How to Develop your Employer Brand and EVP

Nov 22, 2016Employer Brand, Employer Value Proposition, Human Resources

In today’s world, companies are facing an ever-increasing shortage of talent. Not only are good people so often hard to find, they are also hard to retain. Financial rewards and benefits are not the primary driving factor of job satisfaction. Instead, people are looking to the overall experience of working for an organisation.


The reason we love our parents is because they loved us first. Every single company should take this advice.~ Gary Vaynerchuk


With the emergence of sites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn, this is easier than ever. Organisations are more transparent and people need only look to the internet to find insights from current or former employees. Potential employees and stakeholders of every kind are looking to these sites to compare their company with competitors.

People care about integrity, workplace culture and opportunities for career progression. If a company isn’t up to par on areas like these, job-hunters will look elsewhere for work. Before they even come in the door, potential employees will probably already have their minds made up.

As a result of these changes, pressure is mounting on organisations to deliver. They need to stand out. This is where employer brand and EVP (Employer Value Proposition) can help.

What is employer brand?


Employer brand is how a company portrays itself to the outside world. It’s about how it captures the attention of potential employees and earns the loyalty of current employees.

Employer brand requires that companies take an active approach towards defining and managing their brand. By doing this, they can enhance their ability to attract and retain talent. But what’s the key to developing a successful employer brand?



It’s about building an emotional connection


According to Andrew Collett of HR Partners, employer branding is all about hearts and minds. As Simon Sinek writes in ‘Start with Why’, brand loyalty is all about an emotional connection.

Take Nike for example. In the highly competitive sports clothing and footwear industry, Nike managed to build a connection with their successful Better For It campaign.

Everyday women with fitness goals were the target. Women who want to push themselves further and finish their first half-marathon or build a yoga habit. Women who will feel #betterforit if they work out. This campaign focused around short motivational videos and inspiration from other female athletes. It saw women taking to social media to report on their progress, on their struggles and daily wins.

Nike sought to build an emotional connection with their customers, and it worked.

When we think about the brands we choose, we have to consider why we choose them over others. Very often it’s not the price or reputation of the company that attracts you to one brand over another. It’s how the product or service makes you feel.

It’s the same situation when people are looking for work and deciding who to apply to. As Andrew Collett points out, employees often decide on the basis of a company’s culture, its perceived career opportunities and its reported level of workplace flexibility. Companies need to work on their brand and target the employees they want to attract. Previously this was the role of marketing professionals, but the trend is moving towards HR practitioners. The goal is to touch the hearts and minds of potential employees using employer brand.


Employee Value Proposition (EVP)

Why does EVP matter?


As Andrew Collett from HR Partners states, the most important aspect of employer brand is employee value proposition or EVP. This should be reflected in all aspects of the business and show the core personality of the organisation. It should be reflected in the day to day reality of working for the business, and not just the values the organisation would like to have.

As Insync Surveys point out, your EVP is a marketing tool which can be used through the current employees to reach other people the organisation may deal with.

The purpose of the EVP is to lay out what the company would most like to portray about themselves to prospective employees, as well as what they feel they can offer. It can define the value employees are expected to provide and the benefits they can gain from working in the company.

Research by Towers Watson found that organizations with formal employee value propositions are five times more likely to have a highly engaged workforce. They are also less likely to report experiencing difficulties with recruitment and talent retention. So, how can an EVP be developed?



How to develop an EVP

The following four steps can help you create your EVP.


1. Analyse employee material you already have


The chances are your organization already has a lot of material which can be helpful in developing an EVP. Spend time analyzing and dissecting data on recruitment and retention figures, onboarding and exit surveys and anonymous questionnaires. Seek to identify key trends and themes, and pay extra attention to written comments by employees.


2. Hold interviews with key stakeholders


This is where the real work towards developing your employee value proposition comes in. Sit down with key individuals from management, marketing, human resources and current and prospective employees if possible. The interviews should focus on the themes and trends identified in step one.

As Andrew Collett remarks, the temptation might be to heavily employ marketing strategies to deliver on the new EVP, but HR strategies are necessary. Input from existing and former employees informs the employer value proposition.


3. Develop and refine your employer value proposition


Following the information gathered from research and interviews, write out your EVP. Create it as a short, snappy statement which provides a picture of the organisation’s employee experience and employer brand commitment.

Ensure also that you narrow your focus down to support your EVP, perhaps by concentrating on career development or corporate social responsibility. Don’t worry about pleasing everybody, because after all, this would be impossible.


4. Implement your EVP


When delivering your EVP message, make sure it reaches across all aspects of the employee experience, including recruitment and career development. Recruitment adverts, performance development packages and discussions around renumeration should reflect this.

Seek feedback to make sure your EVP is really being implemented. Include questions on it in employee surveys and questionnaires. This can help determine the true value of the EVP as it stands, and can show you where improvements can be made.

An employer value proposition development plan is a good idea as it can compare findings from both potential and current employees to see whether the EVP is an accurate depiction of day-to-day reality of working for the company. Whether or not employees are attracted to your company can really depend on your employer brand and EVP.


Final thoughts…


To attract and retain the right talent, develop your employer brand and EVP. The key to employer brand is building an emotional connection, as Nike achieved in their Better For It campaign. The purpose of EVP is to show potential employees the benefits of working for your organisation. To develop your organisation’s EVP, implement the following steps: analyse employee material you already have, interview key stakeholders, develop and refine your EVP, and implement your EVP.

“In this ever-changing society, the most powerful and enduring brands are built from the heart. They are real and sustainable. Their foundations are stronger because they are built with the strength of the human spirit, not an ad campaign. The companies that are lasting are those that are authentic.”~ Howard Schultz


This is the complete guide to get you and your HR department on track in 2017. For a limited time only we are giving this away as a free download.

Do you want 2017 to be a great year for your and your organisation?

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