Formulating A Competitive EVP – Part 3 in Employer Branding Series



In the third post of our employer branding series we discuss how to successfully create an employment value proposition.

Once you map out the individual components of your employment value proposition – identify your talent needs and determine the core employment benefits that you offer – you can formulate your EVP. Conduct research and data analysis to track and identify the trending professional objectives of your target audience. Remember that the more information that candidates receive during the recruitment process, the higher the chance of accurate expectations and resultant satisfaction after starting the job – which leads to an increased retention rate.

The three stages of formulating an EVP include:

1. Research

At this point, you have already chosen which specific elements your eventual value proposition should stress. Remember, do not try to include every employment advantage under the sun. No company can realistically promise the world to their employees. Rather, focus on the ones that you see as your strong areas. These employment values can include those which you currently offer and potential ones. The main issue is figuring out which would jive well with your workforce.

Based on the particular benefits you offer, draft different questionnaires and in-depth interviews for focus groups which represent potential candidates, as well as for your employees from various departments and seniority levels. In certain cases, if it’s not too sensitive, consider offering gift cards to candidates who reject job offers in exchange for interviews in order to pinpoint the reasons why they declined – and in what areas you can stand to improve your EVP.

The goal of this step is to gather verifiable data about what people – both employees and non-employees – want to see in you as an employer. For example, let’s say that one of the employment values that you want to promote is your work environment, specifically your existing remote work option. Ask the focus group of potential candidates how important remote work capabilities are to them; ask your employees if they take advantage of this alternative. Find out why, what would make the option better, if any, and if it is a reason they would consider joining/stay with your team.

Also determine the differentiating factors between the face of your workplace and others. Concentrate on identifying the advantages that you have over your competitors – as well as the areas in which your competitors have the one up, to clue you in on where you can improve.

2. Analysis

Once you have the facts, move on to the analysis. You’ve pinpointed how you are perceived in regards to your employment values, your competitors, and specific strengths and weaknesses. Now, compile the information into a value proposition matrix. Based on the data, evaluate details such as what distinguishes your company from others; which benefits are well-received and which are not (take this as a clue as to the aspects which you can develop); and what specifically attracts candidates – and why they stay.

It’s important to gather the opinions of present employees because they are the “insiders” who can impartially identify your strengths and weaknesses. It’s equally important to hear from representatives of potential candidates, as they are the ones you want to impress and attract; you should know what the general “outsiders” consensus is on your employer brand.

3. Develop a plan

The resultant snapshot reflects how your organization is gauged by your employees and potential candidates, and isolates the factors which attract candidates to your company or another.

Implement the results of your analysis, and focus on strategizing realistic and practical ways to improve the gaps between how your company is identified in reality and how you want it to be perceived. Bring your employer brand up to the highest industry standards. For the benefits that you already offer which are well-received, consider methods by which to put more emphasis on them.

Your message should be credible and consistent, with the aim of encouraging an ideal perception of your company – the very mention of your name should evoke a strong, positive association. This will ultimately lead to a better selection of candidates. You won’t need to do any heavy hitting to persuade the top talent to consider your company – they’ll already be interested, and associate your company with success.

As a concluding thought, realize that your formula will change constantly with time and differing candidate audiences. Measuring your progress is key to determining effective and ineffective elements. When releasing your EVP, set out clear, defined goals of what you want to achieve, and keep track of those that are slower to fulfill. Tweak them, and play them out in new focus groups, analyzing and developing a new plan.


Don’t miss our fourth and final employer branding post in which we’ll discuss strategies to get your employer branding messages off the ground and into the hearts and minds of your potential candidates.

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