Value propositions are everywhere in business. As a seller, you need to offer your customers good value for your money. Similarly, you expect potential employees to demonstrate their potential value to your brand during the hiring process through their education, resume, interview, and other materials.

On the other hand, companies often fail to consider the employer value proposition that they offer to candidates. Just as applicants need to appeal to you, you need to provide a great value that motivates them to work for your brand. In this article, we’ll look at the basics of an employer value proposition, and how you can use this concept to attract more top talent.

What Is an Employer Value Proposition?

In short, a value proposition could be any value that one person or business offers to another. If one highly skilled employee can do more than an average employee, that value proposition will motivate the employer to give them a higher salary or another valuable perk.

As a business, your employer value proposition encompasses everything you can offer your employees. That includes obvious factors like salary, health insurance, and paid time off, but it also covers less measurable elements such as company culture and the opportunity to work from home or set your own hours.

It boils down to:

  • Why should someone work for you?
  • What do you offer as an employer that no one else offers?
  • What value do you bring to your employees?

If you can hone that message, you can further cement your employer branding.

Should I have a Single Employer Value Proposition?

Keep in mind that an employer value proposition is closely related to the idea of opportunity cost. In other words, the value you can provide potential employees depends on what they could expect from other employers.

For example, let’s say you’re trying to fill an entry-level, low-salary position that has plenty of applicants and doesn’t require many qualifications. In that case, basic benefits like health insurance and two weeks of vacation may be enough to stand out from the other options those candidates are looking at.

That said, you’ll need to do much more to develop an employer value proposition if you want to attract top talent to high-impact positions that are critically important to the direction of your business. These candidates are used to having employers cater to their needs and put them in a position to fully leverage their skills.

With that in mind, it’s not enough to simply have one employer value proposition for your entire company. Instead, you should have a broad framework that can apply to the business as a whole, plus more specific value propositions that match the desires and tendencies associated with certain roles.

Learn more: 7 Employer Brand Examples to Inspire Your Campaigns

5 Elements of an Employer Value Proposition

Every situation is different, so we can’t tell you to use a specific employer value proposition in your own business. However, there are a few common elements that can make your employer brand stand out from competitors that are vying for the same talent pool.

1. Compensation

Naturally, employer value propositions start and end with compensation. Employees look for more than money, but you’ll always be working from a disadvantage if your job listings come with a lower salary than listings for similar roles at other companies.

Your goal should be to offer a competitive salary with every job you post. You shouldn’t have to rely on other aspects of your employer value proposition to make up for unimpressive salaries.

After all, employment itself is a form of commerce. An employee is exchanging their time for monetary compensation. How your potential employee values their time will shape what you’ll need to offer.

Pro Tip: Employees today are looking for salary transparency. If you can, listing the salary range for any given position at your company can help you weed out those who are incompatible with your company, and show potential candidates what a career with your company is worth. 

At the same time, you shouldn’t assume that you’re an appealing employer just because you pay slightly more than other companies. In fact, companies with great reputations can often attract the same talent for less money compared to companies that aren’t as good to work for.

2. Benefits

Along with the wage or salary itself, you also need to consider the secondary benefits and perks that you offer your employees. Again, the most important benefits to provide will vary widely depending on your business and the kinds of positions you’re looking to fill.

In the United States, health insurance is a crucial benefit for most full-time jobs. Since the US doesn’t offer any guaranteed leave, paid leave policies are also a great way to show that you care about your team’s work-life balance. Organizational 401(k) plans and match programs can supplement an employee’s base compensation and make it easier for them to save for retirement.

3. Work Environment

Of course, companies use a variety of other benefits to develop a unique culture and improve their employer brand. From ping pong tables and kegs in the break room to career guidance and tuition assistance, there’s a lot you can do to differentiate your company. Don’t be afraid to gather direct feedback from your current employees in order to find out what they’re missing.

Keep in mind that more and more employees are also looking for jobs that offer the flexibility of remote or hybrid work. In fact, a majority of workers report that they would start looking for a new job if their current position required them to come into the office.

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How to approach the question of remote work is a difficult question. In our rapidly changing environment, companies are constantly reviewing which positions truly demand in-person work and which can safely be left to hybrid or remote arrangements. While you shouldn’t necessarily make your entire workforce remote overnight, it’s important to remember that your remote work policies will have an effect on your image as an employer.

4. Career Opportunities

Employees work for you for the money and benefits, but they also take jobs in the hopes of furthering their own career goals. If you can show candidates that you’ll support their professional journeys, they’ll be more likely to choose a position at your company.

For example, startups with uncertain prospects and businesses with high turnover tend to have trouble bringing the best employees onboard. With respect to their career, candidates want to know two things:

  • Their job will be secure
  • They will have opportunities to develop their own careers

A job that’s guaranteed to be needed for ten years is much better than one that could become redundant in the next twelve months. Jobs that can help employees move toward high-level roles in the company are even more attractive.

One of the best ways to demonstrate your company’s career opportunities is to highlight employees who have progressed through the business in the past. Skilled, motivated workers don’t want to spend years and years working in the same position without any opportunities to advance.

If your position has opportunities for growth and development, let potential candidates know!

5. Common Goals and Values

Just as employees want to feel like they’re moving forward in their own careers, they also want to feel like they’re promoting causes and ideals they care about. Companies need to show employees that they’re working toward a common set of goals or values, rather than simply using workers to make a profit.

You can achieve common goals either through business operations or outside of work hours. An internal initiative could be as simple as reducing paper utilization in the workplace or buying from suppliers who use sustainable production practices.

Things like fundraisers, charity events, and awareness drives can help support that mission outside of work and build a better community within the organization.

Remember that achieving common goals is a two-way street between you and your team. You should give employees the opportunity to speak up about issues that matter to them, then show that their values will be recognized throughout the company.


Final Thoughts

As an employer, you’re constantly thinking about what potential employees can offer your business. At the same time, candidates are evaluating and comparing job postings based on the overall value they expect to receive from the company.

An employer value proposition includes all the elements listed above and more. As you continue to develop a stronger employer brand, you’ll find it easier and easier to attract and retain the top talent in your field.

One of the best ways to cement your employer value proposition and brand is through employee advocacy. Your employer value proposition is never stronger than when it’s shouted by those who currently work for you. Think about implementing an employee advocacy program as part of your core employer branding strategy.