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Why Do You Need A Candidate Value Proposition?

Why Do You Need A Candidate Value Proposition?
Learn why a CVP is so important to a successful employer brand.

A Candidate Value Proposition (CVP), AKA Employee Value Proposition, is the foundation of your employer branding. It is the term that characterises your offer to your employees in return for their work. Nicely explained by smarp, the definition of the CVP is:

“Employee Value Proposition is an ecosystem of support, recognition, and values that an employer provides to employees to achieve their highest potential at work.”

Not just related to finances; research firm Gartner say there are five fundamental parts to a CVP:

  • Rewards
  • Opportunity
  • Organisation
  • People
  • Work

The CVP can be a statement, term or even as little as 3 words but the message it conveys should match your organisation’s values and mission. The CVP is almost like a promise that attracts candidates to apply to your company, and then your values and mission fulfil that promise by giving the candidate a great experience as an employee. Overall, this builds your employer brand and, as we’ve previously looked at, when candidates expectations are met as employees, they tend to stay longer, be more productive and have a greater positive impact on the organisation.

Of course, things would be much simpler if the CVP was just a few words, but they need to be backed up by the actual employee experience. You might have an amazing sounding CVP but if your retention is low and your exit interviewees are saying that working there isn’t what they expected, then your CVP isn’t living up to the promise made.

The CVP can help you look at the employee experience as a whole and expand your perceptions of what that experience should consist of. For example; rewards doesn’t just refer to salary, but could be extra annual leave days, awards, gym memberships or education support.

Gartner list four key elements to include when building a strong CVP:

  • Appeal
  • Authenticity
  • Relevance
  • Differentiation

Let’s look at one of these in more detail; appeal. Your CVP needs to be aligned with the current labour preferences. This means understanding the audience you’re trying to attract, aka candidate persona’s which we’ll look at next week. For example, jobseekers from different generations have different aspirations. Younger generations seem to be preferring professional development through variety and feedback on results. The older generations seem to prefer promotions influenced by loyalty to a company and amount of effort put it, as well as being more focussed on financial compensation.

In the CVP diagram below, the right side circle is your candidate. They have aspirations and desires for their job or career. They also experience pains when looking and applying for jobs, and gains, or positive experiences during the application process too.


For example;

Potential Employee is very good at their job, looking for something more challenging and one of their aspirations or goals is to work for an employer who values innovation and forward thinking. A ‘Pain’ for them would be an out of date or complicated application system and a long-winded interview and waiting process. A ‘Gain’ would be a quick and simple application process that can be submitted in a variety of innovative ways. Plus, interviews arranged at a convenient time for the candidate, and swift responses and feedback.

Company A wants employees like Potential Employee so in order to attract them, they design their CVP around relieving the ‘Pains’ and creating ‘Gains’. In this situation, Company A pride themselves on their innovation and forward thinking, so they have ensured their recruitment process reflects that. This gives the right impression to the right candidates and, as long as they keep their promise as employers, Potential Employee will be feeling very satisfied in their new job.

You can use this diagram for the overall CVP or break it down to be more specific for each part of the process. And they don’t just have to be candidate or recruitment focused; businesses can have multiple Value Propositions, including one for customers. Again, this is about making a promise to them and delivering it as part of your brand, creating customer loyalty.

As with anything in business, a CVP is something that needs to be looked after and evolved to move with the development of the company and staff.

About the author

Rebekah Frost

A champion problem solver; whether it’s a board game or a tricky computer conundrum, Bekah's attention to detail is second to none. Her interesting and varied work experience across different sectors means she always has a story to tell, a love of people and a way to fix any issue.