The good, the bad and the ugly: Why an honest EVP will help you keep the right people

What’s the purpose of an Employee Value Proposition?

Is it to sell your organisation as a great place to work?

Well, sort of. But not quite.

It’s to show that your organisation is a great place to work for the right person.

There’s a reason our motto is “helping fantastic, imperfect organisations attract fantastic, imperfect people… and keep them engaged.”

Attracting and retaining fantastic people isn’t possible without acknowledging imperfection - especially your own.

Here are some tips to reduce early attrition in your organisation.

Setting the scene in your employee value proposition

Data from LinkedIn shows that 22% of turnover occurs in an employee’s first 45 days.

There can be a multitude of reasons behind a new hire leaving early, but many of them boil down to a difference between their expectations of the role and the reality they find once they get here.

If you’ve got significant structural or cultural challenges, it is, of course, important to address them and try to resolve issues.

But our advice in the meantime?

Include your challenges and “work in progress” in your conversation with potential hires.

How you do this will differ on a case-by-case basis. If you’ve got large-scale changes or challenges, you can address them in your EVP messaging. We call this the “elephant statement” - address the elephant in the room by bringing it to light and making it safe to talk about.

Here are some examples.

Miwatj: We’re proud but not perfect. And there’s much still to do.

Over three decades, Miwatj and the communities we serve have achieved so much. However, our work is far from complete. And like every employer, we don’t always get it right.

The complexity of our work and our context brings new challenges all the time. Our commitment to you is to openly share the opportunities and the challenges of joining our team, and ensuring you arrive with your eyes open.

This is not an easy job, and it’s not right for everyone. But if you have strength, resilience and an open heart, a life-changing opportunity awaits.

Latrobe City Council: Our people-first journey

We’re so proud of all that Council has achieved over the years. But like any organisation, we’re continuing to evolve, and we still have challenges to overcome.

We know that council work isn’t always easy. It can be complex and sometimes political. We’re working to reduce the red tape, accelerate decision-making and streamline processes, for the benefit of our community and our teams.

We can’t please everyone, all the time. But our people work really hard, and we want them to be proud. So more than ever, we’re celebrating their efforts and achievements. We’re also listening to them about their experiences at Council so we can continue to grow, together.

Help us make the difference, right here.

DES: A purpose and a challenge that matter

Here, you’ll be inspired to make Queensland better. We are here to enable long-term, sustainable decisions for the environment and the economy, and to empower Queensland’s youth. Our team understands and embraces the importance of our work but also the complexity of the challenge. It can be a difficult, and at times unpopular, role.

It can also mean setting aside your own preferences and ideals. And yes, we have our fair share of process and paperwork. But it is work that truly matters, perhaps even more so because it’s hard.

Practical interview tips to get ahead of the challenges

Sometimes, challenges can be particular to a role you’re hiring for. Having that conversation and setting realistic expectations in the interview process can save everyone a lot of heartbreak down the line. The right person will be excited to solve these challenges with you.

Here’s some advice for how to frame the conversation in an interview and make it realistic without scaring anyone away.

  • Invite a person currently in the role to participate in the interview process. Allowing the candidate to talk to someone who knows the challenges first-hand not only helps to build a realistic view of the job. It also helps form a relationship between potential future colleagues.
  • Start the conversation about the challenges. Don’t just wait for the candidate to ask the tough questions. Make it a safe space by modelling the questions you think they might ask.
  • We know this might seem like a risky approach, especially in the current talent market. But by giving a realistic job preview, you’ll reap the benefits in the future.

Want to know how to address the elephant in the room? We can help. Reach out to the team at

Tahlia Robinson

About the Author

As Employer Branding Australia’s Commercial Marketing Storyteller, Tahlia Robinson communicates our fantastic, imperfect organisation’s story to the world. With a background in PR for non-profits, she specialises in connecting organisations with their audiences in positive, meaningful ways. Tahlia is keenly interested in accessibility, activism, and keeping up with current trends on social media (while constantly wondering if she’s too old to be on TikTok).

About Employer Branding Australia

We exist to help you attract the best talent and keep them engaged. Together, we’ll create and promote your 'Why work for us?' and turn your authentic people stories into your most powerful marketing tool.

Contact us today for a free, honest assessment of your employer branding opportunity.


t: +61 (0)7 3709 1003