

Therefore, an effective strategy will land you the pick of top talent. Additionally, promoting your value proposition via current employees can help you expand your talent pool by up to 10x

2. EVP Improves Retention

A well-crafted EVP attracts the right people to your organization, reducing the hiring time. But it offers the advantage of recruiting people who want to work for you. 

With the right proposition, you can retain valuable employees and spend less time and resources on recruiting.

2. EVP Improves Your Branding

Although EVP primarily targets candidates and current employees, it can positively affect your overall branding, including how consumers see you. 

The 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer indicates that 29% of consumers consider how a company treats its employees when deciding whether to be a loyal customer.

Company branding materials on a table

Workplace Value Proposition Vs. Employer Branding

Employer branding differs from an employer value proposition, even if they look the same at first glance. 

Employer branding helps companies differentiate what they offer in the labor market. It helps recruit and retain the talent required for organizational success. 

Before candidates become aware of your company as a potential employer, they likely have opinions about you. Their opinions are formed based on the news, internet searches, acquaintances, and other ways. A good employer brand sets the organization apart from others regarding identity and employer value proposition in a candidate's mind. 

Put simply, employer branding dictates your organization's reputation in the labor market, and your employer value proposition is the narrative that sells your organization to specific candidates.

Sample Components Of An Employer Value Proposition

There are different ways to offer value to your team members and candidates. However, the most common components of an EVP are listed below.

1. Compensation

Compensation is the financial reward employees get by working for you. This component covers the base salary and other monetary incentives like:

  • Bonuses
  • Future raises
  • Stock options
  • Payment Frequency

2. Benefits

Benefits cover other perks not directly linked to salary. Benefits might include:

  • Vacation time
  • Workplace facilities
  • Hybrid or remote working
  • Health insurance
  • Pension
  • Travel allowances

3. Career

Your EVP should tell candidates what to expect regarding professional growth. 

It should address things like:

  • Promotions
  • Training programs
  • Challenging but rewarding work 

4. Culture

Potential workers will strongly consider the company’s culture, which should be a component of your EVP. Your culture describes what it’s like to work at the company, how employees treat each other, and what is expected from them regarding collaboration, breaking down organizational silos, and other aspects of work. 

It covers the following:

  • Recognition
  • Support
  • Collaboration
  • Company values
A group of employees brainstorming

6 Examples Of Workplace Value Propositions

Employer value propositions can be tricky, but once you nail them, it greatly benefits your organization's ability to attract the best talent. This section will consider real-life examples of organizations that have managed to nail their EVP. 

These organizations have recently been listed as some of the best places to work in the world. Therefore, analyzing their EVP may help you develop a great proposition of your own. 

1. Gainsight

Gainsight is a technology company that offers software for optimizing CX and improving product analytics. They are one of the best organizations in their sector, and unlike so many other technology companies, they haven’t laid off any employees despite the recession. 

Their EVP revolves around five core values: The Golden Rule, Success For All, Childlike Joy, Shoshin, and Stay Thirsty, My Friends.

We love their EVP because it addresses Gainsight's aim of making a job an avenue of being happy. In addition, it prioritizes the employee and their lives outside of the company. As a result, employees understand that while the company wants them to do well professionally, it's also concerned about their happiness and well-being. 

As Gainsight says, “Life is short. Love your job. ...working at Gainsight is more than selfies with celebrities. It’s the best job you’ll ever have.”  

No wonder the company was listed as the best place to work in 2023.

Gainsight career page

2. Box

Box develops and markets cloud-based content management, collaboration, and file-sharing tools. It’s also one of the best places to work, with over 95% of workers willing to recommend it to a friend and a 4.6-star rating on Box's Glassdoor profile.

What’s its secret? Among other things, Box’s EVP makes it stand out from the rest. 

One of the keys to having a great EVP is promoting a great work culture, and Box does this well. 

“We put company culture first” is Box’s career motto.

We love the straight talk here. Box realizes the importance of hiring people who fit into its company culture and ensures that anyone considering applying knows what that looks like. 

It helps that Box has a wholesome company culture, with most reviewers praising its vibrant, values-driven community that celebrates each employee.

