A well-executed employee value proposition (EVP) is reported to decrease staff turnover by 69%. So how do you build an impactful EVP and Employer Brand that will elevate your employee retention efforts, as well as engage and attract prospective talent? (Hint: You do it exactly in that order).
Everyone says their business is going through growth or a period of transformation, but the truth is you’re not in the war for talent anymore, you’re in a war for talent retention. If you haven’t got to grips with what your EVP is how can you market your company to desired job seekers?
Following our Resourcing Think Tank in July, we give you 5 top tips on ‘how to build an Employer Brand in a fast-growth business’. These nuggets of wisdom were shared by Employer Branding expert ‘Google Dave’ and our hosts, Georgiana Barbanta (Talent Acquisition Manager) and Thomas Forstner (Talent Partner) at Paddle, as well as our HR Think Tank community.
1. Start with your people
Does your organisation suffer with high staff turnover and if so do you know why? Many companies can have a ‘perception vs reality’ issue (a ‘we’re brilliant and we’re not really listening issue’). Your Employer Brand is not a list of statements, words and pretty pictures, it is how the brand makes your current and future employees feel. Step away from glossy videos, polished stock photos and start to collect data from your workforce and monitor results. You can monitor where employees previously worked and where they go once they leave and see if there are any patterns, then use these insights to understand what’s working and not working for your business.
2. Align your employer brand with Marketing
Many people confuse the role of Marketing with Employer Branding. Marketing is consumer-based, your marketing department focuses on direct relationships between the customer and the brand. Recruiters are the storytellers for the employees and focus on the relationships between the business and their candidates. They have more of an idea of what attracts talent to the business and what pushes them to change jobs. Making sure both departments work together in order to communicate a coherent Employer Branding strategy is vital for success.
3. Get to know your people
Bring your employees together to discover their stories. This is your gold-dust and should be used to help define your values. The only way to convey what makes your company unique and a great place to work is through your current employees’ stories.
You can do this without a big budget by sharing real employee stories on social media (Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Instagram). These stories must be authentic and told by the employees themselves, ask your people questions and give your social following, and potential candidates, an inside view of what it’s truly like to work for your organisation. Everyone has a ‘why should you work for us’ video, so you need something else that sets you apart.
4. Use your people’s stories to define your values
Stories draw an emotional connection to your company. After collecting enough stories from your workforce, you will want to weed out the values conveyed in each. Values are linked to behaviour and behaviours drive EVP.
Remember it’s important to leverage nightmare stories within your marketing strategy. Share difficult times and follow those drawbacks with rescue stories. Problems are more exciting than success stories, they drive excitement and inspire. It’s essential to show how your brand cares about the people they work for and with and to communicate this through real-life examples.
Once you have defined your values think about the best stories that evidence those values. (E.g. If a value is about taking ownership, think about a time when you’ve seen someone take ownership at your organisation).
5. Share the right messages and you’ll attract the right people
Being a well-known brand can create barriers and instead of attracting the right talent, you can attract fans to open vacancies. Being truly honest and transparent with candidates about what it’s like to work for your organisation will positively impact retention. It’s more harmful to hire the wrong person and let them go further down the line.
If there are a lot of issues that previous incumbents faced in a role that you’re recruiting, having regular sincere conversations with your employees will give you an idea of the problems you are currently facing. This will then give you insight into what needs to change in order to retain, motivate, and attract the best people over the long term.
Final thoughts on building your employer brand
Building an Employer Brand is ongoing and requires constant evolution. You’re always learning and as your organisation grows so does the needs of your employees. In regards to defining an EVP, Thomas from Paddle says ‘we are always learning. Sometimes we can go through three or four iterations…’. The most important advice he and Georgiana shared was to ‘just start’ and don’t be afraid to take risks as it’s all a part of the learning process.
Get employees to meet up, or give them a platform where they can share stories and problems. After collecting this data all it takes is intuition to spot the magic (values from the stories).
Seeing widely-used employer branding videos with music playing in the background does nothing for candidate attraction, it’s all about storytelling and your employees are the perfect people to tell them.