EVP: Who is Winning the Talent Acquisition Game?

November 6, 2023
The Culture Equation
EVP: Who is Winning the Talent Acquisition Game?

Winning the Talent Acquisition Game

In a landscape where talent is the ultimate currency of success, it’s increasingly apparent that the more nimble and entrepreneurial businesses are flexing their muscles in the relentless pursuit of top talent.

With 59% of people considering a job change in 2023 (LinkedIn, 2023) many professionals will find themselves at a career crossroads, with each sector offering distinct challenges and rewards. Corporations, SMBs, startups, scaleups, and non-profit organisations (NFPs) are all players in this high-stakes game, each vying for the brightest minds and the most passionate hearts. 

It’s not a one-size-fits-all scenario. Individuals are weighing their priorities, values, and career aspirations against the offerings of each sector and organisations must be crystal clear about what it is they offer and how they stand out. Then they need to deliver on that promise.

In today’s hyper-connected and information-driven age, potential employees have unprecedented access to insights about company culture, values, and on the ground employee experiences. Social media and employer review platforms have given them a megaphone to share their perspectives, influencing the perceptions of talent pools worldwide.

According to Glassdoor, 92% of employees would consider changing jobs if offered a role within an organisation with an excellent reputation; and with social media driven Gen Z making up 27% of the workforce by 2025, businesses need to be taking a critical look at their employee value proposition (EVP) and how they uphold it.

So what #EVP strategies are playing out in the talent arena and who’s got the upper hand?

Startups: Embracing Innovation and Agility


The risk-takers and visionaries looking to be part of something groundbreaking.

Top 3 EVP Strategies:

  • Entrepreneurialism & Creativity
  • Flexibility
  • Opportunity for impact

Flexible ways of working have long been an integral part of a startup’s EVP, but this competitive edge has diminished in a post-covid working world with other sectors now offering increased flexibility. 

For many employees, remote working fatigue has also set in as we see in Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace: 2023 report. ‘…It is what people experience in their everyday work — their feelings of involvement and enthusiasm — that matter more in engagement than where they are sitting.’ 

Sharing a clear vision and purpose is critical for this enthusiasm, motivating employees by them feeling part of something bigger than themselves. If startups cannot create this sense of alignment then talent may just start looking elsewhere to find it. Step up the NFPs.

Non-profit organisations (NFPs): A Call for Purpose


Individuals who prioritise making a difference in society, over financial reward.

Top 3 EVP Strategies:

  • Meaningful mission
  • Contribution
  • Community

McKinsey’s review of the Great Resignation (De Smet, A. et. al. July 2022) identified meaningfulness at work as the second highest motivator when looking at both attrition and retention. Great news for the NfPs who hold this as the mainstay of their EVP. However, topping the charts remains total compensation, where NfPs can’t compete. In today’s tough economic climate this focus on remuneration leads us to take a closer look at the corporates and the long-standing power they yield.

The Corporate Titans: The Power of Stability and Development


Ambitious professionals seeking a well paid, secure and progressive career trajectory.

Top 3 EVP Strategies:

  • Competitive salary and benefits 
  • Stability
  • Professional growth and long-term career development

Total compensation may be top of the motivating factors, but with 59% of the global workforce ‘quiet quitting’ (Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace: 2023 report) would it be safe to assume that perks and benefits are not enough on their own? The narrative shifts toward the ascendancy of scale-ups and small-medium businesses (SMBs).

Scaleups and Small-Medium Businesses (SMBs)


For individuals seeking the thrill of entrepreneurial spirit alongside a measure of stability.

Top 3 EVP Strategies:

  • Accelerated career growth
  • Balance of structure and agility
  • Collaborative environments

Scaleups and SMBs, by nature, have navigated the challenging startup phase and proven their viability, offering a ripe middle ground. These companies, having achieved initial success, provide a compelling proposition for talent. 

Can talent consider scaleups and SMBs the best of both worlds? We think maybe they can and they are sectors we currently see investing heavily in culture, leadership and diversity & belonging – mainstays of a strong EVP.

However, in comparison to the corporates, and also very often the NFPs, brand recognition may be a greater challenge for these growing businesses and one of the key barriers to leveraging their increasing EVP advantage. Clear and consistent communication about what they offer is critical, bringing this to life across digital channels and through talent advocacy. Done well, it is where we see talent and brand grow together.

A robust employee value proposition (EVP) isn’t just a nice to have—it’s the secret weapon that has the ability to propel these entrepreneurial minded businesses to the forefront of the talent acquisition game.

Game on!

At The Culture Equation, we help businesses transform their culture, teams and leadership. 

Book in for a 30-min Discovery Call to see how we can support you.

Want to hear more about what we do at The Culture Equation? Sign up to our newsletter or follow us on Linkedin.


De Smet, A., Dowling, B., Hancock, B., & Schaninger, B. (2022, July 13). The Great Attrition is making hiring harder. Are you searching the right talent pools? [Review of The Great Attrition is making hiring harder. Are you searching the right talent pools?]. McKinsey; McKinsey Quarterly. https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/people-and-organizational-performance/our-insights/the-great-attrition-is-making-hiring-harder-are-you-searching-the-right-talent-pools

Gallup (2023), State of the Global Workplace: 2023 Report, Gallup, https://www.gallup.com/workplace/349484/state-of-the-global-workplace.aspx?campaignid=18952489619&adgroupid=142309916566&adid=635553625161&gclid=Cj0KCQjw4bipBhCyARIsAFsieCxaKrmgQLVbT8u3UeY-1ECB1jEnYcNtpzJ-ujH9rwb_Kfna_JbZK1gaAmbmEALw_wcB&thank-you-report-form=1