February 18th, 2015 / Insight posted in

Talk Business: Richard Cummings discusses recruitment and retention

In an article for Talk Business magazine, HR Insight’s Managing Director Richard Cummings highlights the benefits of having an employee value proposition (EVP) to help attract and retain the right kind of empoyees. Recruitment and Retention: Does your business have an Employee Value Proposition?
The recession is over! Employees who have been stuck in the same role since 2008 are seeking new opportunities and employers with ambitious growth plans are seeking the best candidates. Recruitment campaigns will find them, but what can you do to entice the best?
Business leaders will recognise that developing a clear and compelling client or customer value proposition is a very important stage in understanding how to market the product or service being offered. After all, how can you sell a product or service if you can’t articulate its value? The same applies when it comes to attracting and retaining the right kind of employees. What makes potential employees want to come and work for your business rather than for your competitors?  Developing an Employee Value Proposition (EVP) can help you market your business as an employer, the same way you would market your product or service to clients. What is an EVP?
The EVP defines the value an employee gets from working for a particular employer. It encompasses and articulates every aspect of the employment experience from the business mission and values, to its culture and people, to its total reward packages.  It describes what makes working for your business, more appealing than working for another and how you set yourself apart from the competition as an employer. The EVP is not the Employer Brand, but it does inform the employer brand. Whilst employer branding is important, it is not of benefit to attract employees with promises of what differentiates you as an employer, only for the employee to realise the reality during the onboarding process.
How do we create our EVP? There are some clear steps to follow to help you understand what your employees feel constitutes a great place to work:
  • Tap into information you may already have such as data from staff surveys;
  • Create a bespoke survey to elicit what is important to the different types of people that you want to attract and engage;
  • Analyse the data;
  • Create a draft EVP;
  • Test the draft via focus groups;
  • Create final EVP

Although there are some clear steps to work through, it will take a significant amount of time, effort and commitment to work through these steps and it is essential to have the correct resources leading and steering the project.

Do we really need an EVP? It is widely reported that ‘Generation Y’, born in the 80s to mid 90s, and the ‘millennials’, born from the mid-90s onwards, have the broadest horizons of any generation to enter the workforce. They are tech-savvy and connected to one another, brands, employers and the rest of the world in a way previous generations do not always appreciate and their expectations of employers are certainly more complex than just paying a decent salary.
However, if this all seems too much like hard work and you simply don’t have the time or resources to invest in creating an EVP, the tips below should go some way to helping your business to attract and keep talented employees:
  • Think about the reward package (salary and benefits) you are offering for your key roles – is it competitive?  Will it attract the right people?  Check through benchmarking against competitors
  • Check your recruitment and onboarding process – is it a good experience?  Check with recent recruits
  • Keep an eye on employee turnover – collect and analyse the data from regretted losses
  • Continuous improvement – make changes as necessary to enhance the overall employee experience.
Richard Cummings is Managing Director of HR Insight, the HR consultancy arm of Kingston Smith LLP. This article was published in the October edition of Talk Business – see http://talkbusinessmagazine.co.uk/latest-magazine/