Winning the talent war: 5 ways to develop your employee value proposition now

HR professional working on their employee value proposition (EVP)
By Caroline Gammon | 10th January 2022 | 4 min read

The war for talent is raging on, causing a variety of recruitment issues, which are amplified as the UK is currently experiencing the tightest labour market it’s seen in modern times.

Because of the current employment landscape, there are fewer unemployed people per vacancy, more talent poaching and difficulties when procuring/retaining talent.

Given the talent war and current recruitment challenges, we’re seeing HR professionals evolve their employee value proposition (EVP) to ensure they remain an attractive, sought-after employer.

In this article, I explore the reasons why this area is keeping HR pros awake at night and key areas of the EVP that should be considered as part of your overall HR recruitment strategy.

What is the talent war?

Coined in the 1990s by McKinsey & Co, the talent war is HR terminology that refers to the increasingly competitive landscape for recruiting and retaining employees.

Why is recruitment currently so challenging?

The talent war has been an issue in certain sectors for many years.

However, since the pandemic, I’ve noticed growing difficulties in recruiting and retaining employees within most industries for a number of reasons:

Early retirement

Coming from the logistics sector myself, I noticed many connections decided to retire early when Covid started.

I’m sure this has applied to a lot of industries that employ key workers; with some people only being a few years away from retirement, the risk of continuing to work during the pandemic has pushed them to retire early.

Changing priorities 

While working from home, countless people have taken on responsibilities such as having a new baby, adopting pets or caring for loved ones.

As a result, these employees’ priorities have changed, and a desire for continued flexibility has arisen.

If employees can’t get some level of flexibility to support these new priorities at their current job, believe me, they’ll leave and find a new employer.

No longer bound to one location

With hybrid working becoming increasingly adopted as a permanent offering, employees are no longer reliant on jobs in their immediate geographic location.

Instead, when job hunting, people are able to search across the entire country for remote-working vacancies.

Dissatisfaction with salaries

It’s common that employees will leave roles in search of a higher salary, which is currently becoming even more prominent, as many haven’t received a pay increase since the start of the pandemic due to businesses minimising costs as a preservative measure.

What is an employee value proposition (EVP)?

I often hear: what is an EVP?

As defined by Gartner, an employee value proposition portrays how the labour market and employees perceive the value gained by working in your business outside of the base salary.

By providing a desirable employee value proposition, you can attract talent much more effectively and win greater staff loyalty without relying purely on salaries.

Happy employee working from home.

Five ways to improve your employee value proposition

Below are a few employee value proposition examples that you can take as inspiration to implement within your own business, helping you win the talent war.

1) Offer hybrid working permanently

The BBC recently found that 70% of employees say that they’ll never return to the office at the same rate.

Employee expectations towards where they work have changed with hybrid working demands significantly increasing; if your business wants to remain attractive to current employees and potential talent, you must offer a level of flexibility regarding working from home (WFH).

Read our recent blog for tips on making hybrid working a permanent offering.

2) Make an effort to foster team spirit

If budgets are tight within your business, put on your creative hats and offer employees some form of light-hearted collaboration to help foster team spirit.

I’d recommend that you consider:

  • Quizzes
  • A team night out
  • Send employees a treat
  • Messages of appreciation
  • Shout-out valued workers

3) Show new starters you care

Making a good first impression is crucial, and one way you can achieve this is by providing a new starter pack that features a range of goodies.

New starter packs can contain your business’ tangible assets: take for example, our customer, KP Snacks, who sends each new starter a box full of crisps.

If your business doesn’t create anything that it can give new starters, consider sending branded items such as pens, notebooks, t-shirts and mugs.

When I joined IRIS, I got given a few items and to this day, I still wear the t-shirt they provided – small gestures can go a long way in showing you care.

4) Create the best environment by giving employees a voice

When looking to create the best possible employee experience, feedback and ideas should never come from the top.

Instead, consider launching an employee forum, where volunteers can gather feedback directly from their colleagues to share with senior leadership.

5) Focus on training and development

Training and development are often ranked as one of the most important parts of a job, right behind salary.

To ensure employees are receiving the maximum possible value from their roles, you must focus on:

  • Creating development plans
  • Offering courses and additional training
  • Teaching new skills
  • Promoting internally

Find out how you can support your people with our HR training module.

How can IRIS help?

Are you looking to digitise HR processes, or do you simply need more time in your day-to-day to implement people-focused initiatives?

Browse our full range of HR software.