What is an EVP, and why is it vital for scaling tech businesses?

29 December 2020

As recruitment experts, we talk a lot about EVPs and the vital role they play in attracting and retaining top talent. Scaling businesses often consider EVPs as something for larger corporations with a higher volume of staff. But the truth is, every company has an EVP, it’s just that some don’t refine and perfect theirs to use as a tool which can help with hiring efforts.

Having a strong EVP is a fundamental base for talent attraction; It could be the difference in why top talent chooses to work for you over somebody else. Think of it as a strategic tool for attracting the brightest and best tech talent to your scaling tech business. 

When well researched and communicated effectively, an EVP can act as a magnet for the best talent. You can even segment your EVP and messaging to appeal to specific pools of talent, including tech talent, helping your scaling business to compete in the battle for the best developers, engineers, data scientists and tech talent.

What is an EVP?

An EVP or Employer Value Proposition is everything that a company is doing to attract and retain the best talent. Put simply, it’s what an employer offers an employee. It outlines the motivations for employees wanting to work in a business and is almost an agreement of what they can expect if they work hard and meet company values. An EVP includes pay, benefits, perks, training and rewards but also encompasses the intangible and emotional elements of a workplace, like company culture, values and mission. A good EVP should encapsulate everything an employee can expect when working with you, not just the obvious and standard elements. It’s a way of establishing an emotional connection between employer and employee as well as acting as a standard contract which outlines the roles and benefits.

Why is an EVP vital for scaling tech businesses?

There are many ways a robust EVP can help a business in the stages of growth, including:

Sets you apart from the competition

In the war on tech talent, scaling tech businesses need to celebrate what makes them unique. It is these points of difference that will set them apart from larger, more renowned corporations. Scaling tech businesses have the advantage of a more flexible, relatable and exciting company culture when compared to larger, more corporate companies. A growing business can offer desirable propositions to tech talent, particularly millennials or gen Z candidates, as they provide a whole new way of working. Flexibility, more development opportunities and even a sociable company culture appeal to tech talent more than ever and so making elements like this part of your EVP could give you a competitive advantage over the competition.

Improves your talent brand

An EVP isn’t just a selling point for your business but a statement about your company’s overall culture and values. It is a crucial element of building a strong employer brand as it outlines the factors which can unite teams, shared values and company-wide expectations. Your employer brand or talent brand, is essentially how your company is known to both employees and candidates alike. Having a strong EVP can act as guidelines for your employer brand; it sets the tone and establishes expectations amongst your workforce.

One core element of building and promoting an employer brand is employee advocacy. Having a strong EVP can increase the likelihood of employees recommending you to friends and family from 24% to 47%. Outlining your EVP and making it clear amongst all members of your business can almost double the chances of your team, leaving a positive review or advocating for you when it comes to recruitment. Outlining the overall mission and values makes it easier for employees to get behind your scaling tech business.

Increases retention rates

A clear and well-defined EVP aligns your employees’ expectations with their reality, which ultimately means they should be happier working with you for an extended period. If the employee experience is exactly as you lay out in the interview and onboarding process, you should see much higher retention rates. There will be no nasty surprises or changes of attitude later down the line. Having a clearly outlined EVP to act as a guideline for all aspects of your business is reported to decrease annual employee turnover by 69%, which will improve your employer brand and reduce future recruitment costs.

Better quality of hire

If your EVP outlines every aspect of your business from your mission to your company culture, you’re likely to attract like-minded tech talent. Employees who agree with your motives and mission are bound to be more engaged and work more productively for you. In fact, having a robust and structured EVP can improve the commitment of new hires by up to 29%, meaning you’ll have a better quality of hire. It’s clear that developing a clear and relevant EVP which also reflects a positive employee experience delivers a strong return on investment when it comes to new hires.

Keeps company culture alive

In the last year, many businesses have seen a rise in remote working, and for many startups or scaling businesses, this is something that’s likely to continue for a long time. With a clearly defined EVP, you can ensure that your company values and culture are upheld even when your team are no longer together. With an outline of your business attitudes, values and expectations easily accessible to all employers, they have no excuse for not upholding them even when working remotely. An EVP is a foundation for your employer brand. Your employer brand is reflected in your company culture. Therefore to keep your existing company culture healthy amongst a remote workforce, you must have a clear and well-communicated EVP.

Mutual understanding

Any good EVP is built on a solid foundation of research; you have to know more about your employees to understand how to keep them happy and how to attract likeminded individuals. Conducting recruitment market research into your industry, company culture, and employee opinions will help you to create an EVP which benefits everyone in your company from management teams to software developers. You’ll have a better understanding of your employees and what they think your company is all about. A 2007 report on employer of choice status noted that “gaining recognition for valuing employees, and delivering on promises made to job seekers and employees, is the only way to build a true reputation as an employer of choice”. It’s true; you have to understand your employees to know how to make your workplace enjoyable for them.

Similarly, a well-defined EVP will give your employees an understanding of what you expect from them. Outlined in your company culture will be the attitude and work ethic your team should have to benefit from the rewards and compensations you offer. A good EVP creates a mutual understanding between employer and employee.

Talent Works builds and develops EVPs for both scaling tech businesses and larger corporations. Through extensive market research, gaining competitor insights and speaking with your employees directly; our team of researchers, copywriters and account planners can build an EVP which will inspire and attract the best talent for your scaling business. If you’d like to start a conversation about your EVP, then contact our team today.

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