how to define the ROI for your employee value proposition

May 20, 2015 Richard Cogswell


the use of metrics and KPIs is essential for winning buy-in at the executive level 

There is a discernible trend in companies seeking to enhance or build their Employee Value Proposition (EVP) journey as part of their overall employer brand strategy. This is both a reaction to a well-documented talent shortage and an effort to align the brand.

Putting your EVP plan together and getting it right is a major project. It is as important to your business as the corporate brand. Corporate brand, employer brand, EVP, and internal brand are all inextricably interlinked, hence you should never tackle EVP in isolation. When building your business case this relationship should be highlighted. To further drive this relationship home and secure senior management buy in, think of how to build recognizable KPIs and measurements early into your EVP project. 

defining EVP within the brand architecture 

The corporate brand promotes the company as a whole. It is aligned to the strategic goals of the senior management team and should be underpinned by the perceptions and experiences of the company’s employees. The corporate brand links directly to the employer brand, which is focused on building a great place to work in the minds of your potential candidates and existing workforce. The internal brand is then the effort to imprint the values of the corporate brand onto the actions and behaviors of the employees towards their customers.

The EVP, therefore, sits within a complex interlinking of brand management. One brand focus bleeds into another, and all require monitoring and refreshed approaches to ensure continued relevance. All brands focus on both the tangible and intangible, and the EVP is no exception. It doesn’t only focus on factors such as salary, incentives, and benefits but also on intangibles such as culture, career development opportunities and values.

securing the budget 

How can you secure the budget to allow you to embark on this journey? Senior management buy-in is crucial to not only endorse it but also to live and breathe it. As such, a compelling narrative linking the EVP project to the corporate brand architecture is needed.

Companies that have successfully launched their EVP secured a budget for the project by showing a compelling link in this way, with a defined ROI, and reviewable KPIs to track the impact their initiatives make. HR has been described as the “new marketing”.  This is because multi channel communication, especially digital, is leveraged by brands to communicate their values to the candidate base.

If the HR-led EVP is indeed the “new marketing,” then business leaders will expect a measurable set of returns – the more clearly they are defined, the greater the chance that senior management will sign off. How can we track the metrics tied to a palpable ROI? Let’s take a closer look at Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI) to see if we can translate their common measurements and link these to an EVP ROI.


Part of the ROI metrics and KPIs in talent acquisition shows how your organization achieves a real competitive advantage through your employer brand and EVP. However, the EVP project does not start or end with the initial ROI case, as first the EVP and employer brand must be defined through internal audit and assessment. Once defined and operational, the EVP needs to be monitored and refined as part of a living and breathing element of the corporate DNA.

Let us focus for a moment on typical marketing ROIs. Following an initial period of defining the product identity, the marketing department analyzes its market and brand performance to determine the most effective spend across the entire marketing mix. After the present position is determined and targets have been segmented through analytics, the spend is then judged against a clear set of metrics. Let’s see how these could be translated to be relevant for an EVP project. 




The key is then to constantly monitor and finetune the ROIs and the mix of activity so as to fine tune the ongoing EVP spend for greatest effect. 

Does this begin to look familiar or translatable? Once the corporate brand identity and unique selling proposition are identified, the EVP needs to determine whether the employer brand and EVP really are recognized by the current workforce. If the workforce is out of alignment with the EVP claims, then the employer brand can fall apart quickly.

Regular employee surveys linked to the proposed EVP and an initial set of workshops involving workers with varying seniority and tenure are great ways to pool this information. Once your company’s present position is determined, talent analytics can be used to determine the people or characteristics you want to attract.

The next challenge is locating the ideal candidates before generating specific content to engage your targets. As such, EVP metrics might include development of the candidate pool, candidate registration, EVP survey results, and candidates converted to employees and ongoing retention. The return on investment can be continuously monitored to support future EVP investments.

By approaching your EVP project in the context of a calculated business decision, you begin to make a number of EVP intangibles very real. It is time for you to make this business case and highlight the potential return on investment that a well-defined EVP can bring to your organization.







About the Author

Richard Cogswell

Richard, regional client solutions director, APAC and is responsible for leading Global Client Solutions working with our global and regional clients. Richard has more than 18 years of sales and business development experience spanning a number of senior roles in MNCs and startups ranging from IT to logistics to outsourcing.

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