Job seekers spend a lot of time finessing their résumés, compiling their portfolios, and brushing up on interview questions—but the labor market is not a one-way street. Companies need solid employees as much as candidates need jobs.
How do you, as an employer, attract suitable candidates? One way is to formulate a strong employee value proposition. Here’s what an EVP is, as well as a few employee value proposition examples.
What is an employee value proposition?
An employee value proposition—a.k.a. an employment value proposition, employer value proposition, or employer branding—is the combined benefits a company gives an employee in return for their performance, experience, and commitment.
An EVP is a company’s sales pitch to prospective employees. An effective EVP gets job seekers excited about the prospect of working at a company and gives an idea of compensation, benefits, and company culture.
What value does having an EVP add to a company?
A strong EVP attracts quality candidates. A strong EVP attracts good candidates who understand your company's benefits, culture, and work-life balance, lowering the odds that they will be surprised or disappointed if they accept your offer.
Ultimately, this can mean lower annual employee turnover, resulting in higher productivity.
Key components of an employee value proposition
A great employee value proposition highlights the benefits of working for your company and usually gives prospective employees an idea of the following elements:
The most crucial element of any employee value proposition is compensation. As much as prospective employees value a positive work environment or career development opportunities, most only consider roles that meet their salary expectations. Money is, after all, the main reason we go to work.
Being transparent about compensation—including bonuses and raises—streamlines your hiring process and ensures your employees are fairly remunerated.
A strong employee value proposition includes a comprehensive list of benefits, from the essential (such as health insurance and retirement plans) to the extra (such as company-sponsored holidays, paid parental leave, and discounts at local fitness studios).
A solid benefits package can help ease your company’s financial burden while improving the employee experience.
Investing in your employees’ career development is valuable to them and your company. Whether you offer education reimbursements or host in-house leadership development workshops, advertise these development programs to current and prospective employees.
If your employees stick around, the skills they learn can benefit your company in the long run.
An enjoyable work environment can be just as important to job seekers as financial rewards. If you have an office space, make it safe and comfortable for workers. Consider offering relocation benefits and assistance to new employees moving from elsewhere.
In today’s labor market, many candidates are looking for the flexibility of remote or hybrid work. Be sure to outline your business’s work-from-home policy in your employee value proposition.
Defining your company culture is critical to building your employer brand. According to Quantum Workplace, a positive company culture can nearly quadruple employee engagement, or their commitment to your company.
Name the values that guide systems and behaviors in your company. It could be respect, strong communication, diversity, or innovation. Your company culture can link to your company’s mission, both of which influence systems and behaviors in the workplace.
Maintaining a positive work-life balance is essential to many job seekers and can help prevent burnout or turnover.
Outline how your company protects employees’ time outside work, including paid vacation days, sick leave, flexible hours, remote work options, and paid parental leave.
How to create an employee value proposition
- Get feedback from employees
- Consider the competition
- Lead with unique selling points
- Describe your company culture
- Cover the basics
- Be accurate
Creating a solid EVP is about identifying your company’s unique selling points and conveying them to prospective employees. Here are a few strategies to get you started:
1. Get feedback from employees
Your current employees are your most valuable resources when developing your company’s EVP. No one knows more about working for you than they do.
Ask them: What, from their perspective, are your company’s unique selling points? (While you’re at it, why not take some time to identify areas for improvement?) Use employee surveys or conduct focus groups to gauge satisfaction in these areas:
- Employment benefits
- Career development
- Work environment
- Company culture
- Work-life balance
2. Consider the competition
Prospective employees are probably looking elsewhere, too. Find out what your competition offers to know what the job market looks like for your candidates.
If most employers in your industry let employees work remotely, you may want to tweak your work-from-home policy accordingly. Or, if you think your company’s paid time-off policy is better than average, highlight it in your value proposition.
3. Lead with unique selling points
Once you’ve identified your strengths, start formulating your employer value proposition messaging. Make a strong case for your unique selling points.
If your current employees agree that your company offers a healthy work-life balance, flaunt it. Be specific about achieving this equilibrium (i.e., flexible hours might allow employees to pick their kids up from school; a sabbatical once every five years empowers them to travel to bucket-list destinations) and why it’s important.
Consider including current employee testimonials.
4. Describe your company culture
A healthy work environment goes a long way. According to Quantum Workplace, a positive company culture can nearly quadruple employee engagement, i.e., their commitment to your company. With the help of current employees, name the values that guide systems and behaviors in your company. It could be respect, strong communication, diversity, and innovation.
Explain these values in your value proposition. Before committing to your organization, potential employees may want to confirm they’ll belong in your company.
5. Cover the basics
Although your most unique selling points—your newly renovated office or your emphasis on work-life balance—might be the most eye-catching to job seekers, they will also want to know the basic but essential facts if they’re interested. Include critical points about compensation and the company’s core benefits, such as health care and retirement plans.
