The 3-Step Process for Building an EVP

WRITTEN BY: Jörgen Sundberg

Employer branding is still a relatively new concept, and there are several organizations that have been around for a long time but have still not done the work to develop and launch an EVP (Employer Value Proposition).

That’s why we were happy to interview Kayla Branham, Marketing Manager of Talent Acquisition at ADT. Most people recognize this home security company from their ubiquitous blue octagon yard signs and window stickers. But although they’ve been around for over 150 years, they hadn’t ever done focused work on their EVP until Branham was brought on board.

However, as Branham is quick to point out, “every company has an employer brand, whether they acknowledge that it’s there or not.” Even if concepts like employer brand or EVP are new to your organization, people will still form opinions about your business and what it might be like to work there. We found out how Branham adapted Allison Kruise’s three-step model for brand activation to implement a new EVP at ADT.

1. Discovery

The first step was to discover what the employer brand already was. Their research was focused on answering some key questions:

  • Who are we as an employer?
  • What do we have to offer our employees and our candidates?
  • What’s the differentiated experience that you receive when you work at ADT?

Branham and her team asked these questions in employee focus groups and interviews with senior stakeholders. They wanted a broad set of perspectives from every level of the company. These “EVP roadshows” helped them define, in their team members’ own words, who they were and who they wanted to be in the future as an organization.

They also wanted to know what perceptions were already out there and where they needed to focus their efforts. They did additional external research on the industry as a whole and their specific competitors for talent.

2. Define the EVP

There was a common word that came up repeatedly in focus groups: Trust. It’s core to what they do at ADT, so Branham and her team were able to frame their EVP within that context.  That’s how they landed on the following: “At ADT, you’re entrusted with tomorrow.”

From there, the next step was to build out brand pillars to give their broader mission more specificity:

  • Take ownership: Team members are trusted to own their work and make impactful decisions in exchange for the support and career growth that come from working with an industry leader.
  • Work with great purpose: This speaks to ADT’s 150-year history in home security. The work they do is important and there is a responsibility to earn customers’ trust.
  • Shape the future: As technology becomes a bigger and bigger part of the home security industry, ADT puts its trust in team members to deliver innovative and forward-looking solutions.
  • Win together: They show trust and respect to every team member that makes up their diverse and inclusive culture. Do the right things for the right reasons and do right by each other.

I’ve added italics here so you can see how the concept of trust runs through each of these pillars. There’s a give-and-get element to each of them, Branham notes. “It’s what team members offer to an employer as well as what the team member is receiving in exchange,” she says.

3. Activation

ADT’s EVP launched in November of 2022, so it’s still very new. Branham and her team worked with communications partners to start teasing it in internal comms months in advance of the external rollout. “We wanted our team members to feel brought along in our EVP journey,” she says.

They created an EVP teaser video series that they published company-wide. They also made a talent marketing hub for team members with over a hundred pieces of content they could use. They wanted to help their employees brag about landmarks they had reached working at ADT, whether they were newly hired, newly promoted, or just wanted something spiffy to put on their LinkedIn profile. Finally, there was a social sharing contest to get people talking about what working at ADT means to them in their own words.

Looking to the future, Branham will be partnering closely with Talent Management to focus on continuing internal activation and adoption. “We want to ensure that our EVP is a lived experience for our team members,” she says. They know that scaling the employer brand internally is the most important thing for growing external awareness.

Minds, Hands & Hearts

As I mentioned earlier, this 3-step framework owes a lot to Allison Kruise’s “fill the minds, equip the hands, win the hearts” framework. That makes sense because they’re both members of the Talent Marketing Board, where talent and employer branding leaders can connect to discuss challenges and share learnings.

If you’re faced with building an EVP for your organization, remember to start by listening. Your business already has an employer brand, and it’s up to you to figure out what’s working, what’s not, and how to grow it into something inspiring.

To follow Kayla Branham’s work in employer brand, connect with her on LinkedIn. For help with your own EVP, get in touch. We help you identify the values and culture you want to create in your company.


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