The war for talent is on the increase, with many companies finding it hard to attract or retain staff. Throw in the post-pandemic Great Resignation, where employees have had an opportunity to think about – and are in a position to demand – the workplace they want, where they want, and organisations may soon find themselves struggling even more.
Great Place to Work magazine looks at the changes that have happened in the workplace over the last 20 years since the Great Place to Work Institute was established in Ireland.
To help create the sort of environment that employees want to join and stay in, companies are increasingly looking at their employee value proposition (EVP). “The EVP is the qualities associated with an organisation as an employer, the set of attributes that the talent market and the current employees perceive as the value they gain through employment with an organisation,” says Marina Rivas, marketing and brand manager of Great Place to Work.
“Every organisation has an EVP, whether it is defined or not. And every employee has an experience in an organisation, whether it is a story told internally and externally or not.”
As almost everything else was affected by Covid, it’s unsurprising to find that EVP was, too, particularly in understanding and facilitating the shift towards what many employees want – a remote and/or hybrid workplace.
“Ireland is registering the highest level of employment record and has the hottest and most competitive market at the moment,” says Alice Vigneron, marketing co-ordinator at Great Place to Work. “It is also clear that the market is becoming increasingly candidate-driven, followed by a significant increase in hybrid work models that are impacting the negotiating position of candidates.”
Build it and they will come
A key point when developing and improving EVP is to consider what will entice the talent that companies want, says Rivas. “The benefits and perks on offer should appeal to the target audience, which will differ by industry and demographic. This will require collaboration between the HR and marketing function of the organisation, working in tandem to ensure what is offered is well communicated, targeted and, crucially, can be delivered.”
Rivas says companies that wish to develop a new department or increase the diversity of their workforce will need to adjust their offerings and messaging accordingly. The strategy should ensure the talent needed to achieve the organisation’s objectives can be recruited. They must set goals with clear indicators of progress and adapt their strategy from the results.
“The workplace culture advertised should be felt by the employee, including the perks, development offerings and ways of working which they have promoted. The most effective time to begin this is as soon as the employee joins the organisation.”
Commitment to EVP
WaterWipes have committed to developing its EVP with buy-in from the entire company, from leadership down, and is committed to building their employer brand from the inside and out, says chief people officer Aidan McKee. To ensure this approach, they used insights from the Great Place to Work survey, which is completed by all regions, functions, and job types to understand what makes the company and culture unique.
“We also interviewed recruiters across the globe to gain a deeper understanding of the macro trends surrounding the employee experience and how that is changing. Finally, we spoke to people who left WaterWipes and rejoined us to give us a different perspective. This allowed us to create a proposition that resonates internally and externally across all the regions we operate in.”
With ambitious plans to become a global brand, they “believe that growing our people will enable us to continue to our incredible growth journey”. It’s about creating the right conditions for success and delivering a unique employee experience.
The future of EVP
Rivas says that defining an EVP isn’t a guarantee to winning the war for talent. It needs to be strategically communicated to land effectively to the talent pool. Companies are increasingly developing their EVPs to be competitive. “We are noticing strong initiatives around developing employee wellbeing programmes, reinforcing transparency and flexibility.
“Another employer focus brought by the pandemic is career growth and personal development. Talents have strongly invested their time in these domains during the several lockdowns and want to see a continuity part of their benefits in joining their next employer.”
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