Want to attract and retain the best employees? Shine light on your Employer Value Proposition

"Without realizing their mistake, countless organizations use inefficient employer brands and aim to be "the best." Perhaps due to a lack of awareness or thought about what "best" actually means?" writes Aviv Weizmann of Natural Intelligence

Aviv Weizmann 10:3202.02.22
Even though employer branding is still relatively new, it is already full of superlatives like "best" and "leading". Many companies use these terms to catch people's eyes and establish quick relationships. Does reality match the hype? Sadly, in many cases, companies fail to deliver.


Without realizing their mistake, countless organizations use inefficient employer brands and aim to be "the best." Perhaps due to a lack of awareness or thought about what "best" actually means? Are they the fastest recruiters? Have the best talent? What criteria do these organizations use? Such questions illustrate how little weight is given to building accurate messages.


Companies' recruitment processes often suffer from undefined and unintentional directions. Even when the organizations are well-known brands, they can fall short in the pursuit of attracting and recruiting potential employees. Organizations need to have a clear and bright vital North Star to attract and retain the right employees.


Aviv Weizmann of Natural Intelligence. Photo: Inbal Marmari Aviv Weizmann of Natural Intelligence. Photo: Inbal Marmari


The impact of a strong employer brand


Brands that resonate with people have a clear point of view, purpose, and direction. When building your employer's brand story, one must consider three key factors: reputation, employee value proposition (EVP), and experiences. These constitute the anatomy of a strong employer brand, and like the human body, they work best in unison. Let's take a closer look at each of them.


1. Reputation


How would you like your organization to be perceived? When it comes to building and maintaining your employer's reputation, think about the three Cs:

"Career catalyst": employees with a growth mindset believe their organization will help them advance their careers. They are in constant development of their career.

Culture: People who work in culture-oriented workplaces see the brand as an extension of themselves. They are proud to tell others that they work for the company.

Citizenship: Employees of organizations that value good citizenship are aware of the broader impact of their work. They strive to achieve success by doing good.


Finding your company's desired reputation isn't an aimless game of pinching the donkey's tail. Learn your target audience and examine the talent flow of talent in your organization - Who left your organization recently? When and why did they choose to go? And where did they end up working? Answering these questions will allow you to analyze skill gaps and determine your team's strengths and weaknesses. This priceless information enables you to develop employee personas that will guide your strategy.


Next, examine key employee engagement drivers. Audit employees' motivations, priorities, and preferences and see where the chips fall. Then, it's about actually personifying your identified reputation. For example, if you aim to be a career catalyst, provide excellent learning and development opportunities and chart clear paths to career progression.


2. Employee Value Offer (EVP)


Once you understand the kind of reputation you're striving for, design an EVP that fulfills it. I like to think about the EVP as the "give and get" of working for your company: Employees give you their time and talents, and in exchange, you provide value in the form of salary, benefits, purpose, growth opportunities, etc.


An EVP and reputation should always be aligned with the company's business strategy. Organizations that want to gain a good citizen reputation may offer their employees opportunities to volunteer, engage with the community and pursue sustainable business practices. Citizenship-based offerings like these can and will be rallying points for specific candidates, especially Millennials.


When it comes to recruiting and retaining talent, it is tempting to paint a rosy picture of the EVP. However, it is essential to be realistic about the challenges of the job to ensure a fair exchange. The mountain may be too high for some, but it's okay - when done right, the continuum will be high enough to keep away those who do not have what it takes to succeed in an environment where your company needs to succeed.


3. Experience


In this context, talent experience is the last layer. It is common for organizations to over-index the candidate experience to attract the best candidates. Because reputation is built on attracting talent, it is crystallized through an employee experience and amplified through an alumni experience. After all, no amount of money can buy you better PR than a past employee who praises the virtues of your organization.


Depending on your reputation and the EVP you have laid out, you may not always need to invest in the experience of candidates. For example, the consulting firm, McKinsey & Co., is known for its ability to launch careers. Many of its employees continued to work for huge brands like Google and Amazon. As a result, McKinsey attracts many young people who crave experience.


McKinsey does not have to focus all of its resources on candidates' experience, as its reputation and EVP go far beyond recruitment. A challenging candidate experience may even confirm how special it is to work in a company. It's essential, however, to make sure you're investing in the correct category of experience if you have a finite budget.


Instead of promising candidates "the best" promises - a claim only a few understand - try articulating your company's relatable employer brand story that people will eagerly join - and one that serves you well - instead of catching vanilla superlatives.


Aviv Weizmann is the Head of Communications and Employer Branding at Natural Intelligence