Crafting Your Talent Value Proposition

I’ve written two articles related to your talent brand, one focused on defining The Talent Brand and Value Proposition, and one about the Talent Branding process. Looking back at the first article, it seems I really only introduced the concept and gave a few questions to stimulate your thinking about beginning to formulate a talent value proposition. In this article, I’ll go into much greater detail on how to go about actually crafting the value proposition, because it’s no small task!

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If you’ve ever been through a major, company-wide mission and vision process, then you know how extensive it can be. The process of crafting a high-quality talent value proposition (TVP) is just as vast and serious an undertaking as a major mission and vision overhaul. This means you need to be ready and willing to commit a substantial amount of time and resources to making it happen. As I mentioned in the previous articles, however, the payoff to these efforts can be huge.

Any organization with more than a couple dozen employees should form a cross-functional team to craft the TVP. Members of this team should come from key areas of the company, including HR, Marketing, and Communications at a minimum, but including any other key positions you think should be involved. And try to get some diversity (of all kinds) on this team, but especially in terms of age and tenure.

Asking and Answering the Key Questions

The committee’s main objective is to answer a number of key questions, soliciting input broadly from the company where warranted to get the fullest range of opinions and ideas as possible. Include the following at a minimum:

  • Who are we? What do we believe? What do we do? Why does it matter? These are the same kinds of big-picture questions that would be asked if your company were going through a major mission/vision process. If your company hasn’t revisited its mission/vision statements in a long time, now is the time to do so.
  • What workforce will we need (and where) to succeed? Who are our prospective employees and what matters to them? These questions go beyond the mere listing of skills and competencies needed. It should encompass the kinds of values and behaviors you need employees to exhibit to move your company forward, as well as what they need from you as an employer.
  • What talent practices make us a key employer for candidates? What are you already doing that makes people want to work for you. Take the areas where you’re already strong and figure out what it will take to make them excellent. Then figure out how to improve upon your weaker areas.
  • What is it like to work for our company on a day-to-day basis? Clearly, this one needs to go out to everyone in the company, and you need to pay particular attention to what your lowest-level employees have to say, which can often be an indicator of your company’s true climate.
  • How is our recruitment process candidate-centric? As you assess your current practices, once again focus on further improving areas of strength before addressing areas of weakness.
  • With whom do we compete for talent? Take stock of what your competitors are offering in their TVPs and consider that as you develop your own, taking note of opportunities to distinguish yourself from the competition and do better as well.
  • How well does your talent brand align with your consumer brand? Keep an eye out for value gaps between the two and figure out how to close those gaps. There’s nothing worse than when employees feel like their company treats its customers far better than its employees, and they tune in very quickly to such hypocrisy.

With all the input gathered from asking the above key questions, your team can now craft a talent value proposition that will undergird all your talent branding efforts moving forward. As a final note, it’s okay for parts of your TVP to be aspirational, but if a gap between the TVP and reality exists, people need to see concrete plans and actions for closing that gap or cynicism will set in.

December 9, 2015   Updated :November 16, 2016   employer brand, employer value proposition, talent brand, talent value proposition   

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