What is your Employee Value Proposition

  • Reading time:6 mins read

It’s the same the world over. Within the next 10 to 20 years there will be more people leaving the labour market than joining. From the forecast by United Nations, Thailand will face this dilemma in 2025, only 15 years from now. In fact, though Thailand still enjoys a positive net growth (more people entering than leaving the job market), the decline has already started years ago. I’m afraid it’s going only one way: down and down. The stats also predict that South Korea is due for a contraction in 2015 and Indonesia by 2035.

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But first on the line is China. Already in 6 years, 2016, China will experience a negative net growth in working age population (15-64) entering the job market. Singapore is right behind and the contraction in working age population begins 2017, a decline that started in Singapore only last year.

With the prospect of fewer young Thai people in the labour market it means an increasing aging population. That in turn means a shortage of workers who can support a growing number of retirees. We all know how that will affect economic productivity and also strain the social security and pension systems. Forecasters predict that in Japan the labor force will decrease from 68 million down to 46 million, Italy’s from 23 to 14 million and in Germany the labor market goes from 41 million to 28 million by 2050. Interestingly when looking at figures for Japan, their contraction has been real for the last 16 years. You can only speculate how much this demographic is linked to the economic troubles seen in Japan for many years.

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Stop here for a moment – but don’t shoot the messenger now. If you think the war for talent is already in your face everyday, you ain’t seen nothing yet. It’s time ladies and gentlemen to act smarter than the other company on the other side of the street. Introducing the Employee Value Proposition!

Apple, Google, Starbucks and another 50 global brands might not find it very difficult to attract and convince candidates to join their organizations. They have such strong name recognition that it’s more seller’s market than buyer’s market. But the rest of us do not have that luxury of such high public visibility.

Your marketing efforts should no longer be focused on your customers and clients, but more so on your potential employees. You must define your Employee Value Proposition (EVP). It must clearly describe real needs and clarify job expectations. Here are some questions that will help you on the way. They must be answered before you start any sourcing of new staff.

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And let me warn you, it will take you the same amount of time, energy, and analysis to make your EVP that you put into your annual business plan and budget. There is no way you can develop the EVP between coffee breaks.

  • Why would someone who is good at this type of work want this particular job?
  • Why should anyone come and work for you?
  • What does this job offer that is unique or makes it most attractive to a potential candidate?
  • Why is doing this job at your company better than doing the same job at a competitor?
  • Why do people come to work at your company and why do they stay? Is it leading edge technology? Fast growth? Industry reputation? Work/life balance? How does it differentiate you from your primary competitors?
  • What is your competitive compensation and benefits plan? 12 or 13 months guaranteed pay, sign-on bonus, performance incentive, company car, medical cover, provident fund, for employee or for family too? Flex time, free parking at the office building?

You must take into consideration what we call Generations at Work. Are you typically employing new staff below 30 years of age? That’s Generation Y and these youngsters have a mind of their own. They may come to work in Steve Madden platform shoes or flip flops, listen to the iPod while working, they want instant gratification and become MD and millionaire before the age of 31. The Employee Value Proposition must reflect the core group you target as your next employees. Babyboomers and even Gen X are different than the Y’s. Waiting in the corridor we even have Gen I (for Internet). You can never rest.

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Once you have the EVP in place you can move to describing the 2 – 3 major work challenges to be faced by the candidate in the position? You must define 6 – 8 deliverables i.e. steps required for on-the-job success. In other words, what must the person in this job need to do to be considered extremely successful in this job? Done properly you will have a list of six to eight things the person needs to do over the course of a year that defines great on-the-job performance. Your answer should not describe personal attributes like skills, experience, education or traits.

Remember that applicants or candidates are a perishable commodity. It is the only “product” I know that can speak. They can say no to being “sold” to your organization. The better ones are quickly turned off by unresponsiveness which is interpreted as a lack of initiative or seriousness. Resumes may look like a pile of paperwork on your desk but they really are not. If you don’t act with a sense of urgency and are prepared with an intelligent EVP when meeting future employees the contraction in the labour force will hit you hard and before your competitor.1470_equal_red

Tom Sorensen

Tom Sorensen is an executive search veteran with over 25 years of experience recruiting in Asia, Europe, and Africa. He has worked in executive search in Thailand since 2003 and is recognized as one of the country’s top recruiters and most profiled headhunters.