Guide to employer branding and creating an exceptional employee value proposition

As the battle for top talent intensifies, employer branding and a compelling Employee Value Proposition (EVP) have emerged as critical weapons for talent acquisition professionals. But what exactly are these concepts, and how can you successfully leverage them in your recruitment strategy? Let's delve into these areas, providing actionable insights to guide your journey towards a stronger, more magnetic organizational identity.

Integrate your CRM with other tools

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How to connect your integrations to your CRM platform?

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Techbit is the next-gen CRM platform designed for modern sales teams

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Why using the right CRM can make your team close more sales?

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As the battle for top talent intensifies, employer branding and a compelling Employee Value Proposition (EVP) have emerged as critical weapons for talent acquisition professionals. But what exactly are these concepts, and how can you successfully leverage them in your recruitment strategy? Let's delve into these areas, providing actionable insights to guide your journey towards a stronger, more magnetic organizational identity.

In this article we will be taking a deep dive into all the essential areas of employer branding, including:

  • Understanding the Core Concepts: What is Employer Branding and EVP?
  • Key definitions
  • Crafting a Compelling EVP: A Step-by-Step Approach
  • The Benefits of a Strong EVP: More than Just Talent Attraction
  • Employer Branding: More Than Just a Buzzword
  • The Role of Employees in Employer Branding
  • Building an Employer Branding Strategy: Steps to Success
  • Executing Your Employer Branding Strategy: Running Your First Employer Branding Campaign
  • A helping hand for employer brand campaigns with artificial intelligence

Understanding the core concepts: what is employer branding and EVP?

In today's talent market, it's crucial to understand 'What is employer branding?' and its significance. Employer branding is the process of shaping your organization's reputation as an employer. It involves your organization's mission, values, and culture, and it plays a key role in how you are perceived by your current employees, potential candidates, and the broader public. A strong employer brand can effectively serve as a powerful talent magnet, attracting and retaining the right talent.

On the other hand, an Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is the unique set of values, benefits, and experiences a company offers its employees in return for their skills, capabilities, and experiences. Essentially, your EVP answers the all-important question for potential candidates: "What's in it for me?"

Key definitions

Employer Branding:
Employer branding is a systemic and strategic process executed by an organization to shape its reputation as a desirable employer. It encompasses the organization's mission, values, culture, and the unique employee experience it offers. Employer branding is designed to attract, recruit, and retain high-quality talent by presenting the organization as an "employer of choice" in the eyes of current employees, potential candidates, and the public.

Employee Value Proposition (EVP):The Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is a unique, employee-centered value offer extended by an organization, outlining the holistic benefits employees can expect in exchange for their skills and contribution. The EVP typically includes tangible rewards such as salary and benefits, along with intangible elements like career development opportunities, work-life balance, company culture, and the overall work experience. The EVP is a critical component of employer branding, serving to differentiate the company in the competitive job market.

Crafting a compelling EVP: a step-by-step approach

Creating a compelling EVP is not an overnight task. It's a strategic process that demands a deep understanding of your employees' aspirations, needs, and values. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to craft a compelling EVP, complemented with examples and actionable prompts:

1. Conducting employee surveys

Begin by seeking feedback from your current employees. You can accomplish this through surveys and focus groups. Ask questions that delve deep into what they value about their work, their motivations, their view of the company culture, candidate experience during their hiring and onboarding process, and what they consider as areas of improvement. For instance, questions could range from "What makes you proud to work here?" to "What aspects of our work culture would you like to see improved?"

Not sure where to start when it comes to surveying employees? We've created an employee value proposition survey template to help you gather insights and understand the perspectives of your current employees better. You can access it here.

2. Analyzing and identifying common themes in your employee surveys

Next, systematically analyze the data. Look for common themes that arise in the responses. For example, do a significant number of employees mention the flexible work environment, or the opportunities for learning and development? These commonalities are the components of your EVP. Your organization’s EVP might highlight factors such as innovative work, career development opportunities, work-life balance, unique company culture, competitive salaries, or a commitment to sustainability.

3. Articulating your employee value proposition

Once you've identified the components of your EVP, articulate it in a clear, engaging way that speaks directly to your ideal candidates. Consider the language and tone that would resonate best with your target audience. For instance, if you're a tech start-up targeting young, dynamic professionals, your EVP could be: "Join us for a thrilling ride where innovation meets flexibility, your ideas are valued, and the sky's the limit for career development." Remember, an authentic EVP should reflect the reality of working at your company – avoid making promises that your company cannot keep.

