Ideas and insights > Why having a great EVP isn’t enough.

Why having a great EVP isn’t enough.

Our thought leader:

Jim Galligan
Jim Galligan
Director of Creative Strategy

You may think a solid reputation, a well-known logo, and fair-to-generous compensation are enough to attract and retain talent. 

It might be enough to get them to your careers page but people are looking for more in an employer these days. They care about the humanity and ethics of your brand, the bigger purpose of their work, and a support system that gives them space to grow in their career.

This is where your employee value proposition (EVP) and employer branding come into play.

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

EVP vs. employer brand

Your EVP is a rational, short-and-sweet pitch to talent. It’s like a short list of what you have to offer and it gives talent the ability to quickly weigh the value of working at your company.

Your employer brand is how you deliver the EVP. It shows your character, your voice, and your style. It helps talent connect to your company on a human-to-human level. A good employer brand will have talent imagining how those EVP factors will play out—should they choose to work at your company.

You need to accomplish two things when engaging with current and prospective employees:

  1. Let them know what they get in return for their time (the EVP).
  2. Sell them on spending that time with your business instead of other businesses (achieved with your winning employer brand).

Now that we know the general difference, let’s get into what makes each one so effective (and how they can’t exist without each other).

Crafting a captivating employer value proposition.

An EVP is like an elevator pitch. It quickly delivers the benefits of working at your company to a prospective or current employee. It should state the terms of the exchange. Their time; your compensation. It certainly doesn’t have to be as dry as that but it shouldn’t beat around the bush. 


What makes a great EVP?

Your EVP is the foundation of your employer brand. It is the framework that you will work from. It’s the rundown of the value you have to offer employees. 

  • It features what you do well
    Training, leadership development, culture, work-life balance, greater worldly purpose, etc.
  • It accurately targets your desired audience
    What matters most to the talent you want to recruit and retain? Highlight those qualities in your EVP
  • It helps you stand out from your competitors for talent
    What are your competitors offering? Are you hitting that baseline? Can you also offer something more compelling? More unique?

When we create an EVP, we make it as straightforward as possible. It’s not intended to be clever or have a branded voice. It’s designed to plainly state what the company offers as an employer. It’s your value to talent boiled down to simple terms.

Your EVP should give enough information for talent to decide if they’d be interested in growing with your company.

Don’t stop at EVP; get them into the showroom.

Here’s the thing; the generous PTO, the mentorship program, the greater purpose, and whatever else you have to offer–it will get their attention but it won’t hold it.

Think of it this way:  

You want to buy a 2023 hybrid SUV that runs on gas and electric, gets an average of 50 MPG, has 4WD, a tow hitch, heated seats, a leather interior, a remote start, and a sunroof. You go to and enter your filters. There are around 3,500 cars that can all offer you what you’re asking for. 

How do you choose which one is for you? It’s a similar idea when talent goes job searching. 

This is why an EVP cannot stand alone. You’re clearing the preliminary filters but you aren’t jumping into the person’s top contenders. You need to make the match and then stand out from the competition.

That’s where your employer brand comes in.

Emotional connection: the power of employer branding.

Your employer brand is the inspiring/heart-warming/tear-jerking/motivating car commercial that gets talent off the website, onto the test drive, and hopefully buying. 

But how does an employer brand get talent from looking to buying?

Emotional connection.

Your employer brand should elaborate on the checked-marked EVP list of offerings and help talent imagine what a career with your company would look like. What kind of people would be mentoring them? Where could they log in from? What kind of healthcare would they have? Etcetera.

The employer brand is what gets talent fired up about working with you. Or at least gets them to write a pros and cons list.


What makes a great employer brand?

Your employer brand should be the character and personality of your brand. It should add depth to the contents of your EVP and make them feel more personal to talent. A solid employer brand requires synergy across all touchpoints–employees, visuals, and copy.

An employer branding process helps you define: 

  • your voice
  • your brand’s attitude
  • what qualities do you look for in an ideal employee
  • the one thing you really want to “own” as an employer

Once you’ve figured out all your ingredients you can package it into an employer brand that reflects your culture, your unique spirit as an organization, and your corporate brand DNA.  

Your employer brand is the creative platform that will be infused throughout all your employee communications, recruitment marketing, and more. It should create a consistent narrative and align everyone, making sure your current and future employees don’t lose sight of why they chose you.

A one-two punch that seals the deal.

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 picture you as their ideal job.

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