Outside the Box > Blog > Employer branding — why having a great EVP isn’t enough.

Employer branding why having a great EVP isn’t enough.

— Jim Galligan

Sometimes, we come across people who ask a question that goes like this:

“I have a really great employee value proposition—we’ve put a lot of research, time, and thought into making it attractive to key talent and authentic to what we offer as an employer. Do I really need an employer brand?”

And the answer is easy—yes!

You need an employer brand because it delivers a completely different set of benefits to your business than your EVP.

Let’s dig into the roles of each so you can understand how they work together to make meaningful connections with the people who power the success of your business.

Employer branding—why having a great EVP isn’t enough.

Your EVP is your elevator pitch to talent.

Your employee value proposition is a foundational part of your employer brand. It’s the expression of what value you have to offer to employees, and is based upon a few things:

  • First and foremost, it’s what you do well for your people. You might be great at training and leadership development, or have a great culture, or offer an amazing work-life balance, or the ability to make an impact on the world. That’s all stuff you feature in your EVP.
  • You also want to consider your talent audiences. What do they value? Understanding this can help you prioritize what to include in your EVP and what to leave out.
  • And finally, you want to evaluate what your competition for talent is touting as their strengths, to make sure you aren’t missing an opportunity to stay competitive.

When we create an EVP, we make it as straightforward as possible. It’s not intended to be clever or have a branded voice, but rather it is designed to plainly state what the company has to offer as an employer. It’s your value to talent, boiled down to simple terms—your elevator pitch to your people.

We then use this EVP as a foundational piece of the employer brand. Specifically, we break it down into three or four value themes that we use across all talent audiences to tell a consistent, value-driven story about why people should choose to work and stay at your company.

And that’s where your EVP stops and your employer brand begins.

Your employer brand delivers emotional depth and personality.

Your employer brand adds character and meaning to your story as an employer. It helps you define your voice, your brand’s attitude, what qualities you look for in an ideal employee, and the one thing you really want to “own” as an employer.

Your employer brand packages all of this up in a way that reflects your corporate brand DNA, your unique spirit as an organization, and your culture. It’s the creative platform that will be infused throughout all of your employee communications, recruitment marketing, and more.

A powerful one-two punch.

So in simple terms, your EVP states your value and your employer brand helps people connect with it. Your EVP is more factual and rational, while your employer brand helps you make deeper emotional connections with the people you’re trying to attract and retain.

An EVP without an employer brand is hard for your people to get excited about, because it’s often highly rational and a little dry. And an employer brand without an EVP might be engaging at the outset, but it lacks the substance that gives your people real reasons to believe.

But together, they hit all the rational and emotional buttons needed to make talent want to engage with the value your organization provides.

Want to learn more about how to build a strong and successful employer brand?

Check out our free on-demand webinar:
Employer branding: Where to start, what to do, how to win.

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