A framework for building and articulating an employee value proposition

4. Communicating your employee value proposition

Finally, your EVP should be consistently communicated across various touchpoints to ensure it reaches your target audience effectively. Incorporate it into your job postings, display it prominently on your company website, share stories that reflect your EVP on social media, and encourage your employees to be brand ambassadors. For instance, if part of your EVP emphasizes the diverse and inclusive work culture, share stories or posts showcasing your diverse team and inclusion initiatives.

Remember, your EVP is not a static statement. It should evolve as your company grows and as the needs and desires of your workforce change. Regularly revisit and update your EVP to ensure it remains relevant and continues to serve as a powerful tool in your employer branding strategy.

The benefits of a strong EVP: more than just talent attraction

A well-crafted EVP does more than just attract new talent. It can also play a crucial role in retaining your current employees, differentiating your company from competitors, and even boosting employee engagement and loyalty. This can lead to increased productivity and, ultimately, better business performance. Remember, an authentic EVP should reflect the reality of working at your company. As Matthew Ramirez, Founder at Rephrasely, asserts, "Our company centres on our workers. We showcase their unique stories and encourage them to share openly. This creates a welcoming environment for job seekers and draws in a broader range of applicants."

Employer branding: more than just a buzzword

Now that we've addressed the question of 'what is employer branding?' let's dig deeper into why it's such a critical concept for modern organizations. An employer brand goes beyond just the tangible benefits that a company offers. It encapsulates the essence of the company - its values, culture, and mission. A strong employer brand can help your company stand out in a crowded market, attract high-quality candidates, and keep your existing employees happy and engaged.

The role of employees in employer branding

Your employees are, arguably, your greatest asset when it comes to your employer brand. They are the ones who live your brand every day, and their experiences and stories can add authenticity to your employer brand in a way that no marketing campaign can. Encourage your employees to share their experiences and to act as brand ambassadors, spreading the word about the positive aspects of working for your company.

"Encourage current employees to share their positive experiences working at your company. Testimonials and success stories provide authentic insights into your organization's culture and values, helping prospective candidates envision themselves as part of your team."

Abhishek Shah, CEO Testlify

Building an employer branding strategy: steps to success

Building a successful employer branding strategy involves a detailed understanding of your current employer brand's perception and working towards achieving your desired employer brand image. Here are the key steps in this process:

1. Understanding your current employer brand perception

Use tools like employee surveys, social listening, and reviewing feedback on platforms like Glassdoor to understand how your employer brand is currently perceived by both internal and external audiences.

2. Crafting your employer branding strategy

Once you've identified the gaps between the current perception and your desired employer brand image, craft a strategy to bridge these gaps. This involves communicating your EVP and positive aspects of your corporate culture consistently across all talent touchpoints.

3. Engaging your employees as brand ambassadors

Your current employees can play a pivotal role in your employer branding strategy. They are the people who live and breathe your company culture daily and, therefore, can provide the most authentic insights about what it's like to work at your company. Here are a few ways to engage your employees as brand ambassadors:

Employee testimonials: Encourage your employees to share their experiences, anecdotes, and testimonials. These stories can be featured on your company website, social media platforms, newsletters, or even recruitment ads. Make sure to highlight diverse experiences across different roles, levels, and departments to showcase the breadth of opportunities at your company.

Social media advocacy: Create a social media policy that encourages employees to share their work experiences on their personal accounts. This could include sharing company updates, participating in online challenges, or posting behind-the-scenes glimpses of their workdays. You might also consider creating a unique hashtag for employees to use, which can make it easier for potential candidates to find these posts.

Referral programs: Implement a strong employee referral program. When your employees refer someone they know, it’s an endorsement of your company as a good employer. To make this program more enticing, you could offer incentives for successful referrals.

Participation in employer branding campaigns: Involve your employees in your employer branding campaigns. They can participate in photoshoots, videos, podcasts, or blog posts that give a real-life perspective of your company culture.

Employee surveys and feedback: Regularly solicit feedback from your employees about their work experiences and implement their suggestions where possible. This will not only help you continuously improve your EVP but will also make your employees feel heard and valued.

Employer brand training: Provide training to your employees about your employer brand and how they can help to promote it. This can help them understand the importance of their role as brand ambassadors.

Remember, authentic employer branding comes from within, so it’s crucial to ensure your employees are happy and engaged. The more invested they are in your company, the more effective they will be in conveying a positive image of your employer brand.

