I just recently completed a great Employment Value Proposition (EVP) benchmarking tool that was published to Brandon Hall Group’s membership center and I was struck by how adept small organizations, less than 1,000 employees, are at implementing practices that improve their EVP. Is this agility out of necessity to be able to compete with larger organizations, or is it because it is just easier to implement those strategies with fewer employees?

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I suspect it is a bit of both. But it is still worthwhile to examine a few of the strengths of small organizations compared to their cohorts, the mid-size (1,000 to 9,999 employees) and enterprise (10,000+ employees) organizations, to understand how it is possible for David to beat Goliath, especially in the area of EVP.

To begin with, here are a few examples of how small organizations outperform larger organizations in terms of consistently applying EVP practices.

Top Most-Consistently Applied Practices for Small Organizations Compared to Cohorts

EVP Practices Small Mid-Size Enterprise
Organization applies a standard approach for all applicants 71% 48% 52%
Organization values and encourages employee referrals 68% 48% 48%
Organization recognizes importance of its reputation in the marketplace to attracting great talent 63% 67% 49%
Organization sets clear expectations of cultural norms and values 61% 47% 38%
Organization has active initiatives to create an inclusive and respectful work environment 61% 53% 58%

Source: Brandon Hall Group 2015 EVP Study

Whether the reason for the lack of consistency in practice is due to a lack of focus, lack of control, or difficulty in application, the above practices clearly benefit organizations in terms of talent acquisition and creating a productive and engaging work environment.

For instance, the benefits of a dynamic employee referral program are tremendous and can give organizations a clear advantage over their competitors.  Employee referral programs not only reduce cost per hire, they extend the reach of the organization’s media campaign by motivating their employees to convince their qualified personal connections to consider the organization as an employer.  In addition, referrals tend to generate candidates who would be a good fit for the organization because the candidate making the referral already understands what it takes to be aligned with the organization’s culture and values.

Applying a standard approach for all applicants means that the basic criteria used to evaluate candidates is consistent in terms of what constitutes a quality hire and that the interviewing and selection protocols are executed consistently. It also implies that all candidates are given a fair chance to obtain the position. The key benefits of this approach are that the best candidate will be chosen for the job and there will be less “slip-ups” on quality of hire.

In order to be competitive in talent acquisition, mid-size and enterprise organizations need to develop strategies to effectively implement these important EVP practices on a large scale.  After all, they may be losing their best talent to smaller organizations.

Daria Friedman, Principal Analyst, Talent Acquisition, Brandon Hall Group


Daria Friedman

Daria Friedman is the Principal Analyst overseeing the talent acquisition practice for Brandon Hall Group. Prior to Brandon Hall, Daria led the research practice for Bernard Hodes Group, a recruitment solutions agency, and Findly, a talent acquisition software service provider. Daria’s focus is on conducting talent acquisition research on topics such as candidate experience, employer value proposition validation, onboarding, candidate experience, retention, internal communications, career site messaging, talent pool assessments/supply and demand, employee engagement, campus/graduate recruitment, brand perceptions/positioning, best practices, diversity, market/competitive dynamics, talent acquisition metrics, source-of-hire/job search dynamics, employer preferences, employee benefits, technology purchase preferences, and more. She has produced many thought-leading and award-winning research studies at Hodes, including: Healthcare Talent Metrics, The Growing Value of Employer Brands, RNs at Risk, The Collegiate Career Mindset, The Employment Conversation - How Employers and Talent Meet on the Social Web, and Playing for Keeps/Recruiting for Retention. Daria developed Industry Matters, a monthly newsletter that provides insight on the talent landscape from both an economic and talent acquisition trend perspective. She has conducted research globally across many industries, such as Healthcare, Technology, Insurance, Finance, Hospitality, Telecommunications, Defense, Law Enforcement, and Retail. Daria is skilled in quantitative, qualitative and secondary research methodologies. Daria has an MBA in Marketing from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a BA in French from Montclair State University.