I feel like this statement needs be made.
An employee value proposition is, like many other things, an element of your employer brand, it is not your employer brand
It also does not mean that once you have an EVP that’s it, your work here is done you can pack your bags and walk away.
An EVP has a number of key objectives that it needs to achieve in order to be effective, worthwhile and of value. It can’t be effective if all the other elements of an employer brand are ignored. On it’s own, an EVP is just a series of empty statements that are neither emotive, engaging or persuasive.
In order for your EVP to mean anything, you first have to understand what the point is.
1) What is the point….
Meaning – what is the business trying to do? What needs to shift in order for the organisation to meet it’s goals and objectives? Do you need to grow the business? reduce turnover, increase engage? What exactly is required?
I would love you to think right now, what EXACTLY do you need your employer brand to do. Be really specific. Not just, attract new people……. which people? how many? who? where, when, how?
I would encourage you to answer these questions……….
2) What to do, what to do
Once you have your value proposition or people promise, what are you going to do with it? Meaning, how are you going to bring it to life. Five statements on a website does not quite cut it if you’re trying to create an engaging and business changing message.
Who are the people and what are the stories that you’re going to tell. I’m also not just talking about two or three videos, I’m talking about building a story across multiple channels.
Do you remember those old Nescafe TV ads where there was a story. A woman had moved to New Zealand on her own and she ended up having coffee with someone and then met the love of her life….. (anyway I digress), I was so engaged with the 3 people in those ads and I followed the story with every new ad they had, thinking what would happen next.
That’s the type of story telling I’m talking about. Real. Engaging. Exciting. I can identify with that kind of story telling.
3) How am I going to communicate it?
Of course it needs to be on the career site, but what else could you do?
Create a following to your story, in images and videos. Create a trail for your target audience to follow and to engage with.
As an employee of your business, I may be on instagram one day, the career site the next and then you may find me on the company facebook page…..who know’s.
What’s the message I’m carrying? What’s the dialog that I want in return? If your business is solving a global or local problem then what are people saying about the issue? What do your employees think about the issue. How can I share more of what real people with real opinions are saying?
4) Does it hit the mark?
Are you reaching your audience? Are they engaging? How can you tell?
Measuring and engaging with your audience is what separates okay companies from great companies. There’s no point putting a message out in the market and then dusting your hands off……now what? Is it doing what we want it to? Think about how you’re going to measure things before you put them out there and it will be much easier.
We live in a world of ever changing and evolving content. You have the platforms, ability and opportunity to create context to your content, to make it different and to stand out. Tell the story, be creative. If I said to you, you have to do something completely different to what anyone else is doing in the market….what would you do?
Oh, what I would do if I could tell your story………….
I recently presented at the HRO Conference in Singapore on Hudson RPO’s annual global research paper in partnership with HRO Today which focuses on what top employer brands do differently to other brands.
The primary research was gathered via one-on-one interviews with top employer brands plus a 3-week online survey of global senior HR practitioners (328 usable responses).
I found this research so practical and insightful for organisations that are still looking at how they build their employer brand and what activities they need to focus on.
Here a just a few of the findings that came out of the report. If you’d like the full report (I highly recommend it!!) then download it here.
One of the biggest questions I get from clients when it comes to developing their employer brand is – where do we start? Do we just refresh our EVP, or should we just update our career site? What if I put a few videos in there, will that be enough. As with most big projects, we need to understand the objectives – what do you want your employer brand to do exactly? Building a strategy to support the successful execution of a project is critical.
The research shows that twice as many top employer brands have a defined and documented employer brand strategy compared to other brands.
So I would ask you – does your business have an employer brand strategy or is it more of an activities focus. If we just do these one or two things then we’ll be fine? Is the strategy lead by the wider HR and Business strategy so that it’s tied into delivering what the business needs? These are the types of questions that need to be asked.
Not only do we need a strategy but we need someone who can champion that strategy. The leader, the passionate crusader that understands what it’s all about, who understands the benefits and opportunities and is able to articulate that and position it in the right way to get the job done.
Once again, top brands were more likely to have CEO or President level sponsorship. I think a lot of organisations are unsure how to have the commercial conversation around what quantifiable impact EB will have on the business therefore it’s not something that is discussed at C-suite or exec level.
Top brands also generally had stronger visibility of their employer brand across their senior leadership team. By having the entire leadership team on board and behind what you are doing means that your ability to rally internal support and engagement will be higher.
