It’s an easy misconception, really.
After all, the word “value” is part of the phrase “employer value proposition”.
But, just as having the word “strawberry” in “strawberry ice cream” doesn’t make those two things the same, having the word “value” in “employer value proposition” does not mean those two things are the same.
The major difference between values and employer value propositions.
Most companies are going to have similar variations of values. Teamwork, innovation, giving back. All noble pursuits, but more about what the company finds important from an internal POV.
Employer value propositions turn the idea of a company value on its head. Rather than being what a company finds important, an employer value proposition is going to be something a candidate finds important about a company. It’s the special little something that sets you apart from other companies. For this reason, employer value propositions are going to range all over the place from company to company. They’re going to be things like finding your best friend at work, helping transform the company, continuing your education as an employee. All things that enhance the employee experience.
Why does it matter?
This distinction is important to make because the way you approach identifying your company’s values versus your company’s employer value propositions should be very different.
If you focus on what you think is important from an internal, corporate standpoint, you’re going to blend into the crowd. As I mentioned above, values are pretty similar no matter where you go. But if you can find those things that make your current employees tick, and could make a candidate tick, you’re going to stand out in a candidate’s eyes and make them want to come work for you.
Even when you’re not talking about employer brands, that is what a value proposition is: it’s the why behind wanting something.
How to identify your company’s value propositions.
If you haven’t figured it out already, the important distinction between values and EVPs means that you as an HR person cannot sit and come up with a list of EVPs on your own, or even in a room with people from the C-suite and branding. Because EVPs aren’t about you. You and that group might have a pretty good idea of what the EVPs could be, but there’s only one way to really find out.
And that is: TALK TO YOUR EMPLOYEES.
You need to sit and spend time with a wide range of people who work for your company and find those things that make them tick; find those things that help set your company apart from the rest.
Getting input from a cross-section of employees will help you market your company better to candidates. You’ll know which themes to push when talking to them and pushing out content for them on your careers site. It’s those things—those EVPs—that will sway a candidate deciding to work for you versus a competitor because your competitor is probably just talking about passion as a value, but you’ve got something that really sets you apart.
Kate Weimer is a Marketing Lead at Kinetix, specializing in social media recruitment marketing and account management. Using a combination of her background in social media and love for the written word, she’s shoving all buzzwords aside and making HR and recruitment marketing work in today’s digital world. Want to hang? Hit her up on Twitter or LinkedIn , or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.