One of the best pieces of advice I received when I started working in tech was from a senior recruiter at Twitter, who told me that one of the first things I should do was create an Employee Value Proposition (EVP). This was especially important, they said, if I was going to be expending time and effort selling candidates on working at Dyspatch.
Since receiving that advice, we committed to revising our EVP annually, to iterate on it as we grow and change as an organization. Armed with a great EVP, we are set up to close candidates more quickly and with less negotiation. Before our EVP was created and refined, we would often find ourselves giving multiple answers to the same question, depending on who was answering, causing confusion and extending our timeline to close a candidate. Now, we have consistent language, are able to set concrete expectations up front, and typically close candidates within two weeks.
According to Gartner, a good EVP should focus on five key categories: Opportunity, People, Organization, Work, and Rewards. Each category helps a future employee evaluate important aspects of your company, answering questions like:
- “What opportunities are there for career development?” – Opportunity
- “Who will I be working with?” – People
- “Is the company poised for success?” – Organization
- “How challenging is the role?” – Work
- “What level of compensation and benefits am I being offered?” – Rewards
If you can effectively communicate high-level answers to these questions in your EVP, and deliver on them once a candidate is hired, you’ll have a 50% higher chance of attracting and hiring the right people for your organization. You’ll also reduce turnover by up to 70% and improve engagement by nearly 30% (Gartner).
Companies commonly make two mistakes when creating an EVP: Creating them within the vacuum of HR and with only executive-level input. These two groups often hold different perspectives on what makes the organization a great place to work than front-line employees and managers. To counteract this, we sat down individually with each executive and manager, plus a large, random sample of employees, and asked them, “What do you enjoy about working here and how would you describe it to another person?”
The results were astounding. We received insight from all levels and all departments within the company that proved invaluable in helping us create our EVP. An added bonus from these conversations was candid feedback on what could be improved and the reasons some employees joined our organization over another. It also helped us strengthen our interview training program.
Next, we worked to empower each team to use the new EVP in their own way to promote their work. Each team created their own ‘mini’ EVP that correlated with and supported the overarching company EVP. This gave each team talking points and direction when answering questions from candidates, friends, family, former colleagues, and even across teams internally, about their top reasons for working at Dyspatch.
I want clarify that not everything in our EVP is rainbows and sunshine. We’re up-front about the challenges we’re addressing as a company when we communicate our EVP to candidates. I can’t stress enough the importance of making sure your EVP is honest and transparent. By truly owning any difficulties you’re facing as an organization, and being honest with your EVP, you can help set your new team member up for success. When a new hire comes into an organization “eyes wide open”, they have a better understanding of how to be successful, what needs improvement, and which areas are already working well.
With the right EVP, one that is truly transparent and honest, you’re already building trust before you even hire someone. And trust is the foundation upon which every team member’s success is built.