What's your employer value proposition?

Hiring and retaining talent is one of the top challenges faced by most professional services firms.

July 25, 2017 |
Hinge Blog
Image of people chasing a giant carrot

Does your firm struggle to attract the smart, capable people you need to take your business to a higher level of success? You’re not alone.

Hiring and retaining talent is one of the top challenges faced by most professional services firms. In fact, it’s second only to attracting new business according to Hinge’s latest research study.

There’s isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to this problem. In a tight job market, it can be tougher to attract quality talent than find new clients. But there are steps you can take to help great people gravitate to your firm. And your very first step should be to craft an employer value proposition (also called an employee value proposition or EVP).


What is an employer value proposition?

An employer value proposition is nothing more than an engaging appeal to prospective employees. It’s made up of a set of characteristics, features, and values that describe what it’s like to work in your organization and how it improves employees’ lives.

It is both a marketing message and a promise, so be careful that you don’t make claims that can’t come true. At the same time, you want to develop a message that’s positive, approachable and energizing. You can use your EVP anywhere you want to speak to potential employees — your website, recruiting collateral, displays and HR talking points.


Examples of a value proposition

The easiest way to understand an EVP is to examine real-world examples. You can find these yourself by visiting a firm’s website and checking out their Careers page.

Unfortunately, not all firms have a well-articulated EVP. In fact, most don’t — which is exactly why you should. Let’s take a look at a couple of solid examples to get started:


Accenture: Help Build the Future, Be yourself, Make a difference

Work where you’re inspired to explore your passions, where your talents are nurtured and cultivated. Innovate with leading-edge technologies on some of the coolest projects you can imagine. And get the tools you need to keep learning and growing so you stay continually ahead of the game while making a difference in the world.


Jacobs: Where can your career take you?

At Jacobs, we help prepare people for new opportunities and challenges in their careers. With positions at every level, openings in multiple disciplines, expertise in a range of markets and offices around the globe, we create an environment where you can learn, grow, and thrive.

If you share our commitment to doing what’s best for clients, enjoy working in teams and hold yourself to the highest ethical standards, you’ll fit right in.


Ingredients of a Strong EVP

So what makes these EVPs effective? And how do you develop your own?

First of all, writing your employer value proposition is an act of persuasion. So approach it as if you were marketing one of your services.

Your goal is to stimulate interest in three things: 1) your firm’s mission, 2) its culture and 3) employee career development. By “mission,” I don’t mean your mission statement. Think instead about how your firm helps clients, is advancing the industry or creating some greater good. What is your firm’s larger purpose? In the Accenture example, one of the world’s largest consulting firms can credibly say “Help build the future… Make a difference.”

When you talk about your culture, think about what keeps employees happy and engaged? Jacobs says it creates “an environment where you can learn, grow, and thrive.” To address career development, consider how you improve the skills and prospects of your team members. Do you offer training, tuition assistance, a clear career path? What’s the biggest reason people stay at your firm? Accenture offers opportunities to “innovate with leading-edge technologies on some of the coolest projects you can imagine.”

As I was digging around to research this article I noticed that many firms use the phrase “make a difference,” or something similar, in their EVP (see the Accenture example above, for example). These companies are clearly tapping into people’s more altruistic desires to live meaningful lives and contribute to the betterment of society.

While I don’t necessarily recommend that you lead with this sentiment (after all, an EVP is should distinguish you from the competition), you may be wise to consider a social message in your value proposition. Keep in mind, that it should reflect your firm and its values. Better not to include such a statement than to set up an expectation that you can’t live up to.

So when the rubber meets the road, your employer value proposition should be compact and written in simple language. You can always expand on individual points in other places. Your EVP should be a brief paragraph or two that lay out the key benefits and appeal of working at your firm.

Getting the message right is one thing, but if you are struggling to come up with these benefits, it may be time to consider focusing on creating a more compelling employer brand and culture. Firms with a compelling EVP are at a distinct advantage in the employee marketplace.



If finding great people is an ongoing struggle, you should take a critical look at your firm’s employer value proposition.

Are you describing a place that sounds appealing, even exciting, to work? Are you painting a picture for prospective employees that draws them in and makes them think, “Hey, I might really like it here”?

An employer value proposition is a simple idea that can have a powerful impact on your business. What’s yours?

Hinge Blog | Hinge
Hinge Blog

Hinge is the leading branding and marketing firm for professional services. Our ongoing research into high-growth firms is changing the way firms go to market. Our services include everything a firm needs to become a market leader—from research and strategy to visual brands and marketing implementation. https://hingemarketing.com    

Related Blogs

January 23, 2019 | HingeKarl Feldman

As we enter into the new year, I’d like to walk through seven marketing trends that will impact AEC firms i...

August 20, 2018 | Engineers | HingeKarl Feldman

Firms who still aren’t embracing the fundamental shift away from traditional marketing techniques stand to...

July 10, 2018 | Architects | HingeKarl Feldman

In our Internet-fueled world, it’s easy to get distracted by the latest online tools. But the boring stuff...

June 13, 2018 | Building Team | HingeKarl Feldman

There is a major shift in workforce demographics as upwards of 80 million baby boomers retire over the next...

April 27, 2018 | Architects | Hinge

We found speaking engagements were among the top ten marketing techniques that AEC firms employ.

April 04, 2018 | Architects | Hinge

So, you understand the benefits, but how do you actually get started with speaking engagements?

March 08, 2018 | Market Data | HingeKarl Feldman

It’s time to take a comprehensive look at your plans and figure out the best way to get from Point A to Poi...

How to generate architecture leads

Illustration courtesy flickr


February 01, 2018 | Architects | HingeKarl Feldman, Partner, Hinge

One of the first steps to increasing leads for your design firm is to acknowledge that all leads are not eq...

January 10, 2018 | Architects | HingeKarl Feldman

Here are the top 10 marketing techniques as rated by high-growth firms and how they compare to their no-gro...

November 14, 2017 | Building Team | HingeKarl Feldman

We’ve developed a pretty good understanding of what high-growth firms do differently from their average-gro...

Overlay Init