Employer Branding and EVP – the essential brand tools for attracting and retaining top talent

August 8, 2023
B2B Employee insights Employer branding

In a recent PWC report, 38% of employees have said they are considering leaving their current role, while 49% of C-Suite leaders revealed they have not considered reviewing their employee value proposition (EVP). Priorities have certainly shifted for employees in the past two years and employers need to gain a better understanding of what the new drivers are for creating a vibrant and compelling work culture that will attract the best to your business.

At BrandMatters, we have been at the coal face of this reprioritisation, with many marketing and human resources leaders approaching us with a somewhat similar challenge: In this tough employment market, how can I more effectively engage my brand to help the business attract and retain the best talent, especially as the market becomes increasingly competitive and offers to employees become increasingly undifferentiated?

The answer lies in ensuring your brand positioning and values align with your employer brand. This is one of the most effective ways to ensure an organisation is successful in delivering on its brand promise from both a client experience and employee experience point of view.

Ensure your brand values are woven through your employee value proposition (EVP)

The overarching goal of any EVP is to articulate a compelling and connected brand that reflects the inherent opportunity that a career at your organisation could provide. This is also designed to enable each employee to understand and connect their role to the overarching intent and purpose of your business. Regardless of department and position, a strong EVP should support the initiatives and direction within your business and positively contribute to building the overall culture of your organisation.

In this article, we explain what is involved in developing an EVP, how best to bring it to life, and how you can demonstrate it is helping your organisation to both attract and retain the best.

What does a typical EVP process look like?

In any EVP process, it is critical that the foundations are well established and born from the insights of your most important assets – your employees. Your EVP is a natural extension of your well-defined and articulated brand positioning, so it is essential your organisation has explored or built out its positioning in the market that differentiates your brand from its competitors. This is particularly relevant for B2B service organisations, where customer interaction with employees forms part of the core offering.

At the start of an EVP project, our key priority is to extract the valuable insights that sit within your organisation. To do this, we start with brand research. We conduct in-depth interviews with key stakeholders from various parts of the business. These insights help us understand what the typical employee experience is currently, how they feel and what they want from their employer. It is important that the insights of these interviews are anonymous and analysed from an external non-biased viewpoint.

After engaging with these stakeholders, we conduct focus groups with a diverse subset of employees to generate verbatims and tangible evidence that stress test the perspectives of the C-Suite. We often support these insights with a quantitative survey of an organisation’s entire workforce, to provide additional metrics and data.

Collectively, these insights enable us to develop unique EVP territories that are distinctive, aspirational, and realistic for the brand and align with the brand positioning in the market. This is not simply a process of listing tangible benefits that employees are presented with (in fact one recent EVP review we completed stated the line “When it comes to employee benefits, we have everything you’d expect, and more” – it’s instead about connecting all the different components of a contemporary employment offering, with the positioning of your brand in the market, and how that helps shape the narrative for the employment experience.

Throughout our EVP process, we would integrate a brand lens as we answer questions such as…

  • Your promise for employees (To sort people in and out) – What are the characteristics of your employee experience?
  • The evidence (show don’t tell) – what are the proof points and why should employees listen?
  • Your expectations – How does an ideal person in your business operate?
  • Employees’ expectations – what do they expect in return?

Bringing your organisation’s EVP and offer to life

Once we have these EVP foundations, born through research and insight, we are in a position to bring your EVP to life visually. There are a variety of tactical deliverables that can be considered in this process. Here are a few examples of what BrandMatters have completed in the past…

  • Employee onboarding resources – how you induct your employees will stick with the employee and set the scene for them to fully understand what is expected and what to expect from working for your organisation.
  • Careers page on your website – A natural extension of the above is the updates of your external voice, which is more actively involved in attracting and engaging the best and brightest. This includes updating website copy and imagery in the new intent of the brand as it relates to employees.
  • EVP book – Inspiring employees, both current and future, to unite behind the brand is much easier with this short, sharp EVP presentation book. We would distribute this asset to all employees, to allow them to understand the EVP, our positioning, and how a career in this organisation will create enduring value for them personally and professionally.
  • Intranet and internal communications – Creating lasting impact with our internal audiences requires a combination of copywriting and visual execution tasks, where freshly designed posters, print assets, workspaces, templates, and communications content can effectively articulate the clarity and consistency of your employment offer.
  • Video series – To create an authentic view of life inside your organisation from those that live within it, short and sharp video series can be deployed across owned and paid assets to amplify the employee experience.

Ensuring accountability on your investment

Finally, throughout the EVP process, multiple measurements can easily be put in place to track a variety of metrics that help hold the EVP strategy accountable. It is worth noting, an EVP is a remarkably cost-effective way of achieving synergy in your brand experience, your client experience and your employee experience. But as EVPs sit across multiple remits, the expectations for accountability increase significantly. Because of this, we have developed quantitative surveys in the past that build on the aforementioned employee survey that measure and track attributes such as…

  • Reduced employee attrition rates, increased number of ex-staff potentially returning
  • Increased internal opportunities that retain employees
  • Increased applicants from beyond your specific sector
  • Increased number and quality of external applicants
  • Tracked improvement in employee engagement scores
  • Increased representation of diversity across external applicants
  • Consistent applications of EVP framework to internal communications

Employer branding is a vital part of your overall brand strategy

It is just as important to understand how a brand comes to life internally as it does externally. Aligning an EVP to brand values is a vital step in your overall business strategy. A collaboratively developed and clearly articulated EVP will support initiatives and contribute to building the culture of an organisation. This then becomes central to the current and future employees’ experience with the brand. It allows each employee to understand the role they play within the organisation and what this means in the context of the overall business strategy and the brand’s promise to internal and external customers.

With a unique employer brand positioning and a clearly articulated EVP, your people will be engaged, enthusiastic and happy to go the extra mile to help your organisation grow and prosper. If your organisation would like to explore its employer brand strategy or develop a coherent EVP to attract and retain the best, contact BrandMatters.

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