FRAME YOUR PICTURE
Okay, so we know we might have demoralized you in the last article by forcing you to look at all the flaws in your company. Sorry o! It’s time to show you why that exercise was necessary.
Though auditing your company may have revealed that there are things in your business that need improvement, it probably also illuminated some strengths in your business that would make it a worthwhile place for an employee to work at. We needed you to figure out those strengths, because, without them, successful hiring is almost impossible.
To get something (employee), you have to give something (rewards). Well, for people to know that you have rewards to give, you have to tell them. To have something to tell them, you have to figure out what the rewards you will be giving are. Then, to tell them well, you have to figure out the best way to describe and explain your particular rewards.
This is your Employee Value Proposition (EVP): how you present and differentiate yourself to prospective employees.
An EVP is necessary because every prospective employee, no matter how noble their rationale for working in a particular field or position is, is asking one simple question: “What’s In It For Me?” (WIIFM) They need to know what you are promising to supply in order to meet their demands.
SOMETHING IN COMMON
It works the same way in relationships. Imagine you are entering the dating world and ‘trying your luck’ with a few prospects. You want each of them to choose you as their partner. Now, after you present your best self for the first impression, you have to connect with this prospective partner in some tangible way.
Your natural instinct is to figure out what the person values and try to find some common ground, abi? Then to demonstrate that you can participate in those things that they like, or provide those things that they need. So, gentlemen, let’s say you’re chasing a slay queen (not to peddle in stereotypes, but abi you know the system).
You might emphasize your money because you perceive her interest in you to be largely financial. Let’s say you want to date an Electrical Engineering Ph.D. You might emphasize your academic interests because you think she values intellectual stimulation.
Similarly, ladies, let’s say you are interested in a fun-loving “party boy”. You might emphasize your carefree side because you perceive the most important thing for him to be having a good time. Let’s say you have been introduced to an international businessman.
You might emphasize your worldliness because you assume he wants someone who can have easy discussions with his well-travelled colleagues. Either way, in whatever situation, what you are doing is assessing the person’s motivations, so you can present yourself in a way that resonates with their desires. Not ‘packaging’ o, like lying or creating fake Instagram posts, but just by honestly proving to them that the things that motivate them are things you intend to deliver.
EVERYBODY GET NEEDS
Potential jobseekers are driven almost entirely by their motivations. It doesn’t give them all the power in the recruitment process, and it shouldn’t make you distrustful of them. Truth is, you are driven by motivations too: motivations to find someone who can fulfill the list of tasks you have decided need to be completed in order to drive your organisation forward.
You see, the Employee Value Proposition is the mix of tangible rewards like money and intangible rewards like self-fulfillment, that people get in exchange for working for you. Most of the people in the job market are driven by one, or some, combination of these 13 motivators:
1. Financial gain: will the position provide them with the opportunity for financial rewards?
2. Intellectual challenge: will the position will give them mental stimulation and improve their skill set?
3. Autonomy: does the position offer freedom and independence within reasonable boundaries?
4. Lifestyle: will the position allow them time to pursue other priorities like time with family, leisure, etc.
5. Security: can they count on the job for things like a predictable salary, benefits, and future employment
6. Affiliation: will the position offer a setting with enjoyable colleagues they feel connected to?
7. Altruism: will they be in a position where they can feel like they are helping people?
8. Variety: will the job not be repetitive, will they have a mix of activities so they don’t get bored?
9. Positioning: will accepting the position offer them experience and access to people and opportunities that can position them well for their next career move?
10. Power and influence: does the position offer them the opportunity to be an influential decision-maker?
11. Prestige: does the organisation/company/business command a great deal of prestige and will they be proud to tell people they work there?
12. Managing people: will they be in a position where they can direct others?
13. Recognition: will their individual accomplishments be recognized with praise from peers and superiors?
You appeal to one or some of these motivators and attract top talent if you frame the job as a benefit. Regardless of the scarcity or abundance of your resources, you can have success in the recruitment process if you clearly show prospective employees what is in it for them if they join you on your journey.
Misan Rewane is co-founder and CEO of WAVE, an organization focused on rewiring the education-to-employment system to create a level playing field for every African youth to access the skills and opportunity to become what they imagine.