4 min read

Attracting Top Talent: Your Employee Value Proposition

Attracting Top Talent: Your Employee Value Proposition

As I consult with Christian nonprofits, churches, and schools, I often hear them express concern that it is hard for them to attract top talent because they cannot compete with the for-profit sector on salary and benefits. All employees want to be valued by fair compensation for the role, but more than anything they want to be valued for who they are and the impact of their work. Christian organizations have a great story to tell about work that is meaningful, rewarding, and offers a healthy workplace culture.

Even in marketplace employment opportunities, salary isn’t the only component of attracting employees. Recent Gallup research shows that it takes more than a 20 percent pay raise to lure most employees away from a manager who engages them, and next to nothing to poach most disengaged workers. So workplace health is clearly an aspect of attracting and retaining employees for all organizations, not just Christian-led organizations.

In addition, younger workers (40 and under) value purpose and meaning in their work and include this in their own calculation of possible positions. Al Lopus discusses this generational shift in his book, Road to Flourishing: Eight Keys to Boost Employee Engagement and Well-Being: “The shift to a workplace where personal fulfillment, access to influence, and meaningful mission are workers’ baseline expectations is almost complete. For these employees culture isn’t an afterthought, it’s the whole enchilada.”

Staying abreast of current workplace trends will help you understand changes in the workplace environment and what is important to potential employees. The BCW Flourishing Culture Leadership Podcast devoted a segment to top trends for 2023. Emphasize areas where your organization is aligned with these trends, such as a focus on refined hybrid work, and healthy employee-manager relationships.

Develop Your Story: Create an Employee Value Proposition

Include the story of the intangible benefits of working for your organization when you are recruiting job candidates. This story is your Employee Value Proposition, featuring distinctives that are appealing to potential employees:

  • Highlight the mission and vision of your organization in job descriptions. While you need to include clear requirements and job responsibilities, a job description should also include ministry impact language so potential employees can see the direct impact their work will have on the world or community. of working for your ministry. For example, the facilities crew allows people to have a distraction-free environment for meetings by providing clean rooms.
  • Focus on the health of your work environment. If you have recently participated in an Employee Engagement Survey with Best Christian Workplaces, you can feature highlights and even share employee comments. The Top Ten Most Favorable Items in your survey results show areas of strength relative to peer organizations. Cite a few specific areas of strength that would appeal to potential employees, such as: “There is a high level of trust between leaders and staff;” and “the organization promotes highly capable employees.” Survey results from Best Christian Workplaces are impartial, research-based data, which carry more weight than simple assertions of health.

If your work environment is not healthy or flourishing, take steps to implement change. If you are not able to compete on salary and benefits, and you are not offering positive intangibles to potential employees, then it will be difficult to fill positions with qualified applicants. Best Christian Workplaces consulting, including the Employee Engagement Survey, can put you on the road to a flourishing workplace which will attract employees.

Share Your Story: Market the Benefits of Working for Your Organization

A recent study of workers illustrated how people hear about open positions, underscoring the importance of sharing information broadly: “Although online job boards remain the most popular vehicle for posting openings (cited by 59% of respondents), 46% named friends as the source of job opening information; 39% said social media sites, such as LinkedIn and Facebook; 33% said employer career sites; 25% said professional connections; and 23% said career fairs.” (Employ Inc. 2022 Survey)

Once you have crafted a compelling job description that includes unique and attractive features of your ministry, then consider creative ways to cast a wide net to reach potential candidates who might be a great fit for your organization.

Relationships are key to an effective recruitment process.

Developing relationships with people who might be future employees, or people who might know future employees as part of their networks, is an ongoing process.

  • Staff and Board Members: Make sure all your employees and board members understand your Employee Value Proposition. As they are interacting with peers in other organizations, and going to conferences and training events, they can always be on the lookout for people who might be a great fit for future needs.
  • Volunteers: If you have a significant volunteer pool, they are part of your relational network. Include them in communication about the values and staffing needs of your organization.
  • Candidates: Even as you screen and sift through applicants, someone who might not be a good fit for a current position, might be a strong match with your vision and mission. When you reject an applicant for a specific role, consider how you phrase your decision. Keep those who might be a good fit for a different position in your circle of relationships. When I was an HR hiring manager, I was able to hire someone whom I had interviewed for a different role three years previously. I knew this person was a good fit for our mission and values, even if the first job he applied for wasn’t the right fit.

Practical Ways to Extend Your Pool of Candidates

In addition to relational networks, spread the word about your openings through a variety of channels. Brainstorm many ways to market your organization to potential employees.

Online recruiting is an important aspect of reaching potential candidates, but be aware of the strengths and focus of the various online options. As you extend your recruitment net, the following list is helpful in developing your online strategy:

Include a consideration of passive candidates. Social media also offers a way to connect with potential employees who might not be actively looking for a job, but are receptive to opportunities. These connections can be fostered by content and advertising on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Make sure your content reflects the distinctives of your organization that you compiled in developing your Employee Value Proposition.

The Way Forward

As you enhance your workplace culture and commit to strong engagement with your current employees, this foundation will attract future employees to your organization. Take the time to clearly outline all the tangible and intangible benefits of your ministry. Then engage your staff and circle of relationships in continuously spreading the word about the value you offer to your employees through a variety of channels.

If your workplace culture does not adequately reflect the values you espouse, take steps to improve areas that are weak. Best Christian Workplaces is ready to come alongside you to help you make positive change on your road to flourishing.

Robert Wachter, Global Marketing Director for BCW highlights the big picture of attracting top talent, “If you create a place to work that offers a mission that top talent believes in, and back that up with a vibrant, healthy, fun work environment, you can attract great workers. People want to work for an organization that offers purposeful roles. If you effectively communicate mission and values, then you can find people to fill roles.”