By Martin Anderson – Managing Director at Carrot Pharma Recruitment
Most organisations now realise the importance of having a well-developed Employer Value Proposition (EVP). There are many data sources which verify the importance of having a strong and well-defined EVP in place in order to better attract and retain valuable employees.
A good EVP provides the organisation with a consistent platform for their employer branding. It conveys the values and cultural aspects, combined with practical benefits, like development opportunities and rewards that will be offered to a candidate in return for their skills, experience, and loyalty.
Back in the day!
The entire process of finding a job is completely different now from how it was when I was taking my first (daunting) steps out into the real world.
Then, it was a case of posting your CV out (via Royal Mail, not job boards) and hoping for a letter of reply. If you were lucky enough to be granted an interview, it tended to be a rather formal affair. The employer appeared to hold all the cards and the entire process was often an unpleasant one with seemingly little effort on their part to really ‘sell’ to you the benefits of joining their organisation.
It’s all change now though, as the applicant generally holds far more sway in a very competitive labour market. There’s now much more of an emphasis on selling the role and the company in order to fully engage and attract candidates more effectively. To ensure candidates have a positive and enjoyable experience, no matter the outcome of their application.
A strong Employer Value Proposition will help to differentiate an organisation clearly from its competitors and will provide potential employees with compelling reasons as to why they should want to come on board.
According to several sources, many employers still do not currently have a well-developed EVP.
What does a good Employer Value Proposition look like?
It needs to be all encompassing and live throughout all company branding and marketing collateral. It needs to become part of the fabric of the company, part of the language everyone uses. It should be values driven and it needs to speak directly to the target audience from which the firm are trying to attract talent. It needs to promote the working environment and the potential rewards (not just financial). It should describe the training and progression opportunities, the culture, and the social environment. It may also include employee testimonials or internal survey results.
In summary, it should be a comprehensive document providing clarity on these elements internally, so that those employees involved in the recruitment process are clear on the message. It will also provide guidance on what tools are at their disposal and advise on what the ‘candidate journey’ should look like. It should inform of the steps taken by the firm at the attraction and application stages and follow through to the interviewing and onboarding phases.
Crucially though, it also needs to consider the retention phase – how will the company ensure new and existing talent is engaged, motivated, productive, and thus likely to remain loyal for a long period of time?
How to create and implement an EVP
The best proponents of what it’s like to work in an organisation are of course the employees themselves, so it is wise to get them involved to help shape this process.
They have the experience of going through the application process, from the interview to onboarding, so they will know what worked well and what didn’t, what were they convinced about and what created doubt. They’ll have a clear perception of what the ideal candidate journey should look and feel like, and can therefore ensure the EVP helps to deliver this.
A basic flow to develop an EVP might be:
The implementation piece is about ensuring the Employer Value Proposition lives through all the business functions and, in particular, that it is woven through the brand and the entire marketing mix with all that collateral promoting consistent key messages.
Perception Vs Reality
Crucially, what an applicant sees and feels from the outside prior to applying, should be very similar to what they see and experience when they come to meet you. Those feelings should of course then stay constant when they accept an offer, come on board, and should remain true across the years they stay with your organisation. In fact, even if they leave, you’d hope they will continue to speak highly of the organisation, given their very positive experience.
One other consideration
During the development phase of the EVP, organisations should also consider whether their Employer Brand and their Consumer Brand are perceived similarly. Consumers out in the marketplace (healthcare professionals and patients) will have a perception of your organisation and the company brand. Conducting research to understand these perceptions is important because they should be relatively well aligned with the perceptions of your employees. Many big firms have a very positive public persona but offer a poor employee experience. Amazon is a recent example. Achieving a consistently positive persona externally and internally can play a significant role in success moving forward. According to a recent study by Ranstad, 76% of employees who experience a strong alignment between what their employer says about itself and their experience of working there are more likely to recommend their employer as a place to work.
There is an appreciation that EVPs are important toolkits to attract and retain the best talent, however many organisations still do not have a well-developed EVP which is research based and has been implemented effectively throughout their entire organisation.
A good EVP needs to communicate your offering clearly to the appropriate audience via the most effective marketing channels, and importantly this applies internally as well as externally. It also needs to align with the consumer brand and ensure perceptions and realities are well matched.
Of course, there are many sources of information available in order to help with the development of an EVP, but one key element to remember is who you are competing with. Be sure to benchmark their offerings and consider whether your organisation is truly differentiated within your immediate market.
Carrot work in partnership with a large number of Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences companies and consultancies, fulfilling their recruitment needs across functional teams within commercial, clinical development, R&D and manufacturing.
Carrot are presently developing Employer Value Proposition solutions to support clients in their aim to differentiate. For more information, please contact Martin Anderson on 01625 541 032 or via [email protected]