In the fight for talent, an organization must provide an effective value proposition to attract the type of employee it needs to deliver its business goals.

But in my experience, most organizations create employee value propositions (EVP) based on high level aspirational intent which diminishes its effectiveness.

“We’re building a company people love. A company that will stand the test of time. So we invest in our people, and optimize for your long term happiness.“

“We work hard, throw Nerf darts even harder, and have a whole lot of fun.“

These sound cool, but in terms of attracting talent, they lean on lofty, helium-filled notions like “love”, “test of time”, “happiness”, “hard work” and “fun” to sell themselves.

They need to go further.

To be effective, an EVP must be strategically relevant; it must align with and be driven by the strategy and values of the organization.

It must address what prospective employees CARE about, and most critically, it must be UNIQUE; it must stand out from claims made by other organizations.

These 3 steps will get you an EVP that cuts through the “concept clutter” and speaks personally to the people you want to attract.

1. Translate the essential

Translate the strategy and values of the organization into the specific people skills, experience and competencies required to execute it.
What specific “people profile” must be attracted to successfully implement the strategy and demonstrate the values?

This piece is extremely critical. If there is not a direct line of sight between strategy/values and the required people attributes, any derived value proposition will be dysfunctional. It may very well be an audacious statement but it won’t necessarily be productive in acquiring who you want.

2. Be clear

Be clear on who you want to attract. Break down the target employee profile into as much granularity as you can. Specific skills (marketing and sales), behaviour (risk taker), education (technical institute), location (Vancouver) and the usual demographics and psychographics are examples.

And go beyond the basic needs and hygienic expectations they have – pay, benefits, hours of work, vacation time – to discover what they desire or “crave”. This knowledge will separate a “ho-hum” proposition from an amazing one.

3. Define what makes you different

Define what makes you different from the crowd of other organizations who are also want to attract the same candidate group.

The question to answer from a candidate perspective is “Why should I join you and not the ten other organizations who are interested in me?

If your claim doesn’t offer something that is unique, your message will be lost in the noise and will attract no one.

Create your “ONLY Statement” to express your uniqueness.

“We are the ONLY organization that…” is the form it takes; use it as the basis for your value proposition.

Try this: “We are the ONLY spirited team in Vancouver with the flexible environment required to inspire marketing and sales professionals with the creative freedom to practise their art. We laugh a lot. We believe that your success is our success.”

Not perfect. But it’s leaning in the right direction. Refine in “on the run”.

Be satisfied with an imperfect RIGHT approach than a “perfect” WRONG one.

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