Taking your career to the next level
What’s the difference between an EVP and an employer brand? It’s not a riddle, but for something so fundamental to our understanding of helping attract and retain talent, it seems like EVP, employer brand, brand position, and brand promise are almost never well-defined. I’ve been guilty of using them interchangeably, or just mirroring the terminology used by my customer in order to get to the work of crafting and communicating the brand. So let’s nail things down right here once and for all. What is the difference between an employer brand and an EVP?
Let me start here: is there a job you would consider taking even if it meant a 5% salary cut? Is there a great-paying job you’d reject because the company mission didn’t align to your worldview? I’m willing to bet you said yes to both those questions, destroying the idea that the only thing people weigh when considering a new company or offer is salary. The fact that you would take a job that doesn’t pay the most means that there are other underlying reasons that are not as directly connected to salary (for most people, anyway). You might choose a job because it gives your better work/life balance. You might choose it because it has a substantially better commute. You might choose it because it rewards your intrinsic desire to build something new. You might choose it because it will give you less interference as you pave a path forward. You might choose it because the brand’s status in the industry feeds your ego. We are all motivated by different things.
We’ve spent a lot of talking about what makes up the brand, but when it’s time to make choices that will influence and change the brand, where do you start? The process of building the materials to attract and validate someone to your hiring process requires answering questions like these dozens of times a day, the answers to which will determine the success of your recruiting initiatives. So, you know, no pressure or anything. The answer to the question of “what video do I make” begins by understanding the complete architecture of your employer brand. Once you see that, the answers become far more obvious. And come quickly. Invest in this process and you’ll be equipped to make decisions easier for years.
If you looked at all those sources of employer brand touch points and thought to yourself: How can anyone actually manage the employer brand when nothing is in their control? All these touch points that feed the perception come from every level and department of the company. But these touch points, regardless of what channel delivers them, come from a single core source. Every product decision, every customer support interaction, every news story, every recruiter interaction stems from or is a reflection of your company culture.
In this episode, you may not think you have an employer brand, but you absolutely do. The fact that you haven’t invested in clarifying or amplifying it doesn’t mean it isn’t there and making a deep impact one way or the other on how hard you have to recruit people. The best way to manage your employer brand? See it as a bird’s nest.
When you do it right, employer branding shows the right prospects how they will be more satisfied working for you. They might see one of those other “obvious” companies and assume that’s the best company. But as there’s a good chance it’s not the best for them, this is your chance to compete. And win.