6 Practical Tips For Scaleups To Create A Killer EVP

As a business moves from startup to scaleup, it can be an exciting – yet chaotic – time. It’s a sign that an organisation has proven its business model and viability, and is attractive to investors and consumers. However, the scaleup phase is also typically the quickest and most significant stage of growth, and one that can bring the most challenges. When a company expands quickly, it also needs to grow its internal team in order to adapt – but without the right people on board, progress can easily stall. That’s why having the right talent attraction and retention strategies in place is vital.

What is an EVP (employer value proposition)? 

An EVP is the fundamental base on which all other aspects of talent attraction are built, and is a central message encompassing everything that’s great about your brand. At its most basic level, it answers two fundamental questions: what a candidate can expect of your company, and what your company expects of a candidate. It’s the unique set of benefits an employee receives in return for the skills, capabilities, and experience they bring to your company. It encompasses not only tangible things like salary, benefits, and perks, but also more abstract things like values and aspirations. In this post, we’ll lay out some step-by-step guidelines for scaleups to develop an EVP that will put them on the road to long-term success. 

  • Define your employee persona

As a startup, it’s likely that recruitment was a challenge. Now your business is moving into the scaleup phase, it’ll likely be a lot easier to attract talent, so you can afford to think a bit more specifically about the types of employees you want. Detail the experience, personality, skills, knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours that will help drive your company towards its strategic vision. Bear in mind that your wish list will probably look different depending on the type of role and level of seniority, so you might want to tackle this in different segments. 

  • Start gathering data

By now, you’ll likely have a sizeable group of employees from whom you can gather valuable information about what’s working, and what isn’t – and that you’ll have experienced a few bumps in the road. It’s vital that you’re open to criticism, so the key here is to make it clear you’re after total honesty. For this reason, anonymous surveys can be helpful. Ask your current employees:

  • What attracted you to work here?
  • How has the experience lives up to your expectations?
  • What do you find most rewarding about working here?
  • What do you find most challenging?
  • What do you feel we could improve on?

This will be a great opportunity to find out what’s working, and what isn’t. For example, let’s say your employee survey highlighted great internal training for senior staff – but your junior employees felt it was lacking. That suggests you’re doing career progression right sometimes, but not always – so this is a major area to strengthen if it will form a key part of your EVP. 

  • Establish some baseline metrics

You won’t know if your EVP is working unless you know what level you’re starting from. That’s why I always recommend documenting some baseline metrics that you can measure against in the future. Knowing exactly what to document can be tricky, which is one of the reasons it’s much easier to work on these types of projects with a trusted recruitment organisation. However, as a starting point, we’d recommend outlining: 

  • Absenteeism rate (average number of employees x missed workdays) ÷ (average number of employees x total workdays)
  • Staff turnover (number of employees who leave ÷ total number of employees)
  • Average cost per hire (total recruitment costs ÷ number of people hired in the same period)
  • Average rejection rate (number of offers made and rejected  ÷ total number of offers made)
  • Average applicant volume (average number of applicants per vacancy)
  • Average time to hire (amount of time it takes to fill an open position)
  • Draft your EVP

Don’t panic – it doesn’t need to be War and Peace. Instead, it should be clear and concise, synthesising what your current employees value most along with additional workplace changes you intend to offer. It also needs to reflect your organisation’s vision, goals and mission. But remember – keep it realistic. If you overpromise and underdeliver, this will only harm your retention rate. 

  • Align your current practices

Check your staff and HR handbook along with any public communications about your workplace to discover what changes you need to make in order for everything to align with your new EVP. You also might need to make some practical changes. For example, if employees stated they want to work more flexibly, you’ll need to consider how you’ll make that happen. 

  • Communicate your EVP

Of course, you’ll need to communicate your new and exciting EVP to your existing employees, and make sure everyone’s on board. You’ll also need to communicate this to potential new recruits. We’d always recommend including these details in your organisation’s website’s careers section, as well as giving it some hype on your social channels. And remember, your EVP should be a dynamic document that can be amended and improved as time goes on. 

In conclusion

For scaleups, establishing an exciting, inspirational and practical EVP is vital. There’s a saying in recruitment that an organisation is only as good as its worst employee, and in our experience, that’s always held true. Although scaleups will already be enjoying an admirable degree of success, having the right team on board is vital in order to maintain that momentum, and move seamlessly into the next phase of growth. 

For more information about how GR4 can support your startup hiring process, you can download our ultimate startup recruitment guide here. It entails everything from why startups fail, to how recruitment agencies like GR4 can help you make your startup hiring strategy a success. 

At GR4, we’ve plenty of opportunities within Europe’s thriving startup scene. You can search all our positions here, or get in touch with a member of our specialist team for a confidential discussion.  

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