Don’t worry, you’re not alone – but we’ve got you covered!
The world of Employer Branding can be complex. We think unnecessarily so sometimes.
We’re here to keep things simple, straightforward and, most of all, easy. And that starts with getting the basic terminology right.
Just this week we were asked to tender for two projects that asked for Employer Value Proposition (EVP) development. On closer inspection, the tender documents were asking for much more than that – it was EVP plus an entire Employer Brand Development and activation strategy.
This is problematic because the companies involved are risking not getting what they need by not knowing what to ask for, and businesses who received the tender may rule themselves out based on the top line ask, leaving the company with fewer responses from less suitable suppliers.
Now that we think about it, that’s actually a great metaphor for having a good EVP in place to attract great candidates: if you are clear on your purpose, you’re more likely to attract candidates who align with it. But we digress…
If you’re looking at an Employer Brand project from the outside and thinking ‘where the bleep do I start?’, this is a good place:
Breaking down the EVP mystery.
You may never have heard of an EVP. You may think it’s interchangeable with an Employer Brand. But while both are critical elements of the overall Employer Branding process, they are two very different things.
What is an EVP? It’s a Building Block
An Employer Value Proposition is a set of universal truths that define what makes an organisation a unique and desirable place to work.
It’s your bottom line give/get offer to candidates and your people. It can be as long or as short as you like, reflecting the values and tone of your business. So it might be a line of copy or it could take up an entire side of A4 with an overarching statement, pillars and proof points.
What it always is is the result of deep and thorough research. Your EVP is excavated, not created. It is the amalgamated overarching truth of your people offer, shaped to form a blueprint or template for all your storytelling (Employer Brand!), both internally and externally.
Every piece of attraction, recruitment, retention or engagement communications that develops from you EVP shares the same roots, the same cohesion and the same authenticity.
Most often, an EVP is an internal document used to shape strategy. Some businesses are open with theirs and happy to share it. It’s up to you. The most important thing is that you have one and bring it to life every day however you need to.
What is an Employer Brand? It’s the Building.
If an EVP is a building block, your Employer Brand is the building: it’s the experience of your EVP built into a welcoming environment (website, social, newsletters, onboarding materials – every touchpoint!) that enhances and amplifies all the good things about your organisation and culture.
It can also help to identify and address any issues you have with attraction and retention.
It’s a home for how if feels to work for you and a forum for improvement, moving your reputation as an employer forward every time you communicate it.
It’s the big picture that forms in the minds of the audience from all of the elements you use to create it:
- The brand expression – the tone, the language, the colour, the imagery
- The placement – where it is seen, for example, on your career site, in social media, a job ad or an employer review site
- The message – derived largely from the EVP and tailored to the audience type
- Your messaging will be different for a candidate (for example: we have a job for you!) than it will be for an internal audience (for example: we’re embarking on a new strategy!) but both should sit within the tone, style and scope of your Employer Brand.
You can see how both are very different. But, in an ideal world, and to be most effective, you can’t have one without the other. A great EVP will sit at the heart of your attraction and retention strategy, driving and building all your Employer Branding activity.
If you’re still not sure, don’t know where to start, or wonder how a good EVP and Employer Brand can help to address your specific issues, just ask!