Claire Treloar


July 23, 2021


Defining an Employer Value Proposition (EVP)

If you work in resourcing or recruitment, you’ll no doubt have heard the term Employer Value Proposition (EVP), even if you haven’t defined your own yet. You’ll also know that it’s said to be an essential component in building your employer brand. So, let’s find out more about EVPs and how you go about developing one.


What is an Employer Value Proposition?

EVP is the acronym commonly given to the term Employer Value Proposition. A proposition is a statement of intent. Value denotes worth. And an employer is an organisation that recruits someone to do a job. So, an EVP is what an organisation proposes that it is worth to the people it employs. In other words, it’s what a company suggests people will get out of working for them.

Your EVP is the foundation of your employer brand. It is the statement upon which you develop your reputation as an employer. It encapsulates your vision of how you want potential candidates and existing employees to think of your business. It might also suggest how you will go about making that possible as part of the proposition, e.g., by doing A, B and C.


What’s the difference between an EVP and an employer brand?

Are EVPs and employer brands the same thing? No. An employer brand is a communications strategy for managing your reputation as an employer—the big picture, which includes candidate research, messaging development, identification of audience touchpoints, design guidelines and EVP.

The EVP is just one part of that bigger employer branding process—but it is a crucial one. It could be said to represent the essence of your employer brand. When someone asks about your company from an employment perspective, the EVP depicts it in a way that helps to shape its reputation in the wider world.


Do all employers need EVPs?

Whether you run a small-to-medium enterprise (SME) or head up Talent Attraction for a multinational conglomerate, EVPs are essential in enabling companies to establish a compelling attraction and retention strategy. If you haven’t clearly worked out why people should want to work for you, how can you expect them to?

A strongly defined EVP will enable you to position your company to the right people with messages that resonate. You might never make the EVP itself public—it might simply act as your messaging guide—but you will have a clear understanding of what makes working for you special. So you can then build all your messaging around it.

There’s nothing stopping, say, an independent craft ale brewery being any less special to work for than, say, a global banking corporation—or vice versa. A strong EVP will simply help you to show people if you’re more their kind of employer than someone else.


Is an EVP the same thing as a CVP?

There’s a lot of confusion over this in the Talent Attraction space. There is, however, a clear distinction between EVPs and CVPs. An EVP is the proposition you, as an employer, make to the wider talent market—i.e., what you want people in general to think of your organisation as a place to work. CVP, on the other hand, stands for Candidate Value Proposition and these are much more focused and segmented messages.

A company will only ever have one EVP—but it may have multiple CVPs. That’s because employers’ audiences are broken down into different persona groups who are motivated by different factors. Your Value Proposition to a Gen-Z graduate from a disadvantaged background, for instance, will very likely differ to your Value Proposition to a Gen-X senior manager on the Board of Directors.

Developing a series of CVPs, each of which targets your various audience segments, will help to boost engagement with your employer brand among those segments. Moreover, once you know all your CVPs, you’ll be able to see what they all have in common, which will enable you to craft a more effective overarching EVP.


How do you build a strong EVP?

The first stage in developing an EVP is to know your audience(s). What are the people you want to engage like? What are their needs? How can your company meet those needs with the things it offers? What types of messages will appeal to them?

Once you know this, you should define your employer brand pillars or themes. What are the core messages that your employer brand will convey? What aspects of working for you will convince your wider target audience to engage with you?

Okay, so now you understand your various audiences. You also know what message themes will appeal to them. So, you are in a great position to devise a series of Candidate Value Propositions (CVPs) that each encapsulate what it is that you are offering to those audience segments. Focus on the core thing about working for you that will appeal to each audience segment.

Finally, you will summarise those CVPs in your overarching Employer Value Proposition (EVP).Remember an EVP says what you as an employer propose to do for your people to bring value to their lives. It can’t be the same as everyone else’s—it has to differentiate you and make you special.

Your employer branding agency should take you carefully and thoroughly through each of these stages. Done properly, it will result in an EVP that makes you stand out from the crowd and enables you to establish yourself as the kind of employer your dream candidates want to work for.


Looking for something else to read? Check out our article on Designing a Visual Style for your Employer Brand.

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