Published in CHRO SA on 11 June 2024

EVP could be an employer’s secret sauce as it enhances talent management, highlighting company values and sustainability, attracting and retaining top talent, writes Celeste Sirin, employer branding specialist and CEO of Employer Branding Africa.

The employer value proposition (EVP) is an acronym that’s gaining much momentum within the realm of talent management strategies of late. Despite its growing popularity, the true potential of this powerful and strategic tool is still largely untapped.

An EVP is versatile; it can be finely tailored to specific roles, teams, departments and regions, and can highlight aspects of your company’s purpose, value system and focus areas. It plays a crucial role in reminding employees why they have chosen you as their place of work and outlining to candidates the clearly defined mutual benefits in the employer-employee relationship. The real challenge, however, lies in whether talent leaders are truly capitalising on the transformative potential of this “currency exchange”.

For those less familiar with the EVP, let’s draw an analogy between a product’s unique and remarkable selling points that make it irresistible, and a workplace’s unique benefits and advantages that drive talent attraction and retention.
I recently participated in two incredible webinar sessions, each of which highlighted the dynamic nature of the EVP and demonstrated how it can be strategically tailored to address different markets.

An IT EVP to compete for top talent

With the escalating global demand for IT professionals, chief information officers are urgently focusing on crafting a more human-centred EVP. This strategy is essential not only to curb increasing turnover in critical IT/tech roles, but also to support the dire need for digital transformation within their companies.

Some considerations when crafting your human-centred IT EVP:

  • Agile learning through integrating tailored learning into the flow of work as a cornerstone of your EVP. This approach enhances employee efficiency by continuously assessing and developing skills, without it being viewed as an additional burden and time outside of work.
  • Reskilling for relevance with a focus on ways to reskill and realign misaligned or stagnating skill sets, ensuring employees are equipped to meet current and future challenges.
  • Personalised learning pathways clearly articulate employee roles’ current and future state. This makes learning personally relevant and directly tied to individual career progression.
  • Benefits for all through clearly outlining and reiterating the benefits for the organisation, employees, and candidates, aligning personal goals with organisational objectives to enhance engagement and commitment.

The importance of sustainability in the EVP

Furthermore, companies are now recognising the importance of integrating their sustainability or ESG (environmental, social, governance) values within their EVP. This is especially relevant for attracting eco-conscious candidates like our emerging Gen Zs. Deloitte’s 12th annual Gen Z and Millennial Survey underscores this trend, revealing that approximately 60 percent of Gen Zs and millennials are anxious about the environment and over 50 percent research a company’s environmental policies before accepting a job offer.

Sustainability considerations in the EVP:

  • Subsidise employees for making sustainable choices such as the recycling of waste, usage of solar panels, utilising public transportation and more.
  • Educate and train employees on how to be more sustainable in their daily lives and work practices.
  • Banning single-use plastics through implementing policies to eliminate single-use plastics at work and office locations.
  • Renovate offices to become more eco-friendly, incorporating green technologies and sustainable materials.
  • Engage in community greening projects that green local communities, enhancing the environmental impact of the company beyond the workplace.
  • Time off for volunteering employees to participate in environmental and community projects such as beach clean-ups, working at soup kitchens, planting trees, mentoring of disadvantaged youth and participating in charity runs.

As the business world evolves, so too must our strategies for engaging and retaining top talent. An EVP that is well-understood, strategically implemented and richly embedded with the company’s values not only attracts quality candidates, but also fosters a committed and satisfied workforce.

With the growing emphasis on sustainability, integrating eco-conscious policies into the EVP can significantly enhance a company’s appeal to the next generation of talent. It’s time for talent leaders to fully embrace and refine their EVP strategies, ensuring they meet the nuanced needs of today’s dynamic workforce.