What Is Your Employee Value Proposition?

Posted by Design & Construct on 16-Oct-2013 14:04:10

In Architecture, Construction, Engineering

What Is Your Employee Value Proposition?


Finding the right employee requires an understanding of your company values.

When business consultants are hired to help increase sales they often start with the fundamentals.

With the business leaders, the consultant will explore what makes the business unique. They'll research the target customer and figure out an offer that will turn a target customer into a long-term client.

By starting with the basics the business has a chance to reset and refocus. The process allows the business to figure out its customer value proposition.

The value proposition is a clear offer to customers so they choose one business over another.

In recruiting, there is a value proposition too. It's called the Employee Value Proposition.


Overview: Employee Value Proposition

Compensation is an important part of the employee value proposition, but compensation is not the only factor potential employees consider when choosing where to work.

In today's world, the best employees have options of where to work. There is a lack of talent for many positions including the design and construction industry. In response, employers are creating employee value propositions so they can make a better offer to the best prospects.

An employee value proposition consists of the following:

  • Compensation
  • Benefits (Perquisites)
  • Development
  • Culture
  • Location
  • Opportunity
  • Etc.

Each of these factors has a role in determining if your target prospect will choose your company over another. Your value proposition needs to be unique and focused on your specific target employee.

Here's how you can create your employee value proposition.


Assess Company Values

In our experience, the most important element for hiring long-term employees is to hire those that share the same core values as the company.

You'll often read about the importance of company culture in industry publications and while it may seem cliché, the trust is that culture plays an important part in success. When the people you have working for you are motivated by the same reasons everyone works together for the success of the company.

To start work on your employee value proposition you want to begin with your company values. You might already have these documented.

If not, work with your senior staff to determine the values that have naturally surfaced over the years you've been in business.

For most, values often revolve not only around making money, but also around community and family. Maybe the culture dictates that customer service is more important than price or that quality relationships are more important that product quality.

Determine your specific company values. Document them for future reference in all hiring. These values will help you filter candidates, which will save you time during the hiring process.


Identify Target Candidate

The next step is to identify your ideal candidate. At this stage it's more about the type of person you want on your team rather than a specific person for a specific position.

Use your company values to make a clear definition of the person you want on your team. Every candidate will be different, but having your ideal target candidate in mind will help you hone in on the person that will be the best fit for your company.

It helps to list company values in priority order. This way you know the most important requirements for your ideal candidate. If you place a high value on someone that focuses on settling down and raising a family in your community then you know to look for someone that fits this profile.

If your company values people that are inquisitive and driven to improve you'll know to place higher importance on these characteristics when filtering candidates. If they don't meet all the lower priority requirements you can still feel confident they will be a good fit because they share your most important company values.

The target candidate process will improve your employee search. It's not about finding the perfect employee, but finding the best employee for your company. It's like a bull's-eye in a game of darts.

If you aim for the center and miss even by a little bit you'll still score well.


Survey Current Employees

If you start getting stuck on defining your employee value proposition we always recommend speaking with your current employees.

Designate those you would consider your current ideal employees. These are probably the people that come to work on time every day, always go beyond expectations and always treat others with respect.

Talk to these employees about what they value most about your company. You might be surprised by their answers.

They might appreciate the salary, but even more than that they might appreciate a particular benefit such as a matching retirement benefit or a scheduling flexibility benefit that allows them to spend ample time with their family.

By speaking with your current employees you get their feedback, in their own words, about what they value most about your company.

You can take these words and create your employee value proposition. The offer will speak directly to your ideal candidates. They'll feel like your addressing exactly what they're looking for from an employer and they'll be more likely to choose your company over the competition.

As you go through the hiring process you could speak to candidates about what they are looking for from your company. There will be insights you won't get from internal research.


Format Most Important Elements of Your Value Proposition

As you gain a complete understanding of what your ideal candidates seek from their employment you can outline and format your employee value proposition.

Each value proposition will be different, but you'll want to address the company history and what your expectations are for the future.

Company History and Vision

For example, some people value stability and consistency. These people want to see slow, steady growth with little change in the way you operate. This gives them peace of mind and it's under this circumstance that they will perform their best.

On the other hand, some will want to work for a company that is a startup, but is showing a path of fast growth. This exciting situation will attract a specific type of employee that will feel driven to be part of something that will make a difference in the world.


We've already discussed that some people place a high value on the family aspect some companies provide. If this is part of your existing culture you'll want to speak with your candidates about their plans for the future. You can ask directly about family plans, but you can ask them to share stories about what they like to do in their off time and how they see themselves living in the future.

Their stories will let you know if they're a good fit for your culture. It's not only for your benefit, but for theirs as well. When you find the ideal candidate you can feel comfortable that the relationship has a great chance of lasting for a long time, which is great for both parties.


The benefits you can offer are often more important than the compensation. It's often difficult for some companies to offer market value compensation, but by offering various benefits the offer can become more appealing than a company that offers a higher salary.

For example, if you offer a four-day workweek or extended time off for family births, deaths or other extreme circumstances you'll find yourself attracting the type of person that fits your culture.

You can even go so far to say, “Unlike our competitors, our compensation has seen steady growth over the last twenty years. Our employees received extended time off for maternity leave and our retirement matching has been at the top of the industry standard for decades.”

Determine the priority of your offer and format your employee value proposition so the most important items are at the top. This will give you the best chance to attract the exact employee you want for your company.


Determine Appropriate Compensation

Finally, once you have your value proposition laid out you can get to the appropriate compensation.

That's right. The compensation actually comes last in the process.

The reason for handling compensation last is that by the time you finish your value proposition and offer to future employees you'll find that it has more value to offer than your competition. This could allow you to offer less than market wages because the total value of your offer will still far outweigh the competition.

The entire process is about finding the right balance. You don't want to offer compensation that is too little, but you want to make sure your offer is viable for your company.

After all, it's in the best interest of everyone at your company that you continue operating at a profit so you can fuel future growth and continue compensating the entire team.



The employee value proposition exercise is something every business can implement as a way to improve the hiring process.

If you've been struggling to find the ideal employee at your business it could be because you don't have a process for finding the right people for each position. It could also be because you're hiring people that don't share the same values as your company.

By going through the steps outlined above you'll gain an understanding of your company, your employees and the ideal people you want to bring on board in the future.

If you would like to learn more about the hiring process view our services. We help the biggest companies in the design and construction industries find the perfect employees.