Box career page

3. Bain & Company

Like the previous two companies we’ve discussed, Bain & Company is one of the best places to work in the world.

The organization has five core values that make up its EVP. They are; 

  • A unique model
  • A diverse, dynamic culture
  • An opportunity for impact
  • A global perspective
  • A focus on you 

Its EVP focuses on how it can help its workers throughout their careers at Bain & Company. It highlights this by saying, “If you’re ready to do more than you think you can do, take a bold step toward Bain, and we’ll walk that path with you.”

Right away, Bain shows its priority is your professional growth. Therefore, this EVP is very appealing, as many consider opportunities to grow career-wise as one of the most important things when looking for a new job. 

Furthermore, the EVP indicates that your job will be challenging, albeit rewarding.

Bain & Company career page

4. McKinsey & Company

McKinsey & Company needs no introduction. It's universally considered the most prestigious consultancy in the world. Today, candidates flock in droves hoping to secure employment with the firm. However, that wasn't always the case.

The road to becoming one of the most prestigious firms in the world was built on its investment in talent. The organization intentionally looks to recruit graduates and shows them why the company might be an excellent fit for them. 

Part of its EVP is: "Be a part of a team that accelerates your growth, broadens your horizons, and helps you make a lasting difference.”

This EVP is clear. McKinsey is willing to help you grow in your chosen career. It strengthens the company's reputation for launching careers and fostering growth in talent. Additionally, the company has cultivated a high-performance culture where all team members constantly look to grow and progress in their careers. And for several decades, McKinsey has positioned itself as the ultimate career catalyst. It's like saying work here; if you ever leave, you can work anywhere you want. 

McKinsey's EVP is hard to beat, and a significant reason top talent considers the organization the place to work.

McKinsey & Company's career page

5. Google

Google’s “Build for Everyone” mantra resonates with its potential employees and is one of the things that make it attractive.

While the company focuses on innovation and making a difference in the world, it doesn’t do so at its employees' expense, which makes it one of the best places to work. 

Google’s employer branding has positioned it as where “cool” people work, and the company backs this up with excellent benefits and perks. 

Additionally, Google focuses on helping the career development of its workers and regularly uses employee-generated videos to show how cool it'll be to work there. This transparency makes it easy for people to decide whether to apply.

Google career page

6. HubSpot

HubSpot is one of the world's most prominent marketing and sales software companies. Although the company focuses on inbound products, it hasn’t neglected its employer value proposition. 

Its “Work and Life should fit together” tagline focuses on helping employees have an outstanding work-life balance. To facilitate this balance, the company offers a sweet range of benefits:

  • Unlimited vacation time
  • A hybrid work model
  • Fun team-building activities
  • Discounted stock buying options

Aside from these, the company looks to help its employees grow. It provides training courses, programs, tuition reimbursement, and a bonus to spend on education. 

Its employer value proposition is also seen in its “Culture Code," which contains Code Tenets. These combine to show what the company wants from its current and potential team members.

HubSpot career page

Tips For Creating An Employer Value Proposition

As you’ve seen from the six examples above, an employer value proposition is unique to each organization and the overarching goal each company is trying to achieve. With that in mind, let’s see how you can create your EVP and boost your employer branding strategy. 

Although every organization has a unique EVP, every successful company has five key stages to go through when creating its value proposition.

These stages are:

  • Definition
  • Research
  • Budgeting
  • Crafting
  • Promotion

Let’s consider each in turn.

1. Define Goals And Expectations

When creating an employer value proposition, the first thing to do is to define the EVP's expectations and the goals you want the EVP to help your organization achieve. 

For example, you might want to attract more high-potential applicants and make your organization a training ground for talented people. Or your goal could be to reduce the time it takes to find suitable candidates. 

Regardless of your expectations, it’s always best to start creating an EVP with specific goals in mind. These goals will inform the message you craft to compel potential applicants. 

If you’re struggling to define goals and expectations, perhaps these questions can help you:

  • What makes us different as a company?
  • How do we stand out from the competition?

What would make our recruiters' lives easier?

2. Do Your Research

With your expectations and goals in mind, the next stage of creating a successful value proposition is conducting appropriate research. 

