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A great employee value proposition (EVP) is vital in persuading the best digital talent to join your organisation.

But what makes a great EVP? How can you make your employees blush and say 'yes!?'

EVP

The employee value proposition is essentially HR-speak for all the great reasons you might work for a particular company. It is designed not only to attract new talent, but to retain and motivate existing employees.

An EVP covers a multitude of sins, from culture to salary, long-term vision to workforce diversity.

Company recruitment pages (or microsites) can range from the straight-forward to the pseudo-philosophical.

The following diagram is taken from KPMG. It shows the benefits of a well articulated EVP.

evp benefits

How to create an EVP

There's probably something wrong if you are completely stumped when it comes to defining your business' EVP.

Having said that, no EVP can be perfect without canvassing opinion. There's nothing more divisive than a proposition that bears no resemblance to reality on the ground.

Here are some extremely simple questions that can be asked of a workforce. 

  • Why were you (the employee) attracted to the company as outsiders?
  • What makes working for the company unique?
  • Why are you (the employee) sticking around?
  • Why might you / did you decide to leave? 

What makes a good EVP?

As stated earlier, an EVP that accurately reflects the company is vital.

It should complement a job description that focuses on describing the type of person required (experience and skills), not an exhaustive list of responsibilities.

Of course, the aim is to find a good fit between employer and employee; any misrepresentation on the company's part could ultimately serve to disappoint both parties.

Alongside some of the criteria in the KPMG graphic above, a company proposition should have broad appeal and align with company processes and strategy.

Let's take a look at companies with well known EVPs.

1. Netflix

Netflix's jobs pages emphasise three elements

  • Freedom and responsiblity
  • A long-term view
  • Diversity and inclusiveness

Notable elements include transparency about demographics of various teams in the business. Below you can see the demographics of the tech team.

This gives a tacit understanding that Netflix is focused on increasing diversity and creating an inclusive workplace.

netflix tech diversity 

Under 'freedom and responsibility', Netflix has uploaded a now infamous slide deck detailing the culture of work at Netflix.

It's a chunky 124 slides long, covering values, performance, responsibility, management, pay and promotion. The deck includes nine characteristics of Netflix employees.

My favourite slides cover freedom and responsiblity. No holiday or clothing policy and a five-word policy for expenses (act in the company's interest) show how a long leash and high expectations create a motivated workforce.

It's also notable how bullish a company can be in its EVP, if it feels like this will attract the right candidates.

2. L'Oreal

Jack Simpson has covered L'Oreal's EVP in detail (see: How L'Oreal uses social media to increase employee engagement).

As the title suggests, the beauty giant created a strategy where employees became very public advocates of company culture, creating an implicit EVP through self-expression.

This has completely changed L'Oreal's proposition which was previously a little woolly and corporate (see this non-descript slide deck).

Included in that slide deck are three elements of L'Oreal's original proposition that are not particularly interesting or unique (a thrilling experience, an environment that will inspire, a school of excellence).

However, when augmented with a series of public social posts on the #lifeatloreal hashtag, the EVP suddenly comes to life.

life at loreal

So, do you need to reconsider your EVP?

For more on organisational change, see our digital transformation hub.

Ben Davis

Published 12 February, 2016 by Ben Davis @ Econsultancy

Ben Davis is a senior writer at Econsultancy. He lives in Manchester. You can contact him at ben.davis@econsultancy.com, follow at @herrhuld or connect via LinkedIn.

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