Winning With Talent: A Guide to Defining EVP and Fit for Recruiting Top Talent in Professional Services Firms

The goal of this article is to equip you with practical tips to better understand your top performers and effectively attract and engage more talent.

As a managing partner or CEO of a mid-sized professional services firm, finding and retaining the right talent can be a daunting task. With numerous options and strategies available, it can be challenging to know where to begin.

Defining your Employee Value Proposition (EVP) and identifying the best-fit candidates are crucial steps towards a successful talent acquisition and retention strategy. However, identifying the root cause of your talent attraction and retention challenges can be tricky. Common signs to watch out for include high turnover rates, difficulty filling open positions, low employee engagement, lack of diversity in your workforce, and losing top talent to competitors. These challenges may stem from job dissatisfaction, ineffective recruitment strategies, underutilization of employee skills, lack of diversity and inclusion initiatives, or non-competitive compensation and benefits packages. As one way to address these challenges, consider using our Q&A guide as a starting point. Whether you need help or have questions, don't hesitate to contact us for support.

See TalentSum's Brand and Values Alignment Service

Defining Your Employee Value Proposition:

Your EVP is what sets your company apart from others and defines why someone should work for you. To articulate your EVP, involve a few people in leadership and down in the ranks, and ask them questions like:

What does your organization believe in?
Understanding the core beliefs and values of your organization will help you articulate your EVP and attract candidates who share similar values. It also helps create a company culture that is aligned with your values.

What is your business vision and purpose?
Having a clear business vision and purpose will help candidates understand the company's long-term goals and how they can contribute to achieving those goals.

How is performance judged?
Knowing how performance is judged helps set expectations and provides a framework for measuring success. This will also help identify the skills and qualities needed for success within the organization.

What makes your company unique?
Defining what makes your company unique can help differentiate your company from competitors and make it more appealing to potential candidates.

What are the top things about your company that should attract people?
Identifying the top things that make your company attractive to potential candidates will help in developing the messaging that highlights your strengths and creates interest in joining the company.

What is your real value proposition for a new employee?
Understanding the real value proposition for a new employee will help to communicate what the company has to offer in terms of benefits, compensation, and opportunities for growth and development.

What type of skills does your company need to deliver on the vision and purpose?
Identifying the specific skills required for success within the organization will help ensure that the right candidates are targeted and hired.

After being hired, how do people grow and thrive inside your company?
Having a plan in place to help employees grow and develop their skills within the organization can improve employee retention and increase job satisfaction.

How are people generally managed inside your company?
Understanding how people are generally managed within the organization will help ensure that the management style is aligned with the company's culture and values. This can help ensure that employees feel supported and valued in their roles.

Defining Best-Fit Candidates:

Finding the right candidate for your company is crucial to success. To better target the ideal candidates, involve a few people in leadership and down in the ranks and ask them questions such as:

Who succeeds at your company?
By identifying the top performers in your organization, you can determine what qualities and characteristics are necessary for success in your company culture and use this information to inform your hiring decisions.

Consider your top 2-3 stars. What common backgrounds, behaviors, experience, and traits do they possess?
By analyzing the commonalities among your top performers, you can identify the key qualities and experiences that make a successful employee at your company.

What kind of personality is essential to succeed in the company?
Understanding the personality traits that are important for success in your company culture can help you to identify the right candidates and create a more cohesive team.

Who is your target audience of talent?
By defining the specific characteristics and backgrounds of the candidates you are targeting, you can create more targeted recruitment efforts and improve the quality of your candidate pool.

What is your ideal candidate's current employer or occupation?
Knowing where your ideal candidates are currently working and what their current role is can help you to better target your recruitment efforts and create more effective job descriptions.

How many years of professional experience does he/she have?
Understanding the level of experience that is necessary for success in the role you are hiring for can help you to avoid hiring overqualified or under-qualified candidates.

In which industry and roles has he/she worked?
Knowing the industries and roles that your ideal candidates have worked in can help you to identify the skills and experiences that are necessary for success in your company.

Is he/she most likely working for one of your competitors (or in a consulting firm, marketing agency, insurance agency, or other)?
By identifying the types of companies that your ideal candidates are currently working for, you can better target your recruitment efforts and create more effective messaging.

Practical Next Steps:

Now that you have defined your EVP and identified the best-fit candidates, it's time to take practical steps to enhance your talent acquisition and recruitment programs. Don't feel overwhelmed by the list below. Simply select the top 3-5 steps that align with your business goals, and then expand later as needed:

Recruitment and Talent Acquisition:

  • Establish relationships with local colleges and universities to recruit top graduates.
  • Attend industry events and job fairs to promote your company and network with potential candidates.
  • Leverage social media platforms to promote your employer brand and attract candidates.
  • Offer internships and co-op programs to attract and evaluate top talent before offering full-time positions.
  • Offer flexible work arrangements to attract candidates who prioritize work-life balance.
  • Provide competitive compensation packages, including base pay, bonuses, and benefits.
  • Evaluate your current employee referral program and make necessary adjustments to increase participation and effectiveness.
  • Implement a diversity and inclusion program to attract a wider range of candidates and improve retention.
  • Consider partnering with TalentSum, a talent acquisition consulting firm, for expert guidance and support in developing a successful recruitment and retention strategy.

Employee Development:

  • Provide training and development opportunities to improve employee skills and competencies.
  • Establish a mentorship program to help employees develop skills and advance in their careers.
  • Provide opportunities for employees to work on meaningful projects and make a real impact on the business.
  • Establish a formal career path and provide opportunities for advancement.
  • Regularly review and update job descriptions to accurately reflect the responsibilities and qualifications for each position.
  • Develop a structured onboarding program to help new hires acclimate to the company culture and expectations.

Employee Retention:

  • Conduct regular employee engagement surveys to identify areas for improvement and address employee concerns.
  • Offer regular recognition and feedback to employees to foster a culture of appreciation and support.
  • Conduct regular performance evaluations to ensure employees are meeting expectations and provide opportunities for improvement.
  • Foster a culture of open communication and encourage employees to provide feedback and suggestions.
  • Develop a succession plan to ensure key positions are filled with qualified internal candidates.
  • Offer flexible scheduling and remote work options to attract and retain top talent.
  • Conduct exit interviews to gain insight into why employees are leaving and identify areas for improvement.
  • Develop and implement a recognition and rewards program to acknowledge employee contributions and successes.
  • Foster a positive company culture that aligns with your values and mission.

ChatGPT Bonus:

With ChatGPT, your EVP and Fit survey feedback can be organized into a set of action insights. For instance, if the survey included questions about your company's culture, benefits, and career development opportunities, common themes and areas for improvement can be identified by analyzing the responses. The insights can then be distilled into actionable recommendations to enhance your EVP and attract and retain top talent. Try it and you will be amazed at the results!

At TalentSum, we specialize in helping mid-sized professional services firms like yours define their EVP, find the right candidates, and develop a talent acquisition and recruitment strategy that brings in top talent. We know what it's like to face the unique challenges in your industry and we're here to help you succeed. If you need support or guidance, contact us today to learn more about how we can help your firm.

Take your talent acquisition and recruitment efforts from routine to remarkable with TalentSum 360. For more information on how TalentSum 360 can unlock the full potential of your talent function, get in touch with our team today.

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