I was having this conversation with the HRD of a large consulting firm the other day, and she commented that they need to see a return on investment before they will invest anything worthwhile. And whilst there are things that can be done inexpensively, there needs to be some investment if any impact is to be made. That might be cash investment or it could be resources investment – but something has to be given in order to get something in return. We found that top employer brands invested 52% more than other brands.
Top brands use more social channels to promote their employer brands, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest. By using multiple channels you’re engaging current and potential employees in different ways. You’re provide multi content collateral for their consumption which is always going to more engaging that just one type of content in one place.
Partnering for Success
As an employer brand strategy can be a project in itself with many different components, the research found that whilst 57% of organisations manage their employer brand internally and 61.3% of Top Brands partnered with an external business/consultant compared with 42.9% of other brands. Bringing in specialised expertise to help you build a strategy as well as execute key activities will ensure you have targeted outcomes.
Overall, top tier employer brand companies involved more departments and other groups in promoting their employer brand as seen below. By ensuring that you’re using experts in your business to deliver input, advice and output for the employer brand project will not only share the work load but it will ensure that the employer brand is in line with the corporate and consumer brand as well. 44.6% of Top Employer Brands have defined roles compared with 17.6% of other brands.
Measuring Return on Investment
As always this one is a surprise to a degree. We’re so focused on metrics and measuring everything but the Employer Brand is still the last thing to be measured. 61.4% of respondents said that they don’t measure return on investment when it comes to their Employer Brand whilst 22.4% weren’t sure.
These are just some of the findings from the research undertaken. The report provides break out “how to” boxes to make it not only informative but very practical.
If you’d like to discuss how your employer branding strategy can meet your business needs this year then drop me a message and we can discuss how we could potentially work together – firstname.lastname@example.org
On the other hand, I’m not so keen on organisations doing the same thing when it come to their Employer Brand.
Well if and when this ever happens to you, you have two choices. One – you can clean yourself up and present yourself in a way that reflects the way you would prefer to be seen or two, you can just leave it there and walk around all day looking like an ice-cream mess.
The bottom line is, just because you choose to ignore your Employer Brand, doesn’t mean that everyone else will too. I recently saw a tweet that got me thinking (even more) about employer brand. The tweet said….
Now I know that whenever Deloitte, Google or Microsoft are mentioned everyone rolls their eyes and says yes but we don’t have their budgets, size, etc. Forget about all of that for a minute. Imagine if someone met one of your employees and said “I met a person from (insert your company) and there were everything I imagined they would be…(add positive, positive, positive here)!”
Many organisation don’t think about their employer brand in the market. They don’t care if it’s got chocolate all over it or not. Ignorance seems to be bliss for some reason.
As we all talk about sourcing, engagement, talent pools etc, I’m still amazed that organisations don’t recognise one of their biggest asset when it comes to finding the right talent – an engaging employer brand. Now imagine, that instead of having to go out and find the best people, they came to find you?
I can hear sourcers near and far saying hallelujah!
Understanding what it is you stand for and what you offer and then clearly communicated that with your target candidate audience in the right way will cut your sourcing time down significantly.
Developing your Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is key in communicating up to date, true and real messages around your employer brand and testing that message both internally and externally. What many businesses don’t realise is that having a strong employer brand internally is just as important as your external brand in the market. Reinforcing your internal message helps you to retain great people and external messaging allows you to attract great people.
Going through a formal employer branding process ensures that you are giving a true reflection of your organisation. It doesn’t have to be a long and cumbersome process, and it’ll help you ensure that you’re aligning the right messages in the market.
It would be great for an organisation to allocate 10% or more of the recruitment budget every year specifically to employer branding and then measure the impact and influence. I know it would pay for itself in no time! If companies allocated spend to this then the benefits they could see include:
- Increased awareness of the organisation and job opportunities
- Strong alignment of motivations and company fit when hiring
- Increased internal engagement
- Early awareness of risk areas in the business when it comes to talent leaving or being unhappy
- Increase branding opportunities
- Increased sharability of your company messages through social media platforms
The benefits are countless yet so many businesses don’t focus on the value of building employer brand. Is your company fighting to find the right talent but missing the market when it comes to owning their employer brand in the market?
To finish off, I thought this article in the Harvard Business Review was a really interesting one asking “Would you wear your company’s T-shirt in public”.
So the question is; would you?
Image source: The Right Group