Please Pass it On
Building a competitive Employment Value Proposition (EVP) to attract and retain critical talent segments takes robust, joined-up research. It starts with a rigorous Employee Segmentation (understanding why the people who currently work for you actually want to work for you), while researching perceptions of you as an employer among your identified external candidate communities – then defining the core proposition in that space.
That takes time – and budget.
But can you build on ‘What’s Important’ and ‘Attractive’ to external candidates from your own current research (Interview Results, Recruitment Partner feedback, First-Year Employee Surveys, etc)? The answer is ‘yes’ â and even though this should not be mistaken as a budget-version ‘EVP Lite’, it is built on Good Science. It’s called Candidate Preference Alignment (CPA).
Candidate Preference Alignment takes your existing data to identify the clear indicators of what attracted candidates to you as a company, not just in terms of People, but also the Organisation, Work, Opportunity and Rewards.
In the short term it gives you a researched and planned communications platform; and in the longer term it prepares your organisation for the competitive advantage (and discipline) of creating an attractive EVP built on what’s important to candidates of all segments, aligning with their priorities, and accommodating the relative weight of different components of Attractiveness.
Broadly speaking, a CPA is built on the three main factors that underlie any EVP project (i.e. the three main factors that are tested to determine whether or not an organisation’s EVP is attractive to the candidate market):
- Is the EVP based on the attributes that the candidate market cares about?
- Does the candidate market have a favourable impression of the organisation on those attributes?
- Is the candidate market aware of how the organisation scores on those attributes?
A ‘CPA’ VERSUS AN ‘EVP’
If you take as ‘read’ your own research, you can build and test a robust, holistic, compelling value proposition through the CPA process. So where does a CPA fall short compared to a full EVP? In a number of areas, most crucially in scoping how an Employee Segmentation survey can help you underpin and further inform the EVP development. The extra time and budget needed for an EVP project is largely taken up (and rightly so) in deep internal and external research – and several rounds of proposition development and testing. That starts with a four-step Assessment that
FOUR STEP ASSESSMENT OF EVP IMPACT
An internal and external Employment Value Proposition Survey measures the impact of 32 attributes on attraction and employee commitment. Those 32 attributes can be categorised into five categories: The Rewards, The Opportunity, The Organisation, The Work and The People. A Four Step methodology would be used to determine which attributes of the EVP are most important to both internal and external audiences.
- First, participants are asked to review the list of 32 organisational attributes that they âmay or may not consider when evaluating an organisation as an employer.
- Second, using a Q-sort methodology, participants are asked to sort the attributes in order of importance when evaluating an organisation as a potential employee.
- Third, you compare the individual attribute rankings to determine the relative importance of each attribute for attracting talent.
- Fourth, respondents across different organisational tenures are asked to indicate their perceptions about the delivery of each attribute in their own organisation.
MAKING GOOD THE DISCONNECT – RESEARCHING THE EVIDENCE BEHIND THE OLD ADAGE
There’s an old adage that Employees join for ‘the opportunity’ and ‘the rewards’ and stay for ‘the people’ and ‘the organisation’. In terms of awareness, your research would show where you sit on this spectrum.
For example, a low level of perception/misperception around your Market Sector and Market Performance may affect your ability to build an EVP on Quality and Innovation - but it could facilitate an EVP featuring people, opportunity and respect. In other words, the organisation can ‘win’ candidates by focusing on important dimensions other than compensation and corporate brand.
But here again, a CPA project can begin to take you towards the benefits of an EVP.
BEGINNING TO DEFINE ‘CORE’ VALUE PROPOSITIONS FOR YOUR CANDIDATE MARKETS
As an example, your initial âresearch’ may reveal your top drivers of Attraction to be:
- Career Progression - Investment in People
- Market Leader
- Strong growth as a FTSE 250 company
- Diversity of Markets
- Long established
- Forward Thinking
- Security & Prospects
This can be further tested in internal Focus Groups to identify the top five attributes considered as priorities. For example, they may be:
- Personal development - being encouraged to achieve my potential
- Personal respect: being treated with respect by colleagues and management
- Clarity: knowing what’s expected of me
- Personal satisfaction: being proud of the job I do
Focusing on the Core attributes captures the majority of the Value Proposition benefits. The five broad attributes identified by the Focus Groups would then allow you to create and test core propositions. Eg:
- A good company to work for (trusted, stable, successful)
- A quality, innovative working culture (best-in-class, market leader, investing in excellence)
- You make a Difference (you are empowered to achieve results)
A JOURNEY TOWARDS A CORE VALUE PROPOSITION
The process above hopefully shows how a Candidate Preference Alignment can begin to deliver a research-focused approach built on evidence – delivering short-term results and giving an insight into the advantages that can be delivered by a compelling, authenticated EVP.
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