How To Create An Employer Value Proposition Strategy For Your Tech Recruitment

Employees enjoying a team day out, discussing their employer value proposition strategy.

I often talk with businesses that are struggling to attract and retain top tech talent. When I mention having a strong employer value proposition strategy, the response is often centred on a common misconception – that employer value proposition strategies are exclusively for larger businesses with vast volumes of staff. In reality, every company has an EVP, you just might not have identified and fine-tuned what is it, or understood how you can use it to support your tech recruitment strategies and hiring efforts.

With my 12+ years of tech recruitment experience behind me, I can assure you of the power a strong employer value proposition strategy can bring to your tech recruitment efforts. I even know businesses that go further with their employer value proposition strategy, segmenting it in order to attract specialist pools of tech talent. So if you want to attract specific tech professionals, whether that’s developers, cyber security analysts or infrastructure engineers, continue reading to find out more about employer value propositions.

 

EVP stands for…?

EVP stands for Employer Value Proposition – it’s a term used to describe the summation of everything you do as a company to attract and retain tech talent. In simple terms, it’s everything you as the employer offers your employees. It includes material things like benefits, perks, and training, as well as intangible factors like company culture and corporate values. It might feel like the latter is less important, but they contribute to the day-to-day experience that employees have whilst working in your business. When condensed, these things become your EVP strategy.

By comparison, the likes of Gartner go as far as to break EVP down into 5 distinct categories:

  1. Rewards: salary, stock options, benefits, soft perks, or time off
  2. Work: job, interest alignment and work-life balance
  3. Organisation: the company’s mission statement, product or service, and social responsibility
  4. Opportunity: career growth, education, and personal development
  5. People: the employees, from executives down, and the company culture

Now, it’s important to remember that there is a vast difference between your employer value proposition strategy and your employer brand. Your EVP highlights to potential and current team members what you are offering them in exchange for working for your business, whilst your employer brand is the reputation your business has more generally – with your customers, stakeholders, and the wider world – not just employees.

An EVP is an important element of creating a solid employer brand, and they do share similarities, however, I’d recommend keeping them as clear-cut in your mind and business as possible. Some people do this by thinking of the employer brand as the ‘reputation’, and EVP as the ‘narrative’.

 

Why having an employer value proposition strategy is important to your tech recruitment

Helps you stand out from the crowd 

The market is currently candidate-driven. This means that companies need to be doing all they can to secure the attention of tech talent. Firstly, highlight what makes your business unique and what sets you apart from the crowd through your EVP strategy. This will secure you the upper hand over your competitors.

Creating a strong employer value proposition will allow potential employees to effectively compare your business with your competitors. If you don’t provide this information because of a lacking employer value proposition strategy, the prospective employee will have to guess, and that probably won’t result in the new hire you were hoping for.

In fact, a Hubspot report suggested that 75% of active job seekers would be likely to apply for a job if the employer actively managed its employer brand and EVP strategy.

 

Provides top quality tech talent

If you take a comprehensive approach to your employer value proposition strategy, you should attract candidates who are a natural fit for your business. These like-minded individuals will value the benefits they receive, which will encourage a high-performance culture. I tend to find that people who appreciate what they have, will not take it for granted. They will work productively for you and remain engaged. Interestingly, Gartner found that when businesses delivered on their EVP, new hire commitment increased by nearly 30%.

On the other hand, people who don’t naturally align with your EVP, will be less likely to apply, which will result in a more succinct, yet higher quality candidate list.

 

Positively impacts employee retention rates

“Organisations that effectively deliver on their EVP can decrease annual employee turnover by 69%” – Gartner

If your EVP strategy is realistic and meets the heights you have promised your employees, they should be happy working for you long-term. By this I mean you deliver exactly what you promised during the interview process. Don’t surprise your employees with something you knew would put them off. Be consistent and fully aligned with your EVP strategy and I promise you will see improved retention rates.

This Hubspot stat says it all – 86% of workers would not want to work for a company that has a bad reputation with former employees.

So, set your EVP out by following my advice below, and there’s no reason why any employees that leave your business going forward should want to bad-mouth you to the market.

 

How to develop a compelling EVP strategy

Creating your employer value proposition strategy does not come from your business leaders sitting down and discussing what they think sounds good, nor does it come from your marketing team inventing catchy strap-lines. It’s from your team, the people who live and breathe your company values on a daily basis. If you want to create a proper EVP strategy that aligns with your people and business, having a realistic discussion on what you offer is the only route to take.

I’d start by getting to grips with what your existing team members think about your brand and culture. You can do this through employee surveys (for instance, VIQU conducts a bi-annual ‘Happiness Survey’,) round table discussions and exit interviews. You could also choose to secure opinions and feedback from former employees.

While 60% of employers surveyed by Willis Towers Watson said they have increased employee listening efforts, only 31% conduct employee surveys. Don’t follow the crowd. Do what your competitors aren’t and your tech recruitment efforts will see the benefits.

These areas of discussion might include:

  • What do they think your company has that other competitors don’t possess
  • What do they value most about working in your business?
  • Why do they stay?

 

Discuss the data

I would recommend bringing together a group of people from different areas of the business, to review the research and data you have collected. This way you will be able to ascertain what current elements people value the most. Yes, you could outsource this process. However, I am a firm believer that a business’s employees are the best people to define an EVP strategy.

Start building your EVP, whilst constantly going back to these questions:

  • Does it correspond to your business objectives?
  • Does it help your company stand out from your competitors?
  • Is it realistic?
  • Does it have the ability to appeal to a broad variety of talent pools?

At this point, it’s time to test! Start with your existing employees, and then formulate a small sample group of individuals who could be future applicants to your business. Does it highlight why someone might value working at your company?

 

Communicate your EVP

A key aspect of your employer value proposition strategy should be the channels you utilise to communicate it.

For current employees, you want to leverage off your internal comms channels – newsletters, company blogs, emails etc. in order to communicate your EVP and build your employer brand from within your business. To streamline your internal communication further, you might choose to segment your internal audiences. This might be based on department, office location, seniority etc. For instance, you might segment based on department, because you know the way to engage your tech team is very different to your HR workers.

Additionally, your EVP strategy should encompass external communications for recruitment purposes too. Use your external channels (social media, website, Glassdoor etc.) to continually communicate your EVP at every stage of the hiring and onboarding process. The key is consistency in your EVP and messaging.

 

VIQU can support your EVP

If you are looking for support to establish a solid EVP strategy that will attract and retain your tech talent, please contact us.

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