Employer Value Proposition (EVP): Attract and Retain Talent

August 24, 2023

Attracting the right talent to your company is a little like using a dating app. You can’t just list off what you want from an employee, you need to be an appealing prospect yourself. Let’s look at the importance of employer value propositions.

A winning employer value proposition (EVP) can be a real playmaker when it comes to attracting all-star talent.

Your EVP is the MVP of your employer brand. It's how you can quickly communicate what you can offer to prospective employees and why they should join your organization.

Well, there's a lot you can say in a few words, but it's all about choosing the right ones. This article presents a deep dive into what an EVP is and how to craft one that will turn the right heads.

What is an Employer Value Proposition?

An employer value proposition (EVP) is a set of attributes, benefits, and programs that an employer provides to attract and retain talent. It’s usually a short and sweet statement of the unique value that an employer provides in exchange for an employee’s skills, knowledge and experience.

Crafting your EVP starts with the basics: offering a competitive salary and a good benefits package. But there’s so much more besides that which goes into defining what you offer.

For example, the workplace culture you operate in will have a huge impact on everyone’s day-to-day experience, as will the working environment and the opportunities you create for your staff.

Employer Value Proposition Example

As an example, let’s explore our EVP here at Paylocity.

The concept of “Forward Together” is at the core of the Paylocity brand. It reflects our commitment to innovation as well as our people. Here’s our EVP:

“Together, we'll help you achieve the promise of tomorrow, today.”

The fundamental value here is partnership. People are at the center of what we do, and the EVP is crafted to express our dedication to fostering a people-first company culture.

The Benefits of Implementing an Employer Value Proposition

Let’s take a closer look at a few of the benefits you can expect to see from implementing an EVP:

  • Employee engagement: An effective EVP that’s well aligned with your company’s goals and values can have a massive impact on employee engagement in the workplace. The key is to make sure your EVP rings true. If your employees feel it’s a good reflection of their lived experience, you’ll get their buy-in.
  • Attracting the top talent: A clear, well-defined EVP that clearly communicates your organization’s values to potential applicants will land well with top candidates. You’ll find that more of the right people start knocking on your door.
  • Increased transparency: When you state what your goals are, your feet will be held to the fire. But that’s a good thing. Laying out your values in your EVP puts you under pressure to live up to them. And that’s good news for everybody connected to your business.
  • Cost savings: It’s true! Retaining staff becomes much easier with a clearly defined value proposition. That’s because it helps set expectations so everyone knows where they stand.

What to Include in Your EVP Strategy

Hopefully, by now, you’re convinced an EVP is worth pursuing. But you may be wondering how to create an effective EVP strategy in practice. How do you go about nailing the best EVP for your business?

Before we go into detail on implementation, let’s first examine which factors should be feeding into your final proposition.


List out every aspect of the benefits package you offer your employees. Everything from the basic expectations, such as pensions and insurance, to any small perks should go on this list.

You might even consider introducing unusual benefits to help your organization stand out. Mars Petcare, for example, puts a pet-friendly ethos at the core of its brand identity. As a benefit, they offer each employee ten hours of so-called pawternity leave to help a new pet get used to its surroundings.

That special leave could be a dealmaker for the kinds of people who want to work in a pet-friendly environment. Could your organization offer something similar?


As a single scroll of job ads on LinkedIn will show, most businesses claim to offer “competitive” pay. But, of course, that word doesn’t really say much. In one way, that’s the point of using it: to leave space for negotiations about salary.

When it comes to your EVP, though, you need to align your claims with reality. If your organization is indeed paying above average for your sector, shout about it. Because let’s face it — it’s a strong point to include if it applies.

Company Culture

Unlike employee benefits and pay, company culture can be much harder to quantify. Sure, we might all recognize it can include things like encouraging cross-team collaboration and effective communication, but specific details can still be tricky to summarize.

For this part of your EVP research, you’ll need to deploy second-level EVP techniques. Simply put, you should get feedback from your employees. Send out short surveys where you suggest words that could describe your company culture, such as:

  • Innovative
  • Fast-moving
  • Collaborative
  • Goal-oriented
  • High-pressure
  • Inspirational
  • Uninspiring (yes, include some negative ones)

Then, ask your employees how many they think apply. You might be surprised by the answers.

