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Oct 2023

All Things EVP & Employer Brand: HR World Webinar Questions Answered

Author: John Tarrant

Last week, John (DNA’s Managing Partner) joined The HR World as part of an expert panel to discuss the importance of building, implementing and maintaining an effective EVP and Employer Brand strategy. Yours has to be absolutely right to attract, recruit, retain and engage the talent your business needs to succeed. We’ve put together the questions asked and our answers so you can revisit this valuable insight. 

"How do you define an Employee Value Proposition and Employer Brand?"

An Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is your statement of intent as to what you stand for as an employer and how you want to be known in the markets that matter. Your Employer Brand is your strategy to appeal to current and future talent – those that will thrive in your shared culture.

"What’s the process to develop them?"

Our tried and tested approach engages stakeholders, eliminates risk and delivers success every time. It can be customised based on timescales, goals and objectives, and includes:

1. Setting objectives – Investing in and articulating your EVP and Employer Brand is a means to an end, not an end in itself, so we set clear, measurable objectives at the outset. It’s all about what it can do for your business and the bottom line: cost per hire, time to hire, success in role, agency spend, retention, engagement, reputation. We always refer to the objectives to make sure we’re delivering on them.

2. Discovery – Strategy development must be based on a foundation of fact so all decisions are informed. We get under the skin of the business to understand why people join, why they stay, what motivates them, their perception of the employment experience and their alignment with your purpose. The discovery process is unique to every client. We use qualitative and quantitative research to gather the data we need, including survey/attrition/engagement/exit data, social media and careers site audits, market reviews, competitor analysis and mystery shopping. We also hold face-to-face sessions with key stakeholders, including one-to-ones with senior leaders and focus groups with representative employees. 

3. Interpretation – The research helps us find out how your business is perceived as an employer by your workforce and talent markets. We then identify the gap analysis between aspiration and current reality. Our full report document features research and discovery outcomes and includes The Voice Of Your People, an Exec Summary and further detail on potential threats and opportunities.

4. Definition – We use the initial research and discovery to develop your brand attributes, pillars, and overall EVP and Employer Brand. We provide a few EVP options for discussion and accompanying Employer Brands to go with them. We work with you to finesse the final EVP and Employer Brand.

5. Segmentation – From one chosen overarching proposition, we develop more specific messaging frameworks that will resonate with certain sectors of the talent market. Having identified who you need to talk to and what you need to tell them, we help select the channels that give the best access to your talent market segments.

6. Creative development and testing – We create examples of how your new Employer Brand can be applied across the employee lifecycle. The creative application covers the full range of communication channels, so style and tone are consistent through all the relevant processes and touchpoints. It’s important that the Employer Brand is tested with internal audiences before we take it to the external market so there’s evidence it will achieve the objectives set.

7. Implementation – We launch internally before externally. This is so your people can buy into and understand the new EVP and Employer Brand and become articulate and effective advocates. We tie everything together with the Employer Brand identity as the golden thread, focusing on critical business priority areas and where we can make the most impact.

8. Measurement – Showing ROI is vital. It’s not a one-off exercise but rather an ongoing process that helps refine what we do over time. We constantly refer back to the objectives set at the start.

"Developing an EVP is the right thing to do, but I have to prove the business case internally. Help!"

Senior HR and TA professionals often say they would develop the EVP and Employer Brand their business needs if they had the budget. The good news is you don’t need to find ‘new’ money to invest in your EVP and Employer Branding programme. You need to invest money that’s already there wisely against clear and measurable objectives.

Money is already being spent (wasted) on:

  • Unnecessary third-party recruitment agencies – the offer and messaging haven’t been shaped and shared effectively. 
  • Interviewing, hiring, onboarding, inducting and training poor fit candidates who underachieve/leave early. 
  • Ineffective candidate engagement during the selection process which lengthens time to hire and affects other essential hiring metrics. 

You lose potential EVP and Employer Brand budget in the opportunity cost of not having a branded and cohesive experience across the employee lifecycle, from reputation upstream to exit and alumni. A new EVP and Employer Brand (delivered effectively) will increase the quality, decrease the cost and ensure a legacy of improvement for the future – meaning year one savings repeat in year two and beyond. That’s positive, sustainable change and, put simply, good business.

"I’m not sure we have the bandwidth for full development. Can we still get the same benefits by doing something on a smaller scale?"

Yes, with careful planning and a focus on objectives. We call it EVP or Employer Brand ‘lite’. We work hard within a streamlined process to guarantee impact and authenticity in line with your objectives. Tools such as a messaging matrix or job advert toolkit can be key – but we’ll guide you through the main opportunities. 

"We are competing for talent against bigger firms with much bigger budgets. What could we do?"

Lots. You can be more personable, interested, interesting, agile, and ultimately successful. Experience tells us that you have some powerful weapons that will make a material difference – these include a supercharged referral scheme, employee advocacy programme, a quicker and differentiated candidate experience at every stage, talent pool comms to build an aura of success and a magnet brand in your market, targeted social media campaigns to build profile and a convertible talent pool, tactical boomerang campaigns, campaigns to uncover pockets of unseen talent…

"Do I need to secure funding to develop and promote an EVP or can it just be done as part of everyday HR and workplace business?"

The answer is either. Most HRDs will seek a distinct budget for it as a new programme of work but the reality is that organisations are already spending/wasting the same amount and more in inefficient hiring and unnecessary and wasteful attrition.

"Who typically owns it? HR or the board?"

Every successful EVP and Employer Brand project need sponsorship from the C-suite. It’s not a vanity project and not something that only affects HR. It’s good business practice and will touch all parts of the organisation. Ownership for the running of the project and the achievement of the objectives set lies with HR and their trusted partner.

"Can I create and use an EVP purely as an HR/Talent Acquisition initiative or should I always include the rest of the business?"

The project can be housed and run by HR but the stakeholder engagement and the discovery needs to cover the whole business for the EVP to be meaningful and effective when implemented.

"Please share EVP examples!"

Our EVPs and Employer Brands in action:

  • A statement of intent for a Superdry’s new era.
  • Solving critical business challenges to help MAN top market league tables.
  • Uniting the exceptional boohoo group and their 13 brands.
  • New ways of working and reduced attrition for Glendola.
  • Resolving attrition, agency spend and time-to-hire issues for Medivet.
  • Multiple consumer-facing brands under one Vistry group.
  • Huge savings in recruitment spend for Pets at Home.

At DNA, we create EVPs and Employer Brands that our clients can be proud of. If you have any other questions, contact

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