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Creating an Employee Value Proposition Aligned with Business Strategy

Organisations need to ensure their
EVP and employer brand align with
business strategy

I am currently in the process of organising my 9 year-old son’s birthday party and it has occurred to me that there are a number of similarities to developing employment branding.

Minchington (2005) reminds us that an Employee Value Proposition (EVP) must be “unique, relevant and compelling if it is to act as a key driver of talent attraction, engagement and retention.” These three elements along with the need to align with business strategy are vital for a successful EVP.

Perhaps what it means to “create an EVP” needs further explanation. An Employee Value Proposition cannot be constructed, it must be discovered. It is the authentic essence of an organisation, however, it is influenced by strategic action, like the idea of the “self-fulfilling prophesy” cliché. Organisations shouldn’t just let their EVP happen, actions need to influence it and articulation of the employer brand needs to be aligned with business strategy.

So back to the birthday party and how it relates to the elements of an Employee Value Proposition:

Unique and Relevant

My son thought long and hard about the theme for his party. He wanted it to be different, memorable and fresh. A party with games, a cake and drinks was expected; it needed a unique twist. It also needed to be relevant to his cohorts and have credibility on the playground. We decided that Nerf guns would be the perfect solution because they’re currently all the rage among boys his age, no one else had exploited this as a theme and it’s feasible.

Similarly, businesses need to determine what is unique about their organisation whilst ensuring the message is still relevant to the target market. This can only be done with research. Not only is internal research (e.g. engagement surveys) vital to ensure actions can be taken to address and modify issues for existing employees, but external research (e.g. polls, focus groups of target candidates or the values question in an interview) is also critical to determine how to best utilize marketing efforts.

Compelling Yet Authentic

The EVP message needs to be compelling while still maintaining authenticity. The introduction of employer social media sites, such as http://www.glassdoor.com, where a branding message can simultaneously be promoted and disproved at any given moment makes this point even more important. The employer brand needs to be so compelling that it calls potential employees to action (talent attraction) and once they join, ensures they are satisfied (talent retention) and ideally compels them to want to promote the organisation (brand ambassadors).

Telling a group of 4th grade boys that the food will be prepared from scratch may not bring forth enthusiasm. However, advising them that there will be Nerf guns supplied at the party will get their attention (attraction) and once they arrive, in giving them the Nerf guns and an area to use them we are ensuring they will stay (retention) and share how great the party was (promotion).

Aligned with Business Strategy

The EVP message needs to be aligned with the organisation’s business strategies. It should be authentic with a hint of aspiration. For example, if the organisation has a strong focus on family but it is still working on improving work-life balance, then that precise message needs to be communicated by stating, “We are a company that is aspiring to further support family values and therefore, we have recently introduced new policies to enhance work-life balance”.  Although "having fun" is a much simpler goal ,  planning a child’s birthday party is still similar.

When planning an employment brand strategy it is important to be sure the EVP is differentiated yet relevant and compelling while highly authentic yet aligned with the business strategy. In remembering each of these components, your organisation will be well on its way to achieving “a place to be” image among those you are looking to recruit.

Learn how Hudson RPO can help align value proposition and business strategy.  Contact us today.

 
 
 

Four Strategies for Recruiting Top Accounting Talent

Understanding what motivates candidates
is key for accounting recruitment

If there are any lessons to be learned since the Arthur Anderson/Enron/Worldcom implosion in October of 2001 and the recent economic downturn, it’s that highly skilled and knowledgeable auditors are important assets in business. Global companies scramble for these bean counters with CPA’s from top public accounting firms and the fight for talent grows fiercer with each new recruitment class. As business continues to become more global and governments struggle with trying to find common ground on uniform accounting standards, the question becomes how do organizations seek and secure top public accounting firm talent when these individuals already have established, challenging and growing careers in highly regarded positions?

Organizations are trying to be proactive and aggressively seek out these highly-qualified individuals. These types of candidates are not necessarily motivated by money. Understanding what drives this caliber of candidate is key when presenting opportunities that make sense to them and to garner their enthusiasm. Here are four sourcing strategies to consider when recruiting accounting talent:

