The last year has seen a record number of firms reporting recruitment difficulties, with skills shortages reaching critical levels, according to the British Chambers of Commerce and the Recruitment & Employment Confederation.
With such strong competition for talent, employers need to be more resourceful than ever in attracting and retaining skilled employees. This naturally includes reviewing pay, benefits and other financial rewards. But increasingly, the softer elements of reward are becoming a deciding factor in the market. These might include holiday entitlements and the ability to work flexibly, training, development and career opportunities, and wellbeing support.
What’s more, aspects of an organisation’s culture are now seen as part of an employee offering – a collegiate working environment, the focus on innovation and industry leadership, and a reputation for professionalism, ethics and social responsibility, all of them attributes that may be especially attractive to a millennial workforce.
Working with the executive, corporate communications and marketing teams, HR can lead on the coordination of these corporate offerings, to develop an employee value proposition (EVP) and employer brand that ensures they stand out from the crowd. A strong EVP is a powerful recruitment and retention tool that can inspire existing and prospective employees to want to work at the organisation, and help them understand the reason for their choice.
According to Corporate Leadership Council research, a well thought-through and executed EVP can improve the commitment of new hires by up to 29 per cent, reduce new hire premiums by up to 50 per cent and increase the likelihood of employees acting as advocates from an average of 24 per cent to 47 per cent.
Many businesses may have gone through the process of designing an EVP and brand already. Maybe this was the subject of an intense review in the past. But after periods of industry and organisational change, it’s important to ensure the EVP still resonates and makes sense to people, and that the experience inside their organisation matches the brand and perception outside.
Given the need to develop or redevelop a meaningful EVP, what are the basic steps for approaching this task?
Review your current offerings
Analyse data from employee survey results, exit interviews, values workshops, market surveys, leadership feedback etc, to assess your organisational culture, the strength of your offerings and the status of your current EVP if you have one
Draft a new EVP
Using the insights gained, draft a new or updated version; test and socialise the draft with key stakeholder groups within your organisation. Use the testing phase feedback to help finalise your new EVP for exec leadership approval.
Bring the new EVP to life
Develop a look, feel and brand to bring your EVP to life, and a communications plan that will ensure you reach your internal and external audiences in the most effective way.
Reward and benefit packages certainly continue to be an important factor in talent attraction and retention. But investing the time and effort in understanding and communicating your organisation’s broader competitive advantage in the recruitment market can pay bigger dividends. With Brexit on the horizon and the war for talent likely to intensify, new strategies for EVP and branding will become ever more important on the HR agenda.
Dominic Wylie is senior communication consultant at like minds