Your research should be inward and outward-looking — meaning you should research different internal and external factors that affect your value proposition. 

Some of the research you should do includes:

  • Competitors: Who are our competitors? What do they offer candidates and employees?
  • Target Audience: Who do we want to employ? What is the ideal candidate profile? Where are they currently? 
  • Current Team Members: Your current employees can provide an excellent snapshot of how things are at your company. Feedback from them can help you see what you're currently offering that they love. For example, they may love your recognition program or team-building activities. You could ask your employees, "What's the thing you admire most about the company?"
  • Strengths: In what areas do we currently excel? What specific areas can we enhance to stand out from the competition? For example, perhaps you have a great culture of recognition, good financial rewards, or offer career progression.
  • Employer Branding: Here, you need to research what candidates currently think about your organization and what it offers. 

EVP should align with overarching workforce strategies, thus recruiting and maintaining a workforce to help the organization achieve its goals. 

If you’re hiring across different experience levels, you should segment your target audience in the research stage. For example, junior employees and executives are very different, so you must develop unique EVPs for each segment.

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3. Create A Budget

You might identify the best EVP, communicate it, and have the best talent come to your company. First, however,  you must be sure you can deliver the EVP. Offering EVPs you can’t realistically provide might get candidates into the company but will erode trust, cause employee turnover, and damage your reputation.

Hence, identify how much you're ready to spend in the real world. Next, determine what your organization can currently offer to candidates and where you rank among the competition. Then, create EVP ideas that allow you to hire an excellent workforce without going bankrupt. 

The bottom line here is to create an honest EVP that reflects the truth of what workers stand to gain by working for you. 

4. Crafting An EVP

The best employer value proposition is unique to your company and attractive to candidates you want at your company. 

Crafting an EVP takes time and effort but is well worth the resources. 

Creating your EVP at this stage involves bringing together your research that identifies the unique benefits employees will only get by working for you. 

The EVP is typically detailed on your company's website and other assets. However, we recommend you pick a component or two to express in a tagline that summarizes your offer's proposition. 

Where Can You Get Ideas For A Tagline? 

One excellent source of ideas is your company values. Check and determine whether you’re living up to them. 

Ensure your values accurately reflect who you are, then refine them to appeal to your ideal candidates. 

The companies we discussed in earlier sections have great taglines and mission statements that summarize their EVP, and you can examine them further for your ideas. 

5. Promote Your EVP

The final stage is rolling out and promoting your EVP. 

Creating an EVP takes a lot of hard work, so give it the fanfare it deserves. Thus, actively promote it to your existing workforce and include it in your company's employee referral programs. You'll also promote it to future candidates via company newsletters, social media, blogs, and other outlets. 

Revamp career materials with the new EVP. Thus, promote it on job postings, your company’s career site, career marketing pamphlets, and other company materials that serve as touch points for potential candidates. 

The most important thing is that you take every opportunity to promote why working at your company’s so great. 

This promotion should begin from the executive and HR levels, and when your staff see your enthusiasm, it might motivate them to copy your example.

A woman using a phone and ring light to record a video

Company Value Proposition Best Practices

Keep the following best practices in mind as you work through each stage of the EVP creation process in the previous section. 

1. Be Specific

Specificity can do wonders for your EVP's appeal. The more specific your wording, the easier it'll be for candidates to know whether you'll be a good fit. Your competition will likely use generic buzzwords and phrases, but your specificity can make you stand out. 

2. Offer Tangible EVPs

Consider what you can offer to candidates. Keep it honest and straightforward. Candidates are savvy and will identify intangible EVPs. If you have a reputation for poor EVPs, it’ll negatively affect the quality of candidates. 

3. Provide Ongoing Support

The best places to work offer not just initial support to new employees but also support throughout the employee lifecycle. Therefore, include this facet of organizational culture in your EVP. 

Final Thoughts

Once you have your EVP in place, communicate it across your organization. Take time off to re-educate current employees on the EVP and help them see how to embed it into your company culture.

Are you looking to add employee recognition to your employer value proposition? Request a demo of the Nectar's employee recognition software, and our sales team would be happy to walk you through our software.

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Actionable workplace tips & insights for fellow people lovers

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