How to Get Leadership to Buy Into an EVP Strategy

WRITTEN BY: Jörgen Sundberg

When you’re in charge of implementing an employee value proposition (EVP) or employer brand strategy across a global company, you can’t do it alone. Yes, you may be able to research and identify why people have joined and stayed at your organization, but turning that into an action plan for future success requires additional hands.

For Neil Daly at Baker Hughes, it’s not just about defining goals for your EVP and employer branding but getting the right people on board with what that looks like. If key stakeholders don’t understand your work and why it matters, you may meet resistance. Departments like corporate branding, corporate communications, and corporate marketing are already working in the same areas. They often have more resources than you do, so investing the time and energy to create alliances can make a big difference down the line.

Getting Executive Buy-In for Your EVP or Employer Branding Work

Getting executive attention and focus is often challenging if you’re working in EVP or employer branding. Leadership can feel like their job is done simply because they’ve hired someone to work in these areas. They may not realize that they play a role in how you activate your strategy.

“As much as you’d like to think that the Chief Executive and the board are really understanding about employer brand—they’re not. It’s not on their radar,” Daly says. “However, if you have data-driven information that shows why people want to stay at a company or why they leave, that’s gold.”

For Daly, getting the proof he needed began with internal research to identify the key attributes that drew people to his organization and kept them there. He created internal focus groups across the business, asking three simple questions to help identify Baker Hughes’s points of difference: Why did you join us? Why should someone join us? And, why are we different?

He also undertook senior leadership interviews to understand how the top levels of the organization talk about its values and priorities. This entire format was repeated globally to assess differences between each region and identify areas of overlap. Daly sought to understand the commonalities between what employees say, what executives say, and what actually makes the difference for candidates. What Daly needed, however, was quantitative data to back up these qualitative observations.

Why the Employer Brand Index Is So Valuable

“The most valuable research we did and something that struck a note throughout the business was our work with Link Humans,” Daly says. “Having an opportunity to present to the company and to the main board details around what people are saying about us as a company when we’re not in the room has been vital.”

Because the Employer Brand Index breaks down how employees talk about your organization across several different categories, you’re armed with the data you need to persuade leadership that their area of focus can have an outsized impact on the quality of candidates your business attracts. Knowing that purpose and mission are key drivers behind positive social media mentions, for example, can push executives to get active on LinkedIn or Twitter because they know what to talk about and why.

“[CEO Lorenzo Simonelli] was and continues to be a real champion of our mission to be a purpose-driven organization,” Daly says. “We know that is something that resonates hugely with someone looking for a new career—are they joining an organization that has a clear purpose and is out there to try and do the right thing in their field? So having a chief executive who walks the walk and talks the talk is hugely beneficial because it adds that credibility.”

You can talk about your EVP all day, but activating it requires getting leadership and other teams within your organization to understand how to do that. Arming yourself with data like the Employer Brand Index helps leadership know what to talk about and why it’s so important.

To learn more about Neil Daly’s work on employer brand, follow him on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn. For help measuring your employer brand, reach out to us about the Employer Brand Index. Our EBI uses 16 key attributes that measure how you compare with others in your industry.


Our newsletter is exclusively curated by our CEO, Jörgen Sundberg, for leaders who make decisions about talent. Subscribe for updates on The Employer Branding Podcast, new articles, eBooks, research and events we’re working on.


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