Sep 19, 2018

Recruit Top Talent by Defining Your Employee Value Proposition

In the current candidate-driven market recruiting and retaining talent, not to mention top talent is more competitive now, than it has been in over a decade. For the first time in 18 years, the unemployment rate is at its lowest with a current rate of 3.8%. Additionally, there are 65% more job opportunities available today then there were in 2001. Given this information, it is more important than ever that companies take a look at their recruitment strategy to make sure they understand and have clearly defined their employee value proposition (EVP).

The reality is, the current marketplace favors prospective employees over employers which is why it is so important that employers ensure their company is an attractive place to work. It truly puts the prospects in the driver seat to negotiate compensation and benefits as well as being choosy as to where to apply.

Internal recruiting teams may be unaware of what makes up an employee value proposition. Let’s take a look at the following employee value proposition examples:

  • Compensation
  • Benefits
  • Opportunity
  • Culture

To help you explain and define your package to prospects, we’ll go into more detail for each component and why it matters.


Compensation is more than just the starting salary for your employees. You should have a salary structure that rewards experience and leaves room for your new employees to grow within the position.

An example of this is a position that can earn $50,000 - $70,000 to enable you to choose a candidate with 4-6 years of experience. Your recruiting team has more negotiating power with a bracket like this.

Another key thing to look at in your salary structure is how competitive your salary brackets are in the market. Before opening a new opportunity, be sure you’ve done your competitor research to give you the best chance of attracting the most talented individuals.

Your salary structure also leaves room for your employees to grow through raises and promotions. This means it is best to try and hire in the middle of the salary range to leave room for raises. Additionally, many non-management positions have opportunities to grow without awaiting their boss or another individual to leave for them to be promoted.

For example, you could have a customer experience specialist position that can be promoted to a customer experience specialist II. This promotion can include new salary brackets without having to apply internally for new management opportunities or to go externally to take the next step in the employee’s career.


Benefits are a huge factor in an employee’s total compensation. A job might pay $5,000 less in base salary but have lower insurance premiums, contribute more to the 401k and place money in the employee’s HSA to create a full package that is more attractive than the other employer. Benefits include the following:


Health insurance is the major consideration in this category, but many employers are now also providing pet insurance and discounts on home and auto insurance through partnerships with other companies. Employee contributions to premiums and any wellness program discounts are important to highlight in your employee value proposition.

Time off

Your company’s time off structure can vary from paid time off to a combination of vacation and sick time. Make sure that you provide clarity around how time off works at your company.


Indicate what holidays your company provides. A growing trend is to provide floating holidays or flexibility to individuals of various religions to celebrate their sacred days.


Simply stating that your company has a 401k is not enough information. Companies today are providing matching programs and year-end bonus program deposited directly into the 401k so be sure to fully explain this benefit.


This is an area where your company should highlight opportunities like working from home or adjusting working hours to accommodate early leave on Fridays and more.


If your company pays tuition reimbursement toward college or payment toward certification programs, be sure to highlight that. Just as attractive as financial backing though is time off to study leading up to exams without using vacation time, tutoring programs and on-site education opportunities.


There are many additional benefits you may want to consider highlighting, including HSA/FSA contributions, company picnic, the opportunity for sporting event tickets, and more.


When considering an opportunity with a new employer, candidates are seeking companies with learning and development programs in place to enhance their career overtime. In addition, candidates want to work for a company that is known for recognizing their team and promoting from within. As an employer, you should be prepared to discuss the opportunities your company has to offer to candidates. The most common things that employees seek in their new employers are the following:

Upward mobility

When hiring for a specific position within your organization, you should be prepared to discuss the succession tracks your company has in place for upward mobility. This discussion should include the overall chance for promotions within your organization, as well as the opportunity that exists for the specific position in mind.

Training and development

Training and development programs help prevent your employees from remaining stagnant in their role. When stagnant, employees may become unproductive and unhappy which can hurt your culture. You should be able to walk candidates through the different training and development programs they can partake in. Additionally, we recommend budgeting for role-specific conferences and/or seminars for the employee to attend each year.

Evaluation and feedback

Employees no longer want to wait 12-months to get feedback on how they are doing in their role. With that, candidates will want to understand how and how often feedback is given within your organization.

Work structure

Let your prospective employees know if they have the opportunity to choose their hours, provide standing desks, etc.

Work-life balance

This looks different for each employee, but things to highlight here are overtime policies, work-from-home capabilities, and coverage for last-minute emergencies.


Steve Jobs once said, “it doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” Your company is only going to thrive if you let your team have the creative freedom to develop, change, and implement new programs, policies, and procedures within your organization. To accomplish such, the current workforce requires supervisors who do not micromanage. Make sure to discuss your leadership style and how you foresee the relationship between the candidate and yourself.


If your company provides programs that enable employees to be recognized for their efforts, be sure this information is in your recruiting materials.


The culture at your company may be the hardest aspect for you to define and explain to prospective employees. Culture is a bit more abstract than compensation and benefits and more objective as to what employees really care about.

Some key aspects of your culture include:

  • Company goals and mission
  • Team dynamics
  • Social responsibility efforts
  • Reporting structure and management style
  • Direct reports for the employee

Providing these details can help the prospect envision what working at your company is truly like. In addition, employers may want to also consider their brand strength as Sixty-nine percent of candidates and 71 percent of employers rank employer brand strength as essential when a candidate is evaluating a job offer. To learn more about the importance of your employer brand strength, review our article Why Your Employer Brand Strength Matters.

Hiring key players in a candidate-driven market will require a lot of effort for recruiters and hiring managers alike. Ensure your company is competitive in recruiting by taking the time to outline, understand, and live your employee value proposition. In the current economy, your company may consider hiring outside recruiters to help you with your search needs. In the event that your organization is considering this option, here is an article on what to consider when hiring an executive search firm.


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