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What's the difference between an employer value proposition and employer brand?

Simon PhillipsMay 17, 2023AwarenessConnectionEmployer BrandingEmployer Value PropositionResourceRetention

Employer brand and employer value proposition (EVP) are two distinct components of your recruitment marketing strategy. Your employer brand represents your visual identity and reputation in the market; while your EVP amplifies what you have to uniquely offer as an employer and what you expect in return, with the aim of attracting candidates who will align with your organization. Although they sound similar, they are not the same.

What is an employer brand? 

An employer brand encompasses an organization’s reputation as a place to work. It serves as the conduit for candidates and employees to form perceptions of the company and what it would (or is) like to work there. An employer brand is not controlled or something teams can “invest” in, but rather a reputation that can be managed and shaped. 

A strong employer brand serves as the foundation for successful recruitment marketing efforts. With a favorable reputation through an employer brand, talent teams can reap numerous benefits, including: 

  • Improved talent network by attracting more high-quality, right-fit candidates 
  • Reduced turnover as employees feel more connected with the brand
  • Reduced time to hire as candidates are more likely to join an organization they know and trust 

Your employer brand is influenced by multiple stakeholders, including existing employees, candidates (successful and unsuccessful), clients, prospects, and others. Creating memorable moments for each of these cohorts is essential to driving a positive reputation as an employer of choice. Keep in mind, these stakeholders have the power to enhance and amplify your employer brand, or detract and damage your reputation.

Think of your employer brand as the curb appeal on a house. What impressions are you giving about what it would be like to live (work) there? Are you attracting talent or turning them away? 

What is an employer value proposition?

An EVP is the value that an employer offers for its employees in return for their contributions. An EVP may highlight the employer's credibility, relevance and differentiation from the competition, and ambition or growth expectations for the employee and business. It also clearly articulated what the employer expects in return from its employees.  

There can't be any disconnect between what you say you offer as an employer and what you actually do offer. Your credibility and reputation rely on an honest, authentic expression of who you are as an employer. And ensuring you attract, hire, and retain the right people means you must be upfront about who you are as an employer, what you expect from employees, and what employees can expect when working with your organization. 

According to Gartner, 65% of candidates report they have actually discontinued a hiring process due to an unattractive EVP, and employers can improve commitment of new hires by 29% with a well-articulated EVP.   

Using our same analogy, if the employer brand is the curb appeal, the EVP is the layout, furniture, and features of the house. It helps candidates and employees understand how to move throughout the house, what’s included (or not), and truly helps them visualize themselves in that space.  

Every touchpoint matters: Creating an emotional connection 

Every touchpoint has an impact on your employer brand, whether good, bad, or indifferent. And, with a well-defined EVP supported by the employer brand, teams can more effectively create and manage experiences from initial candidate interaction to employee retention.

Never underestimate the importance of having an emotional connection with a brand. In the consumer world, people fall in love with brands, buy products, and become loyal advocates of that brand. An employer brand is similar in that people fall in love with the brand and "buy" jobs with that brand. 

Being emotionally connected to an employer and a career drives commitment, discretionary effort, and ultimately, business performance. In short, brand connection, all around, is driven by emotion, so make sure it counts. 

Make your employer brand and EVP shine 

It’s not always easy to establish a strong EVP and employer brand, especially in today’s talent acquisition world of resource constraints, heightened competition for talent, and numerous other challenges that pull TA professionals in about a hundred different directions. So the question that usually rises to the top is, “do we need an outside organization (like Symphony Talent) to help manage our employer brand and/or define our EVP?” 

The short answer? It certainly helps. 

Most organizations that develop their own EVP fail to have the bird's-eye view that an outside partner would. They lack perspective, neutrality, and are often very introspective, completely missing the external perspective. You need to do more than believe you're something, you need to live it, breathe it and be it every day.

At Symphony Talent, we have an award-winning team of brand and creative professionals who live and breathe employer branding, EVP, and recruitment marketing with campaigns, content marketing, and social media. Curious to see what we could do for your organization? We’d love to show you! Schedule some time with one of our experts to get the conversation started. 

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