Attract Employees By Showing Off Your Value
by Amanda McCulloch
When skills are in short supply the talented people you seek to recruit into your business become very discerning customers. They take time to evaluate your business and what you can offer before they decide to apply to work with you.
Job seekers know what they want from a future employer and their assurance is making it harder for companies to recruit and retain talent. In the north east hiring cycle we are returning to a point where the talent chooses the employer, not the other way around.
In this environment a critical element of a successful recruitment campaign is the ability to demonstrate what you offer to employees; what it is like to work in your business and why it is a better place to be than all the other employers your target talent could choose to work for instead.
You need to show prospective employees the value they will gain by working for you.
When thinking about how you'll do this have the retention of your ideal employee at the forefront of your mind. Think about the things that would make your ideal employee want to stay working in your business because they gain value from being there. That value supports their financial, emotional, physical and mental well-being and it is called your Employee Value Proposition (EVP). It takes effort, but it is worth it. Gartner reports that organisations which deliver on their EVP can reduce annual employee turnover by just under 70% and increase new hire commitment by nearly 30%.
Your EVP can be summarised by one core statement, a strapline that reflects your place of work and what it stands for. Your target audience should find it appealing enough to pique their interest in your business and it should also provide a compelling start to your recruiter's sales pitch. That's why the EVP strapline is often used in advertising. Guess which company uses this:
Do cool things that matter.
The underlying detail within the EVP explains to the job seeker WHY they should work for you. This effectively answers the question "What's in it for me?" and the attributes cover:
Opportunity includes career and development opportunities and organisation growth.
People includes manager and co-worker quality, leadership reputation and team spirit.
Organisation includes market position, product/service quality and social responsibility.
Work includes job-interest alignment and work-life balance.
Reward includes compensation and benefits.
Keep It Real
Of course, it is critical that the EVP reflects the actual culture and values in your business. If your recruiters are equipped with an accurate EVP they will be able to talk so much more credibly with prospective applicants. But keeping it real also mitigates against new hires becoming disillusioned, talking down your business, comparing it negatively to competitors and, this is the expensive one, leaving prematurely.
Don't assume you know what your employees' value. There has never been a more diverse demographic spread in the workplace and we presume to know what people want at our peril. Ongoing research is important and the reason why many organisations undertake annual employee surveys. Do people value the CEO joining them for lunch in the staff canteen or would they rather have more 1:1 time with their line manager?
Every single person in your business is an important stakeholder when it comes to EVP. If they believe it, they will positively talk about it – don't forget, the most powerful recruitment tool is word of mouth endorsement. Crucially too, your EVP should attract the type of candidates that exhibit the commitment and behaviours you need in your business, positively impacting long term company performance.
Your EVP must reflect a business that is relevant and future focused, the antithesis of passive and bland. It should be able to evolve. The EVP strapline remains consistent across the organisation but it should be possible to tweak the components of the EVP itself, allowing you to personalise it to be as attractive as possible to the different segments of people you need in your business. For example, childcare could be very attractive to employees in their 30s, the priorities for those in their 20s could be time off to travel, while those in their 40s might prefer a top up to their pension pot.
Help your recruiters by constructing a strong EVP. It'll be a powerful addition to their resourcing tool kit. And if you are still wondering about that strapline you were right if you guessed Google.
This post also featured in the Summer edition of Business Now magazine.