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Compete for top IT candidates with a winning Employee Value Proposition

February 16, 2015 | By Lisa Dare, TEKsystems Digital Content Strategist

two professionals sitting across from each other at a table and laughing

Competing in a crowded field

Picture this: You're a job seeker with in-demand skills perusing hundreds of openings in your field. Do you decide which positions to apply for based solely on advertised rates (often not provided) or commuting distance? Or, as a candidate with options, do you want to find a company that matches your interests, cultural affinities and career aspirations?

Marketable candidates—who have the luxury of choosing from many potential employers—want to see details about the companies and jobs advertising. But generic job descriptions, or calls from recruiters without much information, make it difficult to understand why they should pursue certain positions. This is where your Employee Value Proposition (EVP) comes in. But how’s this for a shocking fact? Of the IT leaders TEKsystems polled, only 8 percent strongly agree their company has an effective Employee Value Proposition. 

Being able to clearly describe the ideal employee—and why a job seeker would want to work for your team and your company—is the first step to becoming an attractive employment option.

So what does an effective Employee Value Proposition include?

  • An accurate account of what makes your company unique.  Different companies have different personalities. That’s OK, because different employees prefer different workplace styles. 
  • Career details beyond technical tasks. Job seekers want to know more than what percentage of their day they’ll spend on various tasks. Include details about whom they’ll interact with and how their work will contribute to company success.
  • Candidate success traits. Job seekers who identify with the successful person you describe will be more likely to apply. If your company nurtures young talent with potential, loves nonconformists or rewards the reliable folks who work hard every day, say so. 
  • Opportunities for career growth. What is the typical career path? How might the position change and take on increased responsibility? Are there opportunities to customize the role to the job seeker’s interests and talents?
  • Benefits. Sure, potential candidates need to know if you offer health insurance. But bucket the standard info together so you can highlight the places your company stands out: Do you offer work-from-home days (a big plus for many IT pros), rewards like extra vacation time for superior performance, or Friday afternoon barbecues in the summer? These unique perks help paint a pleasant picture of what office life is like, so use this section to show a little personality.  

How can you create an EVP that bests the labor competition?

Just knowing why your company is great won’t get you the top candidates—you have to know what the competition is offering. Your top candidates still want competitive compensation and benefits. Without an accurate gauge of what competitors offer, you’ll struggle to offer a rate that’s neither too high nor too low. You also don’t want to find out that your competition offers half-day Fridays in the summer when you’re bragging about free sodas.

Getting the most value for what you offer

So how do you find out which perks and job attributes potential employees really care about? And how do you keep tabs on the competition? Here's a start: our polling of  IT professionals uncovered some of their top motivations:

  • Opportunities for career development: 81 percent said this is their top priority
  • Compensation
  • Work-life balance
  • Reducing work-related stress (for junior- and mid-level candidates)
  • Cutting-edge work

This general profile might get you started but bear in mind that different roles and different markets vary widely. Do you know who’s hiring in your market? What they’re paying? Workforce trends like retiring and graduating workers or general supply and demand?

To understand your market, you can try networking with the types of IT pros you recruit via user groups or social media. Also keep tabs on your competitors’ job listings but think big: your competitors aren't just your industry peers, but anyone looking for the same roles you are.

If you work with a TEKsystems recruiter or account manager, they can keep you abreast of local market dynamics—they have the support of our robust research division, which provides extensive local market analytics, and they also talk to IT pros all day, every day.

Read how to incorporate your EVP into an effective IT job description. 

Lisa Dare is a marketing writer for TEKsystems who enjoys learning about IT from some of the smartest folks in tech. She frequently blogs about IT career advice and the lighter side of technology, and on her off days loves to kayak and play with her toddler son.

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