How to Plan an EVP Development Project

WRITTEN BY: Jörgen Sundberg

A good project plan takes encompasses the approach the team will take and enables team and stakeholders to document decisions around the objective, scope, timescale, resources, and desired outcomes of the Employer Value Proposition (EVP) development initiative.

Towers Watson report that their research shows that organisations with a formal EVP:

  • Are less likely to report problems attracting and retaining critical-skill employees
  • Are two and a half times more likely to report financial performance above that of their peers

As well as a detailed development plan, a key success factor for creating a robust EVP is a well defined and resourced communication plan.

Define and align

Ideally, you will use a cross-functional team to look at your existing data and decide the elements of your organisation that employees value in terms of culture and employer brand. Employees are your most reliable source of information but don’t fail to talk to ex-employees and retirees if you can. This information will allow you to draft an EVP plan which:

  • Aligns with strategic objectives
  • Articulates how the organisation is unique and special
  • Presents a picture of what it is like to work with your team

It’s important to test your ideas about the EVP with existing employees and other stakeholders to ensure it clearly defines why someone would want to work for the organisation. You need to get this right and pay attention to aligning the employment experience with your employer brand promises. A study by Weber Shandwick, in partnership with KRC Research, found that only 19% of the nearly 2,000 global employees surveyed report that their experience with their employer matches that company’s publicly facing employer brand.

When you have a clearly defined EVP you can start considering creative and innovative ways to communicate it to the potential applicants you want to attract. Think about whether you need to create engagement plans to target specific segments internally and externally. The most useful thing to do is a regular review of EVP by questioning joiners and leavers, and using engagement or culture surveys to ensure it reflects corporate values and what matters most to potential recruits and employees.

Holistic planning

Exactly what you plan will depend on the size and nature of your organisation but do take a nose to tail approach and plan to adapt and adjust as you go, there’s no point consulting stakeholders and then ignoring their input. Buy-in from senior management is essential, they will need to lead on EVP, and you will also need employee advocates to spread the message internally and externally. Maren Hogan of Red Branch Media told us it’s also really important to get, ‘what does the receptionist think, how is the associate branch manager doing?’.

Think about all your hiring channels such as organisational websites, advertisements, and the application and interview process. It can be useful to take a mystery shopper approach so as to investigate how prospective talent sees the process. Consistent communication of a clearly delineated EVP via all brand channels, marketing, and public relations and will enable potential applications to form a positive view of the organisation, its values, and culture.

We recommend the following short checklist to clarify thinking around your message:

  • Ensure the EVP articulates your employer brand assets and unique selling points
  • Convey an EVP that clearly differentiates the organisation
  • Check that the EVP is authentic and inspirational
  • Align the EVP with the strategic business plan, people agenda, and overall brand message

Remember that a plan is just the starting point, you need to review and monitor performance against the plan. Create a review process to ensure your employment brand messages are achieving your goals and bear in mind that your culture evolves over time so messaging may need to be adjusted. Use focus groups and get your people to talk about what they like and don’t like and keep a watch on social media to ensure the message is landing with the right impact and emphasis.

Aim for your EVP to be as clearly aligned as possible to your corporate brand as this is the basis on which to build the employment brand, recruitment marketing, and employee retention and engagement.


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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