Career Progression

Does your business have a clearly defined career progression path available to all employees? This can be difficult to do, particularly in smaller organizations where there may not be as much space for moving “sideways” to take on new challenges.

But if this is a part of your organization’s policy, it’s a great thing to mention in an EVP. Seeing a bright future for ourselves can be a critical factor in the decision to join — or remain at — a company.

Working Environment

We spend a lot of time at work, so the environment we operate in significantly impacts how we feel about being there. Again, take your cues from your current employees. The environment can look very different depending on how far up the hierarchy you are when you’re experiencing it.

For example, someone working as a supervisor in a factory is likely to have a very different take on the working environment than the head of HR. So, although you can describe it in general terms, one size does not fit all. Always try to include everyone’s perspectives.

How to Create an Employer Value Proposition

All right — let’s get to implementation. When writing your EVP, your goal should be to draw up a framework that encompasses every aspect of your offering. Here’s how to go about that.

Stage 1: Assess Where You Are

The first step is to establish your current offer. Go through all the facts about pay and benefits, then ask for opinions and suggestions from your current employees about aspects of your business, such as workplace culture and environment.

Stage 2: Decide Which Qualities You’re Looking for in New Hires

Knowing the type of workers you want to attract is half the battle. Rather than simply throwing lots of buzzwords into your EVP, keep it focused.

Are you looking for highly motivated people? Loyal people? Innovative people? Do you want to train new graduates to guide them according to your ethos, or do you want experienced professionals who can hit the ground running? Imagine your ideal employees and define their characteristics.

Stage 3: Match What You’re Offering to Your Ideal Employees

Now, drill down to unearth exactly what you can offer to the people you really want to hire. For instance, if you want ambitious people, highlight career progression opportunities. If you’re more about loyalty, focus on sharpening up and selling your benefits packages.

Stage 4: Put It Into Words

This is where you take all the information you have and try to crystallize it into a concise and powerful message. Your core EVP should say everything you want it to without being too long.

Consider how it will look in a recruitment ad or on your website. Get to the point quickly, and make it clear why top talent should consider you a terrific organization to work with.

Attract Top Talent with an Employer Value Proposition

Attracting the best people is all about communicating your core values to them. That means establishing what your organization stands for and expressing those values in a way that speaks to the people you hope will hear.

At Paylocity, we know how to help our clients prepare to reach out to top talent. Our compensation management platform makes it straightforward to manage decisions about pay awards while staying within budget. That means you spend less time worrying about salary negotiations and more time focusing on achieving your goals.

Got your attention? Request a demo today to learn more about how Paylocity can improve your talent management and payroll experience.

FAQs About Employer Value Propositions

What is the difference between employer brand and employee value proposition?

Employer branding is all about the face your business shows to the world. It’s what drives your brand recognition: tone of voice in communications, visual imagery, and corporate reputation.

EVPs overlap with this a bit when you’re looking for new talent, but they’re more about what you project internally to your own people.

How can organizations communicate their EVP to attract talent?

Your EVP should grow naturally out of your culture and branding, so making sure all your external communications align with it is a good start.

When you’re looking to attract new talent, your EVP should be the focus of the recruitment advertising. It’s what you’re offering to anyone who agrees to work with you, so make sure it takes center stage in your job descriptions.

How can an organization measure the success of its EVP?

Organizations can do this by tracking critical key performance indicators (KPIs) over time. For instance, monitoring employee satisfaction and turnover rates will give you a clue as to how content your staff are.

At the same time, review any metrics that relate to specific elements of your EVP, such as traffic to your company’s careers page and applicant-to-interview ratios.


Make Your First Impression Count 

An impactful employee experience begins before day one. Make data collection, tax paperwork, and direct deposit setup seamless so you can begin engaging your new employees immediately with our onboarding tool. Help make your new hire’s first day memorable in the best way possible with less process and more human connection.

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