Why Should Top Candidates Want to Work for Your Company?

As the economic freeze continues to thaw, it is likely that more of your competitors’ A-players have become job seekers or will consider making a move.

When these potential candidates are determining which opportunities to pursue, why should they choose one with your company? Top potential candidates want to know what your company will do for them, and it’s likely they need this information before they even apply to your open position.

So, ask yourself: Why would a candidate want to work for your company?

If you can’t come up with a good answer, don’t expect to convince A-list candidates to accept your job offer. If those candidates have several options, they’ll want to know your company’s aspirations and strategy, along with the rewards they’ll receive for their work performance.

In other words, those candidates need to be pitched on your company’s employee value proposition (also known as the EVP). If you don’t have one already, now is a great time to make one. It will help you put together job descriptions that speak directly to the candidates you’re trying to attract and, within the interview process, allow you to communicate the benefits of working for your company.

According to the Recruiters Network, the EVP is simply defined as a measurement of the rewards, incentives, or opportunity that an employee “gets” relative to what they “give” to the company. A true employee value proposition will create a “get” quotient that is equal to or exceeding what they “give.” If an all-star candidate can’t see themselves being rewarded (and rewards are not always money) for the hard work they give, they’ll likely look somewhere else.

Like a brand’s value proposition, the EVP has to differentiate the position and your company from its competitors. Just as important, organizational development expert Sally Bibb says that the EVP must reflect the company’s reality. If it doesn’t paint an accurate picture, you’ll end up with unhappy employees and a scarred reputation.

But if you do it right, research done by the Corporate Leadership Council suggests that a well-designed employee value proposition can:

  • Allow companies to tap more deeply into the labor market and align more specifically with candidates they want to hire.
  • Improve the commitment of new hires by 29%.
  • Reduce new hire compensation packages by as much as 50% (a more attractive EVP can mean a potential employee needing less to convince them to come aboard).
  • Increase employee advocation for the company by 24%.

It’s important to note that the employee value proposition can vary greatly between core positions within your company. You wouldn’t, for example, advertise the same employee value proposition for a sales executive and a marketing analyst. It may differ even more specifically within disciplines (think inside and outside sales).

As a rule of thumb, be sure to compile an employee value proposition that is geared to the role you’re recruiting. That’s even more important when you’re going after A-list talent. Here are five questions to ask yourself when crafting an EVP:

Why do I like working for the company?

Employees like working for their companies for a lot of different reasons. Some examples to consider include the work content (variety, challenge, autonomy, feedback), career advantages (advancement opportunity, training, personal growth), affiliation (company commitment, work raise eligibility), and benefits (health, retirement, recognition).

You may want to add more to this list depending on the position. And, conversely, some of the ones above may not always apply. Regardless, they should get you thinking about why you like where you work and why someone else might, too.

What do my colleagues like about working for the company?

This question not only provides you valuable insight into why other employees enjoy working for your company, but it also helps those employees consider the rewards of their job and, in turn, preach them within their own networks. If you need testimonials during the hiring process, your own employees might be your biggest cheerleaders.

What are the company’s aspirations?

Identifying your company’s aspirations (its mission, vision, and values) in a job description, on your website, and in interviews will help candidates understand the goals of your company and whether they align with them. If you can get a candidate excited about what you do and where you plan on going, it will help your cause greatly.

What is the company’s strategy for the future?

This question is particularly important for startup and expansion stage companies. Candidates will want to know what your business growth strategies are for scaling and growing the company in the next sixth months, year, two years, and so on. If they’re going to commit to the company, they’ll want to see that the business is committed (and planning) for the long run.

Will the person in this role have the ability to make an impact on the company?

This is an absolutely crucial question to ask yourself. If you’re trying to hire true A-players, they’ll be interested in having their hands involved on the development and molding of the business. Don’t wait for them to ask this question in an interview. Tell them how they can make an impact and why their role will help take the company to the next level. If they believe that they can be influential in the company’s success and growth, that might give you a step up on other companies competing for their talent.

With each of those questions answered, you’ll have far greater clarity on the actual value you can present to the top level talent you’re trying to attract.

Once you compile the employee value proposition, you should share it with colleagues to get their input. You may also want publish the final employee value proposition on the Careers section of your website. At a minimum, it should be referred to whenever you create a job description or as a refresher whenever anyone in your company is interviewing potential candidates.

Remember, this is your chance to sell the company and the position to a potential candidate. If your company looks exactly the same as the half dozen others trying to recruit them, you may not stand as good of a chance of hiring them.

However, if you can clearly communicate why the best candidates should join your company, it’s far more likely that they’ll do just that.

Diana Martz
Diana Martz
VP, Human Capital

Diana Martz is Vice President, Human Capital atTA Associates. She was previously the Director of Talent at OpenView.
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