The State of EVP and Employer Branding in 2023: Leadership Thoughts

The State of EVP and Employer Branding in 2023: Leadership Thoughts

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In today's competitive business landscape, developing and communicating a strong Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is essential to building a successful employer brand strategy ❤️

To understand how the best in the game are mastering their EVP ♟️ I recently polled some of the world’s top employer branding leaders for our Campfire Leadership Series🔥 to get their take.

We discussed best practices for 🧱 building a successful EVP, how and when to 💦 refresh it, how to 🦜 communicate it effectively and what 📈 metrics to use to measure your EVP's success. 

Read on for tips, practical advice and some stunning insights 🤯 on building your own employer branding strategy - straight from the mouths of some of the top leaders in the field.

Best Practices for Building your Brand Identity through your EVP

Your EVP is vital to building a strong brand identity.

However – we discovered in our employer branding leaders' conversations many companies struggle to effectively activate their EVPs even at this level. While some have recently put an EVP in place, others have been relying on the same one for years.

The common thread was that many were unhappy with their current EVP 😞. In fact, a majority of 55% of leaders were neutral or dissatisfied with their EVP.

As we dug deeper into the reasons why, two key issues emerged.

  1. Firstly, many felt that their EVP failed to resonate because it 📍didn't localize well. Often created at global corporate headquarters, there was little freedom to customize it to match the culture of local regions.
  2. Secondly, for many, refreshing the EVP was outsourced to an external agency, and as a result, the new creative direction never felt like a 🪞true brand representation.

“Global brands have multiple competing voices, cultures and target markets to reach. There is no 👕 one-size fits all, especially for big global brands.

Getting executive buy-in is just the first hurdle, but it is much easier to overcome if you can show exactly how you plan to roll out your localized EVP via an 😎 agency or a 🧰 global-to-regional tool

Without support, rolling out a global strategy that is personalized for multiple regions by yourself is near impossible.

To the second challenge, an agency can be helpful to interview and understand the culture of your company, but they will never truly understand your brand as well as the people who work there 🤷. Consider bringing your employer branding EVP strategy in-house to get better control of it. The right employer branding tool can enable that.”

If you have questions on your own EVP, global to regional challenges, and ensuring brand representation please connect with me on LinkedIn and say hi ✋

Refreshing your EVP to Avoid Stagnation

When it comes to EVPs, how often should you update, overhaul, and refresh them? 

Interestingly, the answers varied wildly 🎢 - only 44% of leaders reported updating their EVP in the last two years and for 22% of the leaders, it has been over 10 years since their EVP has had an overhaul.

The key reasons for these static EVPs were:

  1. A lack of resources 💸 or executive buy-in to make a change,
  2. Avoiding large scale 🎩 formal refreshes due to an agile EVP, as their organization grows and develops, so does their EVP rather than viewing it as a project to complete once every few years,
  3. The leaders had built out core pillars 🏛️ that are used interchangeably depending on the objective at hand eg. attracting more diverse talent rather than a restrictive specific tagline and didn’t need big changes.

“Having a stagnant EVP that doesn’t adapt to the changing market can significantly reduce your organization's chance to hire and retain good talent. 

Whether you make full update or swap out interchangeable pillars, the critical factor is that your EVP needs to reflect your company and culture in a way that resonates with talent and employees.

To truly understand your company culture and employee expectations I recommend conducting ✔️ employee surveys and taking the time to define your organizations culture as the first step. 

Another way to understand if you are creating a unique EVP that resonates with your employees is to analyze what your competitors are doing 👀. From their social posts to their job descriptions to see if potential talent could tell you apart if you removed the name on the post. If not, it’s time to make a change!”

Communicating Your EVP Consistently

Communicating 🦜 your EVP effectively is as important as having a strong EVP in the first place. 

With 44% of our Employer Branding campfire leaders being happy about their current EVP, it was interesting that only 11% of leaders agreed their EVP was well communicated to their employees ❗ while 22% strongly disagreed. 

