So, how do you look to potential candidates?

Outstanding Company Culture’ is not just something we say on a website or brochure. It’s not something we mention at performance reviews and then do nothing about. It’s an important and real obtainable goal that every business big or small should strive for. Why strive for this? Does it make a difference to the bottom line of business? What is the real benefit of achieving it?

Well the answer is yes it’s worth striving for, yes it makes a real difference to your bottom line and the benefits are huge, let’s get into it.  

Employer value proposition (EVP) was never a ‘thing’ in the past. There were always great companies and over time some had the reputation of being excellent places to work because they extended a range of benefits to an employee that others didn’t. Some made sure their offices were open, creative, fun and inspiring places to be, others made sure health insurance, salary sacrificing, profit share plans etc were offered to workers.  

The motivation came from making sure employees were happy at work in basic terms, then it advanced to making sure employees stayed working with them and lastly it helped attract new employees and build their reputation as a company. 

So that brings us to the modern-day version of EVP.  It’s the values, mission culture and the reason why people want to work for you and stay working for you.  One poll from CR Magazine and Cielo Talent showed that almost 50% of workers said they wouldn’t work for a company with a bad reputation, even with a big increase in compensation (LinkedIn blog).

Here are the key points when creating an Employer Value Proposition 

Building a brand and culture team

Pull together a team from those that really understand the DNA of the business. Made up of those that are great ambassadors of your company, products, service. They should meet regularly and consult with internal HR staff as well as marketing directors and collaborate with them on all aspects of managing the image of your company in the marketplace. It’s not always the CEO that manages the direction of the business and especially where EVP is concerned, usually, its employees who are managing and living this process.

Work on your brand vision & brand promise

Look from the outside in and see how customers and employees and potential candidates and clients view your business. Not just what your company does but how it does it, how it pulls all the people and resources together. How it does it better than others. Understand and know what your message to the outside world will be and then you can get everyone else on board. First, you need a direction to start the journey. 

“In this climate, it’s not enough for a business to just offer a service or product, it also has to consider, social corporate responsibility, messaging, target audiences and attracting great talent to you is part of that mix.” 

Part of this process is onboarding new employees properly.  The first 90 days when a new employee starts is critical, in turning that new person into a really integral, productive employee.

Brand delivery and performance 

Get out the measuring stick, have a look at the figures and see if you are performing against goals and targets that were set earlier. Look at staff turnover and if that is improving or not. Work out by doing the sums what it costs you when people leave and you have to find a replacement and retrain. Depending on the business type this may not be an issue but in specific, niche or specialised industries retraining a person is a huge cost that is rarely factored in. Survey employees, ask the questions, be curious all in the name of doing things better. Offer skills updates and training opportunities sponsor higher education amongst your current team. If you back them they will back the business. 

Create a framework, work on it

EVP and employer branding need to be more than a checklist or buzzword, it needs to be a framework with strong uptake and incentive by all employees and it needs to be measured. With a snapshot of the business beforehand you now have a reference point to see progress. Pull the committee together, meet regularly and engage them to help with recruitment and employee retention. Don’t just do things on paper either. Make real visual, physical changes to the workplace. Some examples – lunchtime yoga classes, quick lunchtime cooking club, after work walking group, breakfast or coffee club, lounge areas, break out areas, working from home and flexibility, board meeting/management invites, swap roles for a day, company internal blog and the list goes on and on. 

Manage your brand reputation, let it shine and show it off

In your drive to recruit new people to your business and stand out from other employment opportunities you need to be real, be honest and be authentic. Let your storytelling skills take the lead and paint the picture for a potential new employee through your advertisement, website or messaging. Let them know you’re different. In the world of work now candidates are more selective, and letting them know your company culture is strong and close-knit could be the thing that sways them to take the role with you over others. 

Take initiative to reinforce your brand and culture to your team even if they are working remotely or in other locations. This will take creativity. Make sure all employees have updated their LinkedIn profiles, most candidates after they see a job opportunity research on average about 4 employees at the firm, this is a great opportunity to show your culture through your staff profiles. Have your team enhance your image through theirs.

Job posts and advertisements are really an introduction to your company. Make your brand voice standout and write creative, informative, engaging and direct job descriptions/ads. Don’t forget to load your advertisement up with keyword terms that make sense and that candidates may be searching for when looking for a new role. Record some welcome messages from the CEO or hiring manager and send to the employee before they start welcoming them. 

Happy people, happy place, happy business

You know that when people are happy when they feel like they belong, when they feel engaged and proud of where they work, they work better. It’s just normal that when coming to work is fun, working in teams is productive and if you believe that your employer is striving to do better then you want to do better too. 

“The feeling, the morale is not something tangible and it is made up of many parts but as employees are more engaged and content and getting their work done, using technology to work more productively and asking for help when needed the atmosphere changes and improves.” 

This may take time but it will happen and the business will be better for it. Positivity is contagious. Ensure your communications are honest and designed to attract the people that will make your business thrive. 

Find your purpose, it’s right in the middle of your customer value proposition (the value you give to customers/external), your vision & strategy for the brand or business and (your employee experience/internal) which is tied to your culture. This model below shows how important the purpose is for all these aspects to work well.

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