Startup employee value proposition template

By , Josh Constine | March 8, 2021 |

    Why should someone want to work for you? Because you offer much more than just a salary. 

    An Employee Value Proposition is a concise statement outlining what you offer employees that makes you a uniquely great place to work. Your EVP is the core of your employer branding efforts that will help you determine your key talking points for recruiting. It also serves as a tool for self-reflection. It can reveal shortcomings in your mission, values, company culture, benefits, and work environment. This template from our early-stage venture fund SignalFire will walk you through writing up your own EVP.

    This template from our Director of Talent Operations Crystal Guerrero is part of SignalFire’s Startup Recruiting Guide chapter on building your employer brand and careers page. To get the next chapters, including one dedicated to job descriptions, sign up here

    EVP Plan

    Purpose: This Employee Value Proposition (EVP) explains why [Company Name] is a great place for its employees to work and advance their careers. 

    Goal: Determine key messages that our employer brand should convey to create distinction, build awareness, and attract top talent. Distill them into points you can use throughout your employer branding, including your recruiting dossier, careers page, and job descriptions.

    Result: What does your completed EVP look like? A one- or two-paragraph description of your company identity and a set of bullet points about the five pillars of culture, compensation, work environment, benefits, and career advancement.

    Process: By surveying our team, we can better understand the strengths we should communicate and the weaknesses we should improve upon.

    EVP Research

    Questions for our executives and employees:  

    • Who are we as a company?
    • What do we create or offer?
    • Why does it matter?
    • Who does it matter to?
    • Why do people want to be hired and keep working here?
    • What can we do to make the lives of our customers, communities, colleagues, and shareholders better long-term? 
    • How will the world improve if we succeed?
    • How can we align these goals and practices with growing our business? 
    • How would you describe our work hours, after-hours communication, and work environment?
    • Does the team participate in any traditions, rituals, or offsite events?
    • What is the most vivid aspect of the advantages of working for [Company name]? 
    • How can we convince the best talents to join us?
    • What do people like about working here?
    • How does the company support your personal and professional growth?
    • What about our leadership does or doesn’t give you confidence?
    • What do people dislike or think we could improve about working here?
    • Why do people depart the company, and what do they do next?
    • What would you tell someone about our company if they had never heard of us?

    Question for top-performing employees:

    • Describe a specific moment you were proud to work at [Company name].
    • Describe the most recent time [Company name] empowered you to achieve a goal.
    • Why did you decide to join [Company name]?
    • Which words best describe the culture or work environment at [Company name?] 
    • What traits make for a successful employee at [Company name]?
    • What excites you about working at [Company name] each day? 
    • What’s your prediction about the future success of [Company name] and why?

    Question topics:

    To dig deeper into specific areas, ask for opinions about these particular policies and processes:

    • Compensation: Overall satisfaction, industry benchmarks, promotions and raises, bonuses
    • Benefits: Vacation, medical/dental/vision, parental leave, retirement
    • Culture: Mission, social responsibility, values, decision-making, autonomy, accountability, politics, diversity & inclusion
    • Work environment: Office quality, location, remote work policies, pets, social events
    • Career: Personal development resources, career paths, titles, mentorship

    For more survey questions, check out this guide to EVP research from Job Portraits, and this list from TalentLyft.

    Additional interviews:

    Speak with the following groups will help you refine your answers: 

    • Executive leadership
    • Colleague focus groups
    • Employee resource groups
    • Human resources team
    • External communications teams including sales, marketing, comms, and social media

    EVP Template

    EVP outline

    With the research fresh in your mind, outline your company identity within these five pillars of an employee value proposition:

    • Company culture – What are your values around team spirit, ethics, inclusion, and socializing?
    • Compensation – How much do you pay for what work/life balance compared to your industry?
    • Work environment – How you describe your office or remote work atmosphere and autonomy level? 
    • Benefits – What compensation and perks do you offer beyond wages?
    • Career advancement – How do you help teammates grow professionally?

    EVP outline example

    Here’s what your sets of bullet points on the five pillars of your EVP might look like:

    • Culture: Win as a team. Measure & iterate. A breadth of voices.
    • Compensation: Strong base pay. Bonuses for supporting the team. Carry to align with portfolio.
    • Career: Path to partnership. A fast-rising fund brand. Launch your own initiatives.
    • Benefits: Industry-leading parental leave. Unlimited vacation. Educational team events.
    • Work environment: Work-from-home until it’s safe. A bustling engineer-style office. Work autonomously, improve collectively.

    Writing Your EVP Statement

    The 4 elements of an EVP statement: Now refine these outlines into carefully worded messaging. Write out each of the following points into a sentence or two to create your paragraph-long EVP: 

    • Positioning statement: Conveys the overarching concept of who we are, what we value in colleagues, and why people should join our team. 
    • Pillars: Top themes from the surveys and interviews about what makes [Company name] unique and appealing. What you’ll communicate is 75% reality, 25% aspirational. 
    • Messaging outline: Highlight the most salient features of each pillar that make you unique.
    • Call to action: An anchor or theme within the messaging that unites the core points of your employer brand into a memorable incentive to join [Company name]. 

    Hypothetical EVP:

    We’re Transmission Capital, a late-stage venture fund offering growth capital to tomorrow’s greatest companies. Our culture matches the sales-minded companies we fund — constantly seeking a better way to connect and collaborate. Transmission Capital is seeking tomorrow’s best VC talent with a diverse range of perspectives. We offer industry-leading parental leave and career mentorship. If you want a seat at the table of a new style of venture fund, you belong at Transmission Capital.

    Now you can apply your version messaging across your recruiting efforts so you’re always on-brand.

    This template is part of SignalFire’s Startup Recruiting Guide chapter on building your employer brand and careers page. To get the next chapter, sign up here.

    If you’d like to learn more about our fund and talent program, you can contact the author, our Director of Talent Operations Crystal Guerrero, here: [email protected]

    About SignaFire’s Talent Program

    Recruiting is SignalFire’s superpower. Our Beacon Talent engine tracks all the top tech talent in the Western world, and can generate reports on the best and most poachable job candidates for any role. SignalFire’s talent program is led by former Facebook executive recruiter Mike Mangini whose team assists our portfolio companies with high-level strategy and on-the-ground recruiting to make sure you score your ideal hires. We helped make over 1000 job candidate intros to our portfolio companies last year — just one of the reasons we receive a net promoter score of 96 from our portfolio founders, over 85% of whom say we’re their most valuable investor. Want to start working with SignalFire’s Talent team? Contact our Director of Talent Operations Crystal Guerrero here: [email protected]

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