Your EVP isn’t working – here are three reasons why
So, you’re looking to scale your team this year but you’re struggling to stand out from the crowd. Have you looked at your EVP? Here are 3 reasons why it might not be working for you.
Somebody recently said that “employer brand is the reputation, [while] EVP is the narrative”. I thought it was a nice way of making the distinction between the two, which are often wrongly used interchangeably.
Why is it so important that the two terms are not conflated? In the midst of a talent shortage in the tech sector, it’s not enough just to work on your employer brand. You’ve got to articulate it in the shape of your employer value proposition (EVP). Drilling down into exactly why your company is a great place to work.
According to a 2021 Gartner survey, less than a third of HR leaders think their employees are satisfied with the EVP.
Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds (65%) of candidates report they have discontinued a hiring process due to an unattractive EVP.
So, why are employers coming up short? I can see three main reasons for this:
1. You’re trying to create a one-size-fits-all EVP
If you’re trying to create a catch-all EVP aimed at everyone that could possibly work at your company, you’re failing at the first hurdle.
Take a major retailer as an example – they might employ everyone from shop assistants to Golang microservices engineers. You’re going to find it impossible to catch all their work needs and motivations in a single EVP unless you really simplify and dilute it.
At best, you’ll have to compromise. All that’s doing is keeping the top talent at arm’s length. They’ll come looking to see the growth potential you can offer them, only to be greeted with wishy-washy “continuous improvement”-type phrases.
Now, I’m not saying that you need to create a different EVP for each department or job role. That’s just not realistic or practical. But you do have to be mindful of different audiences and what type of messaging they want to see.
Perhaps you could direct the different talent pools you’re trying to attract to their own, relevant careers page within your site. Not only does this give you the chance to tailor your EVP messaging, but it can also do wonders for the overall candidate experience.
2. You’ve overlooked the power of content
Every business, start-ups especially, live and die by the talent they’re able to attract. Yet often, the careers pages are a mere afterthought.
Why is that? Time and budgetary constraints sometimes play a part. There’s also a lack of appreciation of the modern candidate-employer dynamic. In other words, it’s the candidates these days who hold all the cards.
Some employers at least make an attempt to manage the candidate experience with applicant tracking systems (ATS). But the automated nature of ATS software can lead to a boring and uninspiring experience for the candidate, which lacks any personalisation at all.
What you need is customised, authentic and relevant content. The formula for any content marketing strategy applies here: right content + right time + right format + right channel.
In fact, you might want to redirect some of the budget for your customer-focused content towards your careers page. There’s little gain in attracting more and more customers if you don’t have the talent to back it up, helping to provide an outstanding product or service.
But great careers content does have to cost huge sums of money. There’s nothing more powerful than employee testimonials, which cost next to nothing to produce. The key is to keep them authentic – candidates will read straight through any ‘paid for’ sharing of experiences.
3. You’ve abandoned your company values and vision to sell ‘the dream’
Everything in your EVP has to be underpinned by your company values and vision. If you stray away from that, you run the risk of promising something you can’t deliver.
Companies think they need to look super-sexy in order to attract top talent – and to some extent, they do! But if you abandon who and what you are as a company for the purpose of securing candidates, don’t be surprised if you have a high staff turnover.
Being realistic with your proposition is mutually beneficial for you and candidates. So, speak from the heart. Shout about what your company does to give back. Signpost how you’re set up to prevent burnout. Flag the ways in which you promote inclusivity. It might not all be ‘sexy’ stuff, but it’s the stuff that matters.
Here at Revoco, our vision is to turn a fresh page in the tech recruitment industry. How do we reflect that in our EVP? We give our employees flexibility, so they don’t have to work all the hours like they might’ve done in their previous role.
If it sounds like basic stuff, that’s because it is. But we’re seeing so many employers get the basics wrong either by trying too hard or not trying hard enough.
In our first webinar of the year, I’ll be discussing – alongside Ben Hollom (MD & Founder of Q Content) and Richard Gordon (Head of Employer Brand & Attraction at Entain) – how to best communicate your EVP and employer brand.
Join us on Thursday 24th February at 1 pm to make sure you’re getting the basics right. You can sign up here.