Executing your employer branding strategy: running your first employer branding campaign

Ready to put your employer branding strategy into action? Here's a step-by-step guide to launching your first employer branding campaign:

1. Setting clear objectives for your employer brand

Every successful campaign begins with a clear set of objectives. In terms of employer branding, you might want to increase awareness of your employer brand, enhance perception, or attract a specific pool of talent. For example, a tech company might set an objective to be recognized as a leading employer for software engineers. Or, a company undergoing a cultural transformation might aim to change the market's perception of its employer brand. Having clear, measurable goals will guide the direction of your campaign and help evaluate its success.

2. Identifying your target audience

Next, you need to identify who you want to reach with your employer branding campaign. Develop detailed personas of your ideal candidates, taking into account factors such as their professional backgrounds, motivations, aspirations, and digital behavior. For instance, if you're aiming to attract young software developers, you might find that they are motivated by continuous learning opportunities, value a collaborative work environment, and spend significant time on platforms like GitHub or Stack Overflow.

3. Crafting your employer branding message

The next step is to leverage your EVP and unique selling points to craft a compelling story about your employer brand. This story should resonate with your target audience and clearly articulate why your company is an attractive place to work. For instance, if your EVP includes a strong focus on employee development, your message might highlight your robust mentorship programs or your investment in employee learning and development initiatives.

4. Choosing the right channels for your employer brand campaign

Choosing the right channels for your employer branding campaign is crucial. You want to meet your audience where they're already active. Professional networks like LinkedIn, industry-specific forums, and local job boards have traditionally been go-to places. However, social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Discord are also becoming increasingly relevant, depending on your target audience.

Another layer to consider in your channel strategy is the rise of professional communities on platforms like Slack and Discord. Many industry professionals use these spaces for knowledge sharing, trend discussions, and job opportunities, making them potential goldmines for spreading your employer branding message.

While digital platforms offer immense reach, don't underestimate the power of location-based messaging. Digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising, such as billboards and bus shelters, allow for strategic targeting based on geographical data. For instance, if you're seeking to attract software engineers, you might consider areas known for a high concentration of tech companies. For fresh graduates, digital billboards near universities could be a wise choice.

In the end, the secret to a successful employer branding campaign lies in using the right mix of channels that align with your target audience's behaviors and preferences. This multifaceted approach can lead to a more powerful resonance of your employer brand message, and ultimately, attract higher-quality applications.

Technology today offers a variety of tools to help you tailor your employer branding campaigns. Platforms like Outhire, for instance, provide access to a wide range of channels from social networks to DOOH advertising. Utilizing such tools can enhance the efficiency of your campaign and ensure your employer brand message reaches the right audience at the right time.

In conclusion, when crafting an effective employer branding campaign, it's essential to continuously evaluate and adapt your strategies to the evolving digital landscape. By doing so, you'll not only ensure your employer branding efforts remain relevant but also maintain a competitive edge in the war for talent.

5. Tracking and measuring your employer branding campaign

Lastly, but importantly, you need to track your campaign's progress and measure its success. Utilize metrics such as engagement rates, the number of applications from each source, changes in employer brand perception, and quality of hire. These metrics not only help assess the success of the current campaign but also provide valuable insights to refine your future employer branding efforts. For example, if you see a significant number of applications from LinkedIn but very few from other job boards, you might decide to concentrate more resources on LinkedIn for your next campaign.

A helping hand for employer brand campaigns with artificial intelligence

As many organizations streamline their talent functions, it can be difficult to find time to complete daily job responsibilities, let alone the additional time for projects like developing an employer value proposition or running an employer branding campaign. And it's not just the talent teams that are impacted. In many situations, an effective employer branding strategy and campaign requires collaboration across the marketing and talent functions of a business. Fortunately, we're in an exciting time for rapid developments in artificial intelligence. With these advances, talent teams can harness the power of AI to get more work done in less time.

This is where Outhire comes in.

Outhire is an AI-powered marketing platform for talent teams. With Outhire, talent teams can generate, target and run employer brand campaigns across professional networks on Discord and Slack, social networks like Twitter, Facebook and Reddit, as well as digital out-of-home advertising on locations like billboards and bus shelters—all set up in minutes.

It really is just like having an entire marketing department at your disposal to help you create the assets needed and setup, target and manage a cross-platform marketing campaign.

Mastering your employer brand and EVP is crucial in today's competitive talent landscape. By offering a compelling EVP and presenting a positive employer brand, you'll attract and retain the high-calibre talent your organization needs to succeed. A strong employer brand isn't just about attracting candidates—it's about creating an environment where employees want to stay and grow. As the saying goes, "A good employer knows that their most important assets are their employees."

Amplify your employer brand in minutes!