Navigating the world of employer branding can be challenging. Attracting top talent and actually hiring that talent are two totally different things, but equally important to having a healthy, thriving company. Not to mention, there is some tough competition out there.
Each year, we study the organizations who attract the most attention from skilled professionals and newly graduated talent alike. These companies who we call the World’s Most Attractive Employers (WMAE) are those that rank in the top 90% of employers within at least six out of the 12 largest economies in the world, weighted by GDP. These industry-leading businesses generally have strong brand equity, a compelling EVP and employer brand marketing which engages the interest and drives the employment decisions of top talent.
What is an EVP?
The purpose of an Employer Value Proposition (EVP) is to define the qualities an organization would most like to be associated with as an employer. This typically includes a ‘core positioning’, the one thing you’d most like to be associated with as an employer, as well as a number of supporting ‘pillars’ highlighting other key aspects of the employment deal. In most leading companies the EVP is regarded as a key point of reference for communicating the employer brand and delivering a consistently positive employment experience.
Top 10 attributes included in an EVP
The EVPs of the WMAE compared to those of non-WMAE tells an interesting story about the priorities of organizations as they attain greater brand equity and more attention from potential job seekers. Here are the top 10 EVP attributes of both WMAE and non-WMAE:
These two lists show vast differences in priorities between WMAE and non-WMAE EVPs. Companies who aren’t quite as sought after, focus on challenging work that demands high levels of responsibility from employees. They greatly rely on a welcoming environment, bond building and attention to employee individuality.
Generally speaking, organizations who don’t generate the amount of attention from talent need to pay a wage premium to grab top talent. More attractive employers do not. The large, well-known companies like Google and Apple are more capable of relying on the name and associated reputation. Is this a factor in choosing specific EVP attributes?
What this means for you: Don’t have a consumer brand? That’s no reason to avoid creating an employer brand. One of the common truisms in marketing is that you have a brand, whether you want to or not. Even if your company flies under the radar with the average person, start now cultivating your “great place to work” status.
The top attribute for non-WMAE is a dedication to friendly work environment while WMAEs are focused on commitment to diversity. Though both are directly connected to a feeling of inclusion and belonging, one is more associated with worker background and the other on the overall tone of a workplace and how it fits with the world at large.
What this means for you: Promote inclusion, belonging and diversity in your company no matter what the size. A great rule of thumb is to pay attention to the city or region around your location, if you see your workforce becoming less than reflective of that reality, start examining why and renew your commitment to being a welcoming workplace to all.
Could it be the manner in which attributes are communicated that makes the difference? For instance, communicating employer brand mostly relies on mediums like social media, career sites and other external techniques.
What this means for you: The channel you select matters. If you are primarily using job boards to spread your employer branding message, you may attract active job seekers, who depending on your region’s economic factors, may look similar. If you are focused on Facebook, you may find you attract an older generation of worker.
Any posts or releases placed on these channels require an acute attention to detail, ensuring the company doesn’t overstep compliance or commit faux pas. WMAEs are always in the limelight, so any missteps will be quickly seen and pointed out by everyone from critics to consumers, affecting the bottom line, retention and acquisition. However, non-WMAEs do not receive as much of a critical eye, granting more leeway in brand communications.
What this means for you: If your company isn’t firmly in the limelight today, ignoring your employer brand or candidate experience can put it there pretty quickly. Don’t ignore candidate reviews or complaints!
Though the effects or goals might be similar between the various attributes – for example, professional training and development compared to leaders who support development, or friendly work environment compared to a commitment to diversity/inclusion – non-WMAEs are typically placing more power behind internal community and growth, while WMAEs are working on that same growth with attention to the external community as a means to affect their workforce.
What this means for you: While the award-winning companies should be lauded and emulated to a point, focusing your efforts (especially when limited) inward is not a bad thing. Many employer brands are made or broken on employee engagement scores, crowdsourced reviews and retention.
Is there a right or wrong approach to EVP attributes? Of course not. The point is to decide how your organization performs best and how that performance should be shaped by the workforce behind it.