How to refine your Employer Brand and EVP

ALEX LAMONT • 03 Oct 2022

1 - What is an EVP?
2 - What is an Employer Brand?
3 - What's the state of EVP and Employer Brand today?
4 - How do I activate my EVP inside and outside of my business?
5 - What are some examples of good practice you've seen?
6 - How can small businesses tackle EVP?
7 - How do I get an EVP up and running quickly?
8 - What are the main steps to building an EVP and Employer Brand?

Following the success of 2021's webinar, John Tarrant from DNA (Digital Native Advertising) reunited with Jobtrain’s Director of Strategic Communications – Giles Heckstall-Smith - to discuss employer brand and EVP.

DNA create stronger brands and better businesses by finding, keeping and engaging the staff or customers our clients need to be successful. John joined Giles to talk employee value propositions, and share some good practice he’s seen across a wide variety of industries.

What is an EVP?

The statement of intent as to what you stand for as an employer and how you want to be known within the audiences that matter to you.

What is an Employer Brand?

Our strategy is to appeal to current and future talent, those that will thrive in our shared journey. That’s how we define both terms at DNA.

What's the state of EVP and Employer Brand today?

There are uncertain times out there with a new government, new policies, the effect of the war, the cost of living crisis. But some of the problems that the talent community are facing now are still going to be there in 6/12 months time. There are still far too many jobs than there are good people to do them.


In previous areas of uncertainty like COVID or Brexit, we saw that people who paused or hesitated with pushing their brand and EVP ended up on the backfoot for the following year. So our immediate advice to clients is – don’t do what you did during COVID. Don’t pause or hesitate. Even if you’re not actively hiring, building your employer reputation upstream can never sleep. If you want to be seen as a good employer you’ve got to be in first place and that means building your reputation immediately.

How do I activate my EVP inside and outside the business?

There are some core fundamentals you need to consider when launching your Employee Value Proposition.

  • Brand guidelines
  • Launch internally properly
  • Use playbooks!
  • Develop your job ad toolkit
  • Use a social advertisement creator

They all come back to locking in your EVP among your team. Make sure it’s crystal clear so your colleagues protect it and enshrine it. Most importantly of all, following these steps gets your EVP working hard for you.

See an example of a well-written job advert

From an Applicant Tracking System perspective, the job ad toolkit and the social ad creator can be saved as templates within your ATS. You mostly won’t even need to think about it. You’ll have your different job families/groups, and you can save them within your ATS, protect them, and that way there’s always a consistency of message that goes out.

What are some examples of good practice you've seen?

Glendola are a leisure group that run the likes of Waxy O’Connors. There, you’ve got lots of maverick managers who’ve done their own thing hiring for years. Introducing a strong EVP, locking that in during early training, means the days of handing CVs over the bar during a busy shift are gone. There’s a strong, structured process that adheres to the brand guidelines so the company projects a strong sense of purpose to candidates.
poaching cards

Superdry went through a cultural reset and they completely embraced using playbooks. A playbook is exactly what it sounds like, a beautifully crafted book that is given out to all employees that celebrates the brand, what they are, what they stand for, and most importantly what they’re not. They wanted their playbook to show off the company’s fluidity and agility. It’s organised chaos and they love it that way! The key thing is that it’s enshrined in the playbook. If you want to make that sort of culture tribal, you can’t just rely on people’s perceptions of the culture, you need to print it and reinforce it.

How can a smaller organisation tackle activation of their EVP in a competitive market?

Our motto is “it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” Ask yourself what do your competitors really not want you to do? And then we do that!

Every company needs to come across as being interesting and being interested.

For example Get Living is a build-to-rent business based in London. They’re a small business with only 200 staff. It’s a hugely competitive marketplace. Talent is really hard to find and keep, so what we’re driving for them is employee advocacy. All companies of all sizes should start with employee advocacy. Outline clear questions for your team to answer to strengthen the messaging.

At the end of the day, less than 15% of candidates believe what the C-Suite say and less than 20% believe what the marketing and advertising team say, but more than 60% of candidates believe what their colleagues say. Your employees are the most authentic, articulate and enthusiastic advocates of the employment experience. Our clients are penetrating their employees networks – and their network’s networks!

Post (3)-3Consider using poaching cards as well! For our client Glendola, we designed poaching cards to give to industry colleagues that they’re really impressed by. Just a small card with your EVP on it that you pass on to a person you’d love to come and work for you – and they can be used in any setting! If you’re a hotel manager, think about the bartender that serves you and gives you great service. Are you short on bartenders? Give them a poaching card and that’ll encourage them to look at your business.

How do I get an EVP up and running quickly?

There are no quick wins, but we have worked with clients to get an EVP going quickly while they develop on their long-term strategy. Simply streamline the process, stay distinct, authentic and compelling, and focus on your key deliverables. Two key questions need to be answered before you start, focussing on where you’re sending a candidate.

Jobtrain recently underwent a massive overhaul of our candidate experience, offering a slick, easy-to-use careers site builder. If you’re unhappy with your current candidate experience – talk to us!

What are the main steps to building an EVP and Employer Brand?

  • Setting objectives
  • Discovery (and stakeholder buy in)
  • Interpretation
  • Definition – the pillars, EVP, and Employer Brand
  • Authentication and Segmentation
  • Creative development and testing
  • Implementation

That’s the DNA way!

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