The nitty-gritty details are not usually the flashy selling points—most other companies also offer these things—but they’re the backbone of your EVP.
6. Be accurate
The goal of your EVP is to persuade potential employees to come to your company, but take care not to exaggerate or mislead.
You may receive more applications and even accepted offers with an overly rosy depiction of your business. However, if new hires come in with expectations you can’t meet, it will lead to disappointment and ultimately result in more turnover.
Whatever your message, be honest—the point is to create lasting, gratifying employment.
How do you promote your EVP?
Once you’ve created your value proposition, broadcast it across your channels to reach potential employees. Here’s how to make connections:
Create a careers page on your website to post your value proposition. Prospective and current employees can browse job openings and learn about your company’s benefits.
One of the best ways to connect with potential employees is through job boards like LinkedIn, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, and Glassdoor. Include your EVP on your company profile. Add a condensed version on individual job listings.
Bring your EVP to life at recruitment events like career fairs. Staff your booth with enthusiastic, knowledgeable employees. Offer print-outs and business cards (why not try Shopify's free business card maker) and collect contact information to reconnect with candidates after the event.
According to Zippa, hiring new employees through referrals costs less and increases retention compared to hiring through job boards.
Encourage employees to recommend people in their network for open roles at your company. Consider creating a strong employee referral program, which rewards existing employees when their referral accepts an offer.
How do you measure the success of an EVP?
When measuring the success of your company’s EVP, consider both your short-term goals for talent acquisition and your long-term goals for employee turnover. Then, create key performance indicators for both.
Short-term goal: attract top talent
An EVP’s main purpose is talent acquisition. You probably crafted your company’s value proposition to attract potential employees. How can you tell it’s working?
Here are three key performance indicators for measuring the effectiveness of your recruitment efforts:
- The number of qualified candidates who apply
- Percent of offers accepted
- Duration and cost of the hiring process
Long-term goal: decrease turnover
While new hires are essential, assessing your EVP shouldn’t end there. A strong EVP ultimately increases employee engagement and decreases turnover.
Track the success of your hires over time. It can be helpful to set regular check-ins with employees to discuss performance and job satisfaction. Don’t hesitate to solicit feedback from new, long-term, and departing employees on whether your company’s EVP is accurate and useful.
Examples of good employee value propositions
Feeling stuck? Don’t hesitate to look to other companies for inspiration when drafting your EVP. Here are four great employee value proposition examples:
Shopify’s employee value proposition starts by outlining what we do—“our product enables entrepreneurship to create new value for the world and unlocks unlimited personal growth for the people who build it”—and how we do it—“We all get shit done by taking risks, deciding what work to do, shipping fast, and learning.”
Shopify’s EVP highlights our remote work policy, hiring process, and compensation system, Flex Comp, which gives employees the ability to choose how they want to balance their base salary and equity. Shopify also values fresh perspectives; our EVP explains our early career programs to help prospective employees get their foot in the door.
Pinterest’s colorful careers page highlights its mission, “to bring everyone the inspiration to create a life they love—and that includes our employees.” It lists the company’s values, inclusion efforts, and benefits, including fitness reimbursements, meals and snacks in the office, and family-building benefits (on top of standard health insurance and retirement plans).
Pinterest allows employees to work in the office or remotely, including up to three months abroad. It also offers various early career opportunities.
Visa markets itself to prospective employees as a company trying to improve the world: “We’re on a mission to give everyone a chance at financial success.” Its employee value proposition focuses on diversity, inclusion, and social impact.
Visa is transparent about its workforce and leadership demographics and highlights its many employee resource groups, including Visa Black Employees, Visa Pride, Visa Women’s Network, Visa Employees with Disabilities, and more.
Visa also offers volunteer benefits, including 16 hours of volunteer time off and matching gifts of up to $10,000 annually per employee.
Facebook and Instagram’s umbrella company, Meta, is known for its many employee perks. Meta’s career page outlines its six core values: move fast, focus on long-term impact, build awesome things, live in the future, be direct, and respect your colleagues.
Meta provides employees with comprehensive health and wellness care, including mental health coverage, fertility coverage, and coverage for gender-affirming care. Employees can access medical, dental, vision, and mental health care on Meta’s campus.
To onboard new talent, Meta offers several different student programs and pathways to apprenticeship programs.
Employee value proposition FAQ
What is an employee value proposition?
An employee value proposition is how a company conveys to prospective employees that it's a desirable and welcoming place to work.
How do you promote an employee value proposition?
Start by posting your EVP on your company website’s careers page. From there, share it on job search sites such as LinkedIn, and be sure to direct candidates to your EVP in interviews.
What are the components of a good employee value proposition?
A strong EVP includes information about compensation, benefits, career development, work environment, company culture, and work-life balance.