In my last post, I talked about the key ingredients of a successful employer value proposition. 

So how do you understand what makes your EVP - authentic, aspirational, unique and dynamic? The answer is through a process of discovery and immersion.

We spend time in each organisation, developing a deep understanding of the culture, the goals and what makes this organisation unique. We can ask hard questions and gather insights that leaders may miss when they are too close to be objective. Our approach also allows employees to speak more candidly.

This process includes qualitative research, like conversations with leaders of the organization and former and current employees, and quantitative research, including data from engagement and pulse surveys as well as candidate data. During this initial insights phase, we collect data and information from new hires, current employees and alumni of your organization, so you can understand what motivates people to stay and what drives people to leave. You may have some of this information from exit interviews, but you can learn more by adding stay interviews and new hire surveys.

After completing the discovery process, we define three elements:

  • Your organisation’s aspirations: This includes short- and long-term goals about how the organisation wants to change in response to industry and cultural transformation.
  • Your organisation’s current stateThis should reflect the reality – the good and bad about what it is like to work at your organization right now.
  • The outside perception of your organisationThis should include the level of brand recognition you have as an employer as well as what potential candidates think of your organisation.

There will be gaps between these three elements, and by analyzing those gaps, we can begin to build your EVP. We put together a statement that reflects those three elements and what is unique, authentic and aspirational about your organisation – we also build the EVP so it can bend to speak to different audiences and change over time. 

Once that statement starts to take form, we test, refine and optimize.

Testing, Refining and Optimizing

The process of building an effective EVP is more akin to the process of testing and refining prototypes than it is to a grand reveal. In many ways, the process of gathering insights and testing will happen at the same time. Throughout the process, you should start with a hypothesis, and then test and refine the message. Your hypothesis will be challenged through conversations with leaders and employees, so it can be refined for an initial roll-out.

Throughout this process, you will make changes to your initial EVP statement, as you see what aspects of it resonate with your audience and current employees. During the testing phase, you should also identify your audiences. Your organisation will have several, depending on the type of work you do. The type of candidate you want for a digital or creative position will likely be drawn in differently than a candidate for a floor manager or call centre position. 

You should test your EVP with these different audiences and build a spectrum of employer brand messaging, rather than one that simply splits the difference. Once your EVP is ready, you move into the roll-out stage – gaining buy-in from your current employees and infusing it throughout your entire candidate experience.

Once you roll out an EVP, your not done testing, refining and optimizing. One way to think of this process is that your EVP should always be “in beta.” This doesn’t mean you need to undergo the process of discovery from the beginning each time you modify your EVP. Instead, as your organisation evolves, you should continuously test and evolve your brand messaging so it always reflects where your organization is and where your organization is going.

Key Takeaways

  • Employers need to create an EVP that is unique to their organisation but also speaks to both their present state and their future and keeps up with the pace of change in the global economy.
  • Your EVP should be created through a process that assesses the gaps between where your organisation aspires to be, what employees really experience and how the outside world sees your organisation.
  • Your EVP should be optimised by testing and refining your messaging to build an employer brand that speaks directly to the candidates you want to attract.