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Young grads have to be staunch when it comes to EVP

By Kace O'Neill | |8 minute read

It can be confusing and stressful for young graduates going into their first full-time job. Ensuring that your values align with those of your organisation is crucial to the beginning of your career.

Entering into the workforce for young graduates can be an exciting yet daunting task. As new graduates take their first step into the professional realm, they often face a significant hurdle when it comes to balancing their new routines and new experiences.

HR Leader recently spoke to Logicalis Australia’s head of employee experience, Scott Brown, about the importance of young graduates having a thorough understanding of EVP and how it can assist them on their professional journey.


“The advice I would give to people coming into an organisation early is just pay a lot of attention to the EVP because what it gives you is a real understanding of the complexity of an organisation,” Brown said.

EVP, or employee value proposition, is based on company values and culture. It introduces the unique benefits and experiences that an employee will receive from an organisation in exchange for their skills and expertise.

Finding an organisation that wants you to develop

The job hunt is not an easy one for recent graduates, and desperation to land a job can cloud judgement in terms of the values that an organisation has and how they carry themselves. It’s an overwhelming process; however, it can create future turmoil for new graduates if they are residing at an organisation that doesn’t align with them, value- or culture-wise.

“It’s common with human nature that in your first three months, you’re going to be a little bit overwhelmed. You’re not going to know the people; you’re not going to know the organisation that well. Therefore, you’re already in quite a heightened sense of, have I made the right decision? [This is where] EVP becomes something real that needs to come through very quickly in the employee life cycle,” Brown said.

The importance of EVP for young graduates is that they need to start at an organisation that will give them the opportunity to develop and grow. It’s a common occurrence that young graduates are often thrown in the deep end and expected to produce as soon as possible, eliminating that chance of developing and growing into their role.

“If you’re coming into the job market now, you should be looking at an organisation that, if I look at our EVP, it’s based around three things. Can we help you belong, help you thrive around your environment, and can we help you grow?

“If you were a new grad or someone who’s early in career, I’d be looking for those organisations that are doing the pieces around making sure that you’re growing as an individual. The first 10 years of your career are the most important in terms of setting you on the right path, finding out where your kind of place is and what you enjoy doing, and what you can bring to an organisation,” Brown said.

Development is a pillar for the journey of young graduates who are just finding their feet in the professional realm. It’s imperative that graduates push for a job that allows them to develop, but the responsibility also falls on the organisation to create those opportunities for their new workers to flourish.

“Aligning to a group that’s interested in doing those things is important because there will be organisations where their strategy around people isn’t about bringing them in and developing them, which is detrimental for graduates,” said Brown.

Similar values

Sharing values with the organisation you work for can make your profession much more enjoyable and fulfilling as it tends to persuade you to get more involved in the culture and processes of your organisation because it’s something you care about.

“For example, if you care about sustainability, try to work with an organisation that cares about sustainability as well. I know that sounds really simple, but it’s something that’s quite lost, because when you join an organisation, a great way to progress your career early on is to get involved in things around inclusion or sustainability,” Brown said.

“There are always groups that require people who are passionate about those issues to join the cause and be part of the thinking, be part of the implementation. And that’s also a great way to build your profile and also connect yourself, and make a strong connection with an organisation.”

It always goes back to that desperation of looking for a job. Although grads primarily would want to work at an organisation that aligns with their value, it is not always possible. One thing that grads should do, however, is not fall for the bait organisations often give to lure new recruits in.

Fabrication of values and team culture can be used to attract new graduates to an organisation. Then, when the graduate enters the said workplace, those values and that culture don’t actually exist. Instead of submitting to this farce, Brown offers some straightforward advice.

“Honestly, I’d run, and I don’t say that lightly. I don’t mean to be flippant about it. I know we’ve all got rent, mortgages, bills, and whatnot. But what I would say about an EVP, you can’t just do a flashy web page and advertise certain values and then not deliver on them. You need to get your EVP right. You have to align everyone in your organisation to have the same experience, whether you’re the CEO or you’re a recent grad,” Brown said.

“An organisation needs to go through a lot of sustained focus on an EVP to get it right. And the reality is you have to get it right 99.9 per cent of the time. Because if you don’t, that inconsistency drives a level of suspicion. If it’s not there at the beginning, it’s not happening next week or next month. The cultural change around EVP is measured in months and years. [If it’s not there] I’d run early and find the organisation [that’s] got their act together.”

Overall, it’s about young graduates knowing and respecting themselves enough to go and find a position that will allow them to thrive. At the same time, organisations throughout all workforces should be creating opportunities for young workers to develop and flourish, as they are the future.


Employee value proposition

Employee value proposition refers to the mix of wages/salaries, benefits, and other workplace benefits that emphasise the business as a desirable work environment. The greatest people can be attracted and kept by a strong EVP, which also serves as an effective corporate branding strategy for the business's external facing areas.

Kace O'Neill

Kace O'Neill

Kace O'Neill is a Graduate Journalist for HR Leader. Kace studied Media Communications and Maori studies at the University of Otago, he has a passion for sports and storytelling.