I was recently reading a book, “The War for Talent” by McKinsey & Company consultants Ed Michaels, Helen Handfield-Jones, and Beth Axelrod where they have put forth their thoughts after five years of in-depth research on how companies manage leadership talent which includes surveys of 13,000 executives at more than 120 companies and case studies of 27 leading companies.
The book proposes a fundamentally new approach to talent management by creating a winning EVP (employee value proposition) that will make your company uniquely attractive to talent. In short, every company needs to answer 3 fundamental questions – Firstly, why will a talented employee need to work here? Secondly, as a company, do we have a clear description of what candidates and employees will experience within? And Thirdly, do we have an EVP story which can be told to people. Simply put, once we have an EVP, my employees are going to say – Yes, that’s what is in for me when I join this company!
Apportionment Of Employee Value Proposition (EVP)
Starting from pre-design to post-implementation, EVP encompasses the following four unequivocal facades:
Before designing an EVP, it is important to keep 4 fundamental parameters in mind:
- EVP should stem from the organization’s business model
- It should be aligned to customer promise
- It should address the pertinent needs of candidates and employees
- It should be distinctive when compared to the competition
Comprehensive and distinct surveys will make it possible to map the perceived promises of all the stakeholders. Surveys need to be conducted from key clients, existing people, lateral hires from the competition, channel partners, business leaders, and erstwhile employees who joined the competition to conclude the premise of formulating the EVP.
Developing The EVP:
The brand diagnostic survey will help companies answer the most critical question – why would the people we need want to join, do their best work here, and stay? Some examples of EVP statements of top companies are ‘Imagination at work’ ‘Be the one who empowers millions’, ‘We make real what matters’, ‘A better business. A better world. A better you’ and ‘Bring Everything You Are. Become Everything You Want’. These companies have made their EVP simple and crystal clear for people to understand – what’s in it for me? It’s the deal struck between company and employee in return for their contribution and performance. In a nutshell, it needs to be ensured that the EVP is well-aligned with the company’s Vision, Mission, Brand Promise, HR Vision, Core Values and Cultural Pillars.
Living The EVP:
This is the most important aspect of EVP in my opinion. We need to understand 5 clear aspects of living the EVP
- Has it helped in delivering the message appropriately to all stakeholders?
- Has it helped in connecting with the target prospects emotionally?
- Has it reaffirmed the credibility behind the entire objective?
- Has it helped in generating enthusiasm towards the cause?
- Has it ensured the utmost standards of transparency while reaching out to the target population?
There are 2 simple ways to do it. One is to re-engineer all existing processes and practices to make them more employee-friendly with the specific intent of moving towards your EVP. And second is a robust communication campaign across the organization, to drill them down to each individual employee, so that everyone clearly understands, what it stands for, what is the key philosophy behind each facet of your EVP, the target offerings and the detailed action plan to make it alive.
Sustaining The EVP:
Once the EVP is rolled out, it is important to sustain and reinforce it by studying trends on various People Health Indicators defined in the EVP deliverables and roll-out of EVP Post-implementation Survey for gauging people perception on the initiative.
Best Practices In EVP
|Increased Candidate Touchpoints||Open session for candidates who have been made offers to come and interact with current employees before they join.||Improved Offer to Joining ratio.|
|24*7 recruitment||A complete recruitment office on wheels which helps get the company to candidates rather than the other way. Round the clock recruitment to cater to candidates walking in for an interview at any time. This is more for BPOs where candidates may not be able to attend interviews in regular work hours owing to shift.||Increased on-time hiring and flow of talent.|
|Customized Induction||Customized induction for the targeted audience. For e.g. visually appealing illustrative book for Sales incumbents that covers the first 6 months of a sales person’s journey in the organization.||Improved employment experience & retention of new hires.|
|Tapping Alumni||Target to hire x% from this pool or through this pool.||Reduce on-time hiring.|
|Leveraging Tools||Certification program for hiring managers e.g. interviewing skills to have appropriate talent selection.||High impact on recruitment experience of candidates & the superior performance of new hires.|
|Targeted Performance bonus||Design and implement Retention Bonus schemes for high performers.||Improves retention.|
|Link Competency Model and Training||Identify functional and behavioral competencies for unique roles and map the training needs against these competencies.||Increased performance and bottom-line cost saving.|
|Global Exposure||Provide high potential leaders with diverse opportunities and experiences globally to give them international experience, exposure to different languages, different cultures and different business environments.||Helps in performance improvement, employee engagement & catering to globalization and diversity.|
In conclusion, one of the mistakes companies make when creating an EVP is focusing on the leadership of their company, rather than making it employee-centric. While there will be umpteen challenges in each stage of EVP; visible endorsement of top leadership, walking the talk and being role models, emulating behaviors, measurement of people health indicators, strong internal & external branding and redesign of key processes and systems to ensure measurement and recognition of EVP shall go a long way in sustaining the desired change we wish to see it!