  1. Understand the candidate’s motivators : Audit professionals work long hours, especially during busy season. A great salary and bonus are a great compensation for the personal sacrifice, but a better work-life balance and challenging work are significant factors that can provide incentive for a move.
  2. Sell your opportunity : Once you understand your candidate’s drivers for a move, sell the role to fill that need. Many auditors are drawn to their positions for the challenge and for the continuous learning it provides. Explain how your organization will help foster their career growth, optimize their potential, and ultimately get them excited about the opportunity.
  3. Make the recruitment process painless : Be direct, honest and as efficient as possible. Most auditors have several clients that they serve and they don’t have time to waste with untimely feedback and communication gaps. Keeping the recruitment process efficient and on schedule helps the candidate have confidence in the organization’s professionalism. If they have a good experience, this increases the chance they will refer some of their colleagues and friends.
  4. Grow your sourcing pool : Top auditors don’t post their resumes online. They don’t have to seek opportunities because opportunities come to them. Online resources, such as LinkedIn and efinancial, are a great tool for finding candidate profiles but be sure to take a look beyond that to discover new talent. Keep in mind that the majority of strong public accounting talent has their CPA license. Networking with local accounting associations and school alumni boards is a great way to make candidates aware of your organization’s presence and talent needs.

There will always be competition for great talent in the accounting industry, but by understanding how to sell your opportunity and where to increase your candidate pipeline, you will be better equipped to keep you organization competitive and relevant.

Learn how Hudson RPO can help you recruit the top accounting talent.  Contact us today.

 
 
 

How to Manage High-Volume Recruitment Periods

Knowing how to manage fluctuating
recruitment trends can distinguish
an average staffing professional
from a great one

Anyone who’s worked in Human Resources, Recruiting and Talent Acquisition or as a Hiring Manager for several business cycles knows there are times when your open requisition list surges and other times where you may have great candidates with no roles for them to step into. Knowing how to manage these highs and lows can set average hiring professionals apart from great ones.

Hiring peaks can be cyclical. For example, hiring ramps up for many companies at this time of year as the New Year brings new budgets and managers suddenly face a long list of approved open positions. High-volume recruiting periods can also be business-driven, such as: a media agency wins a new account and needs to quickly staff a large team from Assistant Media Planners to Digital Directors; a pharmaceutical company receives FDA approval to launch a new product line, creating fast demand for experienced sales representatives; a consumer product company moves a manufacturing facility and can migrate staff but also will need to find talent in the new geography. Where to start?

  • Remember those great candidates you couldn’t find a spot for last year? Don’t lose out on them. They’ve already been vetted so that is a great place to start when new positions open up. Keep in touch by connecting on social networks like LinkedIn, Twitter or Google+. A well-functioning Applicant Tracking System (ATS) or CRM is crucial for staying on top of your talent pool.
  • Social media is the quickest way to get the word out. To save time, utilize a tool such as Hootsuite to cross-post to various social media outlets.
  • Open web sourcing or Boolean searches can help uncover passive candidates that others may not be able to find.
  • Jumpstart employee referrals by highlighting ‘hot’ positions and offering a limited-time referral bonus if budget allows. Employee referrals are one of the most effective sources of quality hires.
  • Great candidates can refer other great candidates – don’t limit your networking efforts to current employees.
  • Spend time developing an efficient and effective screening and assessment process.
  • Bring in experts to handle the high-volume recruiting period. For short term project based initiatives, manage the spike without adding overhead with an outsourced recruitment projects solution.
  • Establish and execute a project plan so that internal and external resources know what is happening and when. Valuable time (and candidates) can be lost if a Hiring Manager takes a vacation in the middle of the hiring period and there is any ambiguity.

Be better prepared for a high-volume hiring period by taking advantage of slower hiring periods. If there is a lull around holidays, summer vacations or end-of-year budgeting, use this time to:

  • Re-energize employer branding efforts to keep the company at the forefront of prospective hires’ minds.
  • Build your talent pipeline by uncovering hard-to-find, passive candidates - doing so affords you a crucial competitive edge. Active job-seekers are likely to be in front of your competitors already.
  • Focus on professional development. Take an HR training course or research new technology like Facebook’s new Graph Search. A recently released report showed that 98% of recruiters surveyed used social media for recruiting in 2012. Don’t fall behind the curve!

Through reporting and analysis we can uncover trends in hiring volumes each year and build that into resource planning, this way the ‘hiring peak’ becomes the norm and we are better prepared for it.

Learn how Hudson RPO can help you manage high volume recruitment periods.  Contact us today.

 
 
 

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Hudson is a global talent solutions company. We help transform the workplace and unleash the full potential of organizations and individuals. Our expert team and proprietary tools provide you with unique insights and services that help you maximize your success. Across 20 countries, we deliver a range of recruitment, talent management and recruitment process outsourcing solutions to get you and your business where you want to be.