This disconnect highlights the importance of effectively communicating your EVP across different channels. 

The underlying factor that stopped EVP activation in most cases was trying to push the EVP out on channels that were controlled by the main brand team 👪. The messages to customers and employees often clash and it muddles up the messaging for both audiences.

“To avoid this brand confusion, a trend that is surfacing in large enterprise brands is to 🎯 merge the customer brand and the employer brand teams together to create one brand that aligns for customers, talent and employees. 

Investing in a new EVP is wasted if you fail to activate and effectively communicate with your employees and your potential talent audience. A great example on how to collaborate with your core brand can be found here.

If you aren’t in a position to merge the consumer and employer brands then a tool that shares your EB strategy and allows for collaboration between different teams can help solve this problem.”

✋ If you have any questions on collaborating with your corporate branding team to build out a cohesive message across all your channels: connect with me on LinkedIn again - I’m happy to help on this or any other EVP question!

Prioritizing Channels for Communicating your EVP

Using limited time and resources wisely to to ensure your EVP reaches the right audience is vital. 

To understand how the leaders prioritize their ⏰ time when communicating their EVPs we asked them to rank which platforms they were focusing on to share this message. 

In the poll, leaders were clear on which channels were the priority with LinkedIn rising as the clear winner closely followed by career sites and Glassdoor. Social media was a focus but not a priority for most leaders as their corporate brand ran these channels.

The key recommendations from the leaders were:

  1. Understand where your 😊 target audience is spending their time before you plan out your EVP amplification strategy, there is no point sharing to TikTok if your talent are on Facebook,
  2. Take the time to ensure your messaging is not only consistent across each channel but that it is also 💙 optimized for the channel you are on, what works on LinkedIn might not be relevant for Twitter.

“Understanding the right channels for your employer branding strategy doesn’t happen over night and this can involve testing and learning to see what works best for your target audience. 

Another important consideration is that different channels are designed for audiences and purposes, so your messaging should be 👗 tailored accordingly. Although LinkedIn is the top channel to source tech talent, other talent like healthcare and retail workers are more likely to be reached through Facebook groups.

This can also change depending on the 🗺️ region you are targeting as culturally different platforms are used more than others. 

If resources are tight, leverage your existing channels and focus on amplifying your messaging through your employees.

You might want to consider boosting this amplification by personalizing the messaging for each region, platform and employee - now possible with 🤖 Artificial Intelligence.”

Measuring the Effectiveness of your brand awareness

However you decide to roll-out your EVP messaging, 📏 measuring the effectiveness of your brand awareness is crucial to ensure that your branding efforts are achieving the desired results and making data-driven decisions to optimize your strategy.

When asked if they measure their company’s brand awareness well, no leaders strongly 😐 agreed or disagreed. 

55% of leaders were in the middle, as they are always working to improve their measurement of the success of their EVP and brand awareness beyond analyzing standard metrics such as website traffic, engagement rates, and employee feedback.

Most leaders recommended creating benchmark metrics for each activity depending on the objective rather than measuring all activities with one global KPI.

“By tailoring your metrics to reflect how you are supporting hiring vs employee retention you are able to track the widespread effect of your EVP. 

Additionally, many leaders emphasized that metrics should mature as the organization evolves. 

While starting with one metric is a good place to begin, it's essential to 🏗️ add other metrics, such as conversion rates, reputation, and social reach, as the organization grows. 

By continuously evaluating and adjusting measurement strategies, you gain a deeper understanding of the effectiveness of your brand awareness efforts and make data-driven decisions for continued success.”

Thank you to all our amazing Employer Branding campfire leaders for sharing their EVP insights! 👏👏

If you're feeling left out of hot conversations like this one 🔥 and want to mix with your peers🤝 connect with me on LinkedIn to be considered for inclusion in our next Employer Branding leader campfire session! 🏕️ �

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