To sum up – employer brand is about the relationship an organisation has with current, past and potential employees. An EVP statement tells them what is expected of employees and what they, in turn, can expect from the organisation.
“Employer branding represents a firm’s efforts to promote, both within and outside the firm, a clear view of what makes it different and desirable as an employer and it allows the firm to differentiate itself from other employers competing for talent and to attract applicants who ideally possess similar, if not the same, values as the organisation” (Backhaus and Tikoo, 2004).
In essence, there is only one important rule and everything else follows from that imperative. Authenticity is key, it’s important that your EVP accurately represents the organisation and its values. The success of your branding initiative depends on how your leadership team lives up to corporate mission and vision with integrity.
An EVP statement needs to be genuine, based on what is right for the employees, not what your competitors are doing. The brand that fails to live up to their EVP promise risks reputational damage and recruitment challenges.
Understand your employee brand
DO start with your own people because, especially in a services firm, your people are your brand, so get your primary data from those who know.
You need to understand what it’s really like to be an employee. Start by talking to existing employees, using focus groups and surveys, to explore their perceptions of the EVP. This internal audience is easy to access, but do try to use exit interviews too. If you can talk to former employees you should gather some valuable data, high-performance organisations understand the value of maintaining strong relationships with former employees.
What’s missing is an important piece of the puzzle – the people who don’t want to work for you. If you want to enhance and promote your brand, you need to understand what’s important to those who you are currently failing to attract. Feedback from candidates who turn down your offer of work is important.
Aligned with goals
DO take the data from employees and weigh it in conjunction with how the leadership team wants the employer brand to be perceived. Ensure the EVP statement is aligned with organisational goals and that it reflects your audience and the attributes that the organisation chooses to promulgate.
EVP alignment with wider corporate strategy, vision and values is critical to success. A robust EVP statement is one that aligns with what you stand for in the marketplace and how you want to be thought of as an employer.
This what the CIPD say: “make sure that you can deliver what the brand promises, that the value proposition is one your current employees can recognise and believe in, and that candidates will experience full alignment between what they expect and what they experience. One of the keys to a successful brand is to ensure that expectation is fully aligned with the reality of working for your organisation.”
Track and monitor
DON’T leave it at that; business life moves quickly, so an employer value proposition (EVP) is never done and dusted, you need to continue to measure how it is playing with employees and candidates. Measuring, monitoring and improving organisational reputation is an important part of wider talent strategy and ensures the development of the employer brand for the future.
A successful EVP establishes confidence, loyalty, and enthusiasm throughout the organisation by bringing to life a distinctive organisational culture and brand identity that will attract great talent.