Build Or Enhance Your EVP | A Guide For SMEs

As an SME, it can be hard to compete with larger businesses when hiring. Get tactics and example EVPs to build or enhance your own Employee Value Proposition.


When it comes to identifying and engaging new talent, it can be difficult for SMEs to compete with big businesses. Most of the time, you simply won’t have the same budget or resources available. So, take the time to think about what you can offer candidates. How do you do this? By developing a strong employee value proposition (EVP).

What is an EVP?
You’re probably familiar with the term CVP (Customer Value Proposition), so just think of an EVP as the same concept applied internally to your business. Your Employee Value Proposition brings together all the reasons why a candidate would choose to join – and stay in - your company over another one.

It’s becoming increasingly hard for businesses to obtain, much less retain, talented employees, with the average UK worker changing jobs every five years, according to LV. The idea of a ‘job for life’ seems to be much less popular among younger generations, with age playing the biggest factor in job lifespan. US data shows that employees aged 55 to 64 will on average stay in a job for 10.1 years – over three times more than workers aged 25 to 34, remaining 2.8 years on average. With faster staff turnover, strategies to attract and retain talent are becoming essential, with the benefits of retaining employees for even an extra year beyond the typical tenure making them worthwhile to implement.

More and more, candidates are favouring workplaces that offer work-life balance, flexible working arrangements, career progression opportunities and other benefits. Ask yourself: what makes my business stand out from others? From incentives and rewards, to culture, values and job design, developing your EVP enables you to really communicate what you offer as an employer.

Why do I need an EVP? Can’t I just pay an employee more?
Even if you were to have an investor with bottomless pockets, it takes more than a large pay packet to retain good talent. According to the 2019 Global Talent Trends Study, although employees do value a fair wage, factors like job security, flexible hours, professional development, meaningful work, and advancement opportunities are just as important.

The perceived value of non-financial benefits is also increasing; 54% of employees feel that managing their work-life balance is one of the top five things their company can do to help them thrive at work. This is up from 40% in 2018 and 26% in 2017.

Developing, articulating and implementing a strong EVP gives you the tools to enhance employee engagement within your business - which brings a host of benefits, not least for retention, absenteeism and customer service. So, enhancing your EVP should therefore not only increase existing staff satisfaction but also attract highly desirable candidates – now what are you waiting for?

What’s in an EVP?

Most EVPs are made up of five main pillars: compensation, career, benefits, culture and work environment. From the employee’s perspective, these components answer the question: ‘what’s in it for me?’. So you know what to assess in your own business when working on your EVP, here’s what typically makes up each one.


• Salary satisfaction
• Raises and promotions
• Timeliness
• Fairness

The compensation component encompasses employee’s satisfaction with salary and additional rewards like bonuses and promotions.


• Training
• Career development
• Stability
• Ability to progress
• Evaluation and feedback

The career component is constituted by the factors that affect an employee’s sense of career stability and the opportunities for career development, such as training, evaluation and feedback.


• Holidays
• Insurance
• Flexibility
• Family
• Retirement

The benefits component encompasses employees’ satisfaction with the overall benefits system, which can include paid time off (holidays and sick days), health and dental cover, retirement, tuition and disability benefits, and life insurance.


• Support
• Managers
• Leaders
• Trust
• Team spirit
• Understanding of the business’s goals and values

The culture component is made up by the factors which contribute to a great company culture. This includes positive relationships with managers, colleagues and company leaders, and alignment with the company’s goals and values.

Work environment

• Recognition
• Understanding of role and responsibilities
• Work-life balance
• Autonomy

The work environment component includes the factors that contribute to a positive work environment, from a healthy work-life balance, to recognition of personal achievements, and a clear understanding of the role and responsibilities.

Example EVPs

Not sure how to summarise your Employee Value Proposition? Here are some examples from businesses with clear and persuasive EVPs.

Goldman Sachs: “At Goldman Sachs, we think who you are makes you better at what you do.”

Goldman Sachs’ careers site encourages employees to ‘see yourself here’, featuring ‘Possibilities Stories’ which gives job seekers an insight into what can be achieved working at Goldman Sachs, from tacking global environmental issues to collaborations with non-profit organisations. They showcase attractive office locations and feature several current employees, to highlight the diverse career paths on offer.
Yelp: “Start living your five-star career at Yelp”

Yelp use their careers page to highlight company perks (such as a fully stocked kitchen) and the ‘five-star career’ they offer, from their benefits to offices. Their careers site introduces their company values, along with their commitment to diversity and inclusiveness – Yelp evidences their own performance in these areas.
PwC: “From empowering mentorships to customized coaching, PwC provides you with the support you need to help you develop your career. You’ll work with people from diverse backgrounds and industries to solve important problems. Are you ready to grow?”

Careers at PwC are brought to life for job seekers through featured jobs, a career matching tool, and detailed content on their various career paths – from student jobs, to graduate vacancies and opportunities for experienced professionals. PwC provides prospective employees with an idea of the kinds of people they’d work with, and highlights how the company caters for employees’ long-term career needs.

HubSpot: “We’re building a company people love. A company that will stand the test of time. So we invest in our people, and optimize for your long term happiness.”

HubSpot is a company that understands employer branding, and their careers page does a lot to highlight its individual employees through video testimonials and ‘a day in the life’ content for each team, from Marketing to Customer Success. HubSpot’s engaging, people-based careers content reflects their EVP and highlights creativity, innovation and fun.

Next steps

Feeling inspired? Once you’ve created your EVP, it is time to communicate it across your business, and highlight to potential new hires exactly what your company can offer them - and what sets you apart from other employers.

From the hiring process, to onboarding and career development, read our guide for SMEs on how to implement your EVP throughout your business.

Adecco can help put the right people on your team and give you the support and resources you need to keep them there. To learn more, contact us today

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