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Why your 'deal' starts with changing how you recruit

Employers across all sectors in the UK – including lots of Local Authorities – are examining their Employment Value Proposition (EVP) to inform both brand and staff engagement strategies, writes Guest blogger, Robert Peasnell from TMPW. Indeed the PPMA has undertaken some valuable work to develop a methodology that’s fit for purpose in local government. 

At its simplest level, EVP describes the employment ‘deal’ - the balance between what an employer is prepared to offer and what an employee is prepared to give in return. The balance of reciprocity describes the deal and the behaviour expected of each party to it. 
 
Whilst many local authorities have accepted the need ‘to build a new deal for the public sector’, how far are they willing to use what they are learning in changing their approach?  Whilst many employers are comfortable with completing and sharing the diagnostic elements of any research – conducting surveys and developing fresh insights to better understand their current people - how enduring are the actions taken as a result? 
 
Trust and openness, in both public and private sector businesses, are qualities in high demand and short supply. Both are central in an organisation’s EVP, especially at a time when job security and pay rises are a distant memory. The measure of engagement then turns on the degree of trust in senior management and, more pointedly, to the quality of direct working relationships. With the spotlight so firmly focused on public service delivery and patient, client or customer experience, centre stage, now is the time for intelligence gathered from EVP research to be put to its best use. 
 
Councils, health and other public service organisations know that expectations are high and much is expected of their management population both from the people they manage - to keep the best and the people they provide for – to get the best. There’s too much at risk not to make the shift needed to change.
 
Blending intelligence gathered from EVP activity into all management recruitment decisions - making sure the qualities required are clear in advertising, are tested in selection, are part of development programmes is the only way to get the real value out of your investment in EVP.
 
Martin Rayson, President PPMA and HR Director at London Borough of Barking and Dagenham agrees: “...at the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, we followed up the EVP research with the development of a “staff charter” to define the new deal we can offer and our expectations of staff. This is about having an honest conversation about the future and whilst it does not ignore the “economic” side of the deal, it focuses more on the softer things that we know are important – the strength of the employer voice and the quality of management”. 
 
For those that grasp the nettle and promote/hire those manager predisposed to create trust and belief in your organisation, the rewards are great – a more engaged workforce, higher productivity, better outcomes. And in these austere times, who wouldn’t want that? What do you think? 
 

Robert Peasnell, The HR Lounge Guest blogger, February 2013

Robert is Business Director, Government, Health & Education Solutions at TMPW 

You can contact Robert direct at Robert.peasnell@tmpw.co.uk


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