What is an EVP?

Your Employee Value Proposition (EVP) defines why your company is different to others you might be competing with for candidates. Katharine Newton, Head of Insight at Talent Works, defines an EVP as “a compelling description of the most defining and differentiating aspects of what an organisation offers, and what’s expected of employees in return.”

TWI has spent years supporting companies throughout their recruitment processes. This includes helping them develop their EVPs.

Why can developing an EVP prove difficult?

Your EVP should be easily understandable for candidates, but also something employees across the whole organisation can relate to. It should communicate what the overall organisation stands for. However, it should also show them what to expect day to day within the specific sub-brand that they are considering working for.

Large organisations, with multiple sub-brands, can find developing an EVP that works for all especially challenging. Yet, it’s these employers who are struggling the most to find the talent they need.

Defining an EVP is a product of multiple components, which include:

  • The internal positives of working for an organisation
  • The rewards & recognition offered
  • The internal positives that set the business apart
  • How employees are expected to contribute
  • The values and ways of working
  • Senior stakeholders’ aspirations for the employee experience

Why is a good EVP so important?

Globally, 45% of organisations are struggling to find the talent they need. This is the highest global talent shortage in twelve years and means that we are in the middle of a talent crisis. Research links the shortage to a rise in technological developments and economic prosperity.

Technology is transforming the way we work. Therefore, vacancies require new skills that the workforce isn’t fully equipped with yet, and many markets are nearing full employment. As well as this, organisations in a wide range of countries are buoyed by a steadily strengthening economy. Resultingly, they are increasing their headcount, adding further pressure to the talent shortage crisis. Hardly any country is immune, and companies of all sizes are struggling.

Candidates are in the driving seat

67% of large companies report hiring challenges. Nearly a quarter of businesses say they’re having more difficulty hiring now than a year ago. 35% of businesses cite a lack of applicants as their biggest challenge. As a result, it’s not employers choosing candidates anymore, its candidates choosing employers. According to research and HR professionals’ everyday experience, the job market is 90% candidate driven. As such, just-in-time recruitment no longer cuts it.

Nowadays, for firms to catch the eye of appropriate candidates, they need to market their offering. This means nurturing their employer brand and work environment, which shapes the candidate’s perception of the entire employee experience. They need to promote their company culture, career development opportunities and provide compelling stories about what it’s like to work for them. The days of simply posting job vacancies are over. However, in terms of employer marketing, a significant gap between a promise and the reality is a sure-fire route to new hire disappointment, and reduced employee engagement.

A 5-step guide to building a multi-brand EVP

So, drawing on our experience in supporting companies with their employer brand management, we have developed this 5-step guide to developing a strong EVP.

  1. Identify, through an extensive and engaging programme of employee research, what’s common to the different brands within your organisation, and what’s unique.
  2. Define the overall corporate brand.
  3. Using the common themes identified during the research phase, and your corporate purpose, develop an overarching statement. At this stage, keep it simple. Don’t try to be all things to all people.
  4. Define each individual brand and sit these definitions alongside the overarching statement.
  5. Test the EVP with the target audience. This can be either at a rough concept stage or near execution. It can also be done either through qualitative or quantitative research. An EVP that’s been informed by a thorough programme of research should work for 90% of the target population. Then, test it again after launching to ensure it has accomplished what you set out to achieve.

This process will produce a balanced EVP which is broad enough to incorporate all the brands, with a clear higher-level narrative at its heart. Developing a multi-brand EVP that works for candidates and existing employees is challenging. However, with these five building blocks, it is not impossible. A strong employer brand is, however, vital to stand out while the current talent shortage continues to cause businesses hiring problems. Therefore, a thoroughly researched and well communicated EVP can enable you to attract the right talent to work for your company and help promote employee retention.

Katharine Newton is Head of Insight at Talent Works International (TWI). TWI is a global talent communications firm that helps organisations around the world build effective and efficient talent strategies through our research, sourcing and creative teams. For more information, contact: Katharine.newton@talent-works.com