Written by Ann Melinger, originally published on the Brilliant Ink Blog, August 26,2016.
Okay, before you read the headline and think, “Come on, Ann, you’re supposed to be an employee engagement expert. Shouldn’t you know what an EVP is??” – let me clarify. We’ve been hearing a LOT about EVPs lately – larger, more established companies want to refresh and target their EVPs, while smaller, fast-growing companies want to establish and define them. As the job market continues to heat up, companies are recognizing the need to fight for candidates’ attention and differentiate themselves from the competition.
But before we start any discussion with a company about an EVP, we first must agree on what the heck it is we’re talking about! What’s the final outcome when developing an EVP? Words on a page? A tagline? An ad campaign?
First things first – EVP typically stands for Employee Value Proposition (not Employer Value Proposition). That’s an important distinction – the EVP is comprised of all the aspects that makes your company a great place to work, and it’s your promise to current and prospective employees. It describes the mix of characteristics, benefits, opportunities, and ways of working that set your company apart. Simply stated, your EVP is the answer to the classic employee question: “What’s in it for me?”
Once defined, the EVP serves as the core of your employer brand. Specifically, your employer brand paints a clear picture for current and prospective employees of what it’s like to be an employee at your company, and triggers a specific “gut feeling”about your company as an employer.
Think of the EVP as the promise you make to your current and future employees – the value they receive by building a career at your company. The employer brand, then, is how you present that promise to them and how they, in turn, perceive it.
The EVP and employer brand come to life in lots of ways – your Careers page, your recruiting materials, even your job descriptions. But a clearly defined EVP isn’t just for candidates – reminding existing employees of why they came to your company, and why they stay, is a critically important way to strengthen and maintain engagement.
So, what’s your company’s EVP? How is it defined and shared with employees?