Pitching for People... the Employee Value Proposition
If you read and followed the approach that I outlined in the June 7, 2012, edition of the Accelerator Gazette article “Why You Think You’re Too Early Stage For a Human Resources Strategy And Why You’re Wrong”, you have identified the pivotal roles to achieve your business goals and the requisite competencies.
The next step is the development of an “Employee Value Proposition” --an 'EVP'-- that answers the question “Why would a talented individual be interested in this role and organization?” for candidates. Think of this as the “pitch” presented to engage candidates in the recruiting process.
Why do you need this? Because top caliber candidates are not usually drawn to opportunities that do not offer clear benefits that resonate with them. In addition, combined with the competencies already defined, the EVP is an integral component in the development of recruiting tactics.
Different types of opportunities appeal to different people:
1. “Go with a leader” candidates seek opportunities with a recognized industry leader;
2. “Big risk, big reward” candidates are risk takers and seek above average returns;
3. “Make a difference” candidates seek an inspiring mission and exciting challenges; and,
4. “Lifestyle” candidates want a balanced lifestyle, convenient geography and compatibility with their boss and team.
A start-up likely won't appeal to groups 1 and 4 and you probably wouldn’t want the 4s anyway.
Group 2s are likely early in their careers, don’t have significant financial responsibilities and can afford to take a risk in the short-term for long-term benefit. Group 3s may well be in their late careers, have financial security and are now looking for an opportunity to have an impact and make a difference. Group 2s and 3s are the ones you should go for to get your startup off to a strong start.
Research indicates that the top factors that motivate talent are:
• Values and culture
• Leadership quality/good team
• Exciting challenges
• Inspiring Mission
• Freedom and autonomy
• Career advancement and personal growth
• Differentiated compensation
The EVP targets candidate segments (likely Groups 2 and 3) and should address the above factors to motivate those people to join your startup.
Like the Value Proposition for a product or service, a well thought-through and crafted EVP will assist in segmenting the market and facilitate an effective and efficient approach and engage the right top caliber candidates for the right reasons.
Peter Caven is the Managing Director of Peter Caven and Associates, a well known executive search consultant based in Toronto, Canada. He can be reached at email@example.com