Creating an effective employee value proposition (EVP) and employment brand (EB) means making space for a lot of cooks in the kitchen. The EVP and EB require a special blend of expertise in human resources, marketing, branding, strategy, and communication. Ultimately it requires aligning various stakeholders behind your external brand in a way that effectively communicates internally to current employees and externally to prospects.

Some forward-thinking organizations have individuals or entire teams who dedicate 100% of their time to the EVP and EB. Other organizations rely on the input of multiple departments that often have competing agendas and priorities. How do you manage all of the cooks in the kitchen while creating a compelling EVP and EB?

Define Ownership of the EVP and EB

First, it’s important to define who will own this work. It’s a big job to wrangle all of the stakeholders, resolve conflicts, and ultimately make sure everyone’s contributions are acknowledged and implemented. In most of our work with clients on EVP and EB, it’s a person or team within the human resources department that leads the charge while other departments serve as stakeholders and reviewers, providing expertise in specific areas. Here’s a summary of how some of the key contributors can participate:

Human Resources: Usually the owner of the EB and EVP. Various experts within HR provide details on compensation, benefits, recruitment, talent development, and company culture among other things. All of these details are thrown into the proverbial pot where they are blended and simmered into an attractive EVP.

Marketing & Branding: Provides the connection to the external brand. The marketing and branding team can offer perspective on how to position the EVP in a way that supports and complements the external facing brand and customer promise. This team can lend creative muscle to translating the details of the EVP into attractive messages with supporting visuals that engage and enroll.

Communications: This team will know the best channels and forums for broadcasting messages to internal teams and how to integrate into all of the other messages that compete for the attention of employees. This team can help to establish priorities in messages and consult on ideal timing in relation to other communication and priorities in the organization.

Executive Leadership Team (ELT): Ensures the EVP aligns with corporate strategy, mission, and vision. While the ELT may not have the bandwidth to get down into the weeds on the EVP and EB, they will undoubtedly want to weigh in at several key points during its development.

Recruiters: While some companies have recruitment personnel within the HR department, others use external recruiters to help spread the employment brand message. Recruiters who are familiar with your organization and the type of employees you seek can provide an interesting perspective on how to position your messages in a way that resonates with prospective employees. They can also provide input on how your offering compares to other companies in the market.

Depending upon the structure of the organization, there may be other teams that need to provide input or support the development of the EVP and EB.  This could include corporate communications, PR and advertising.

How has your company handled the development of the EVP and EB?  What major players were involved, and what insights have you developed about how to effectively compile the expertise of so many stakeholders?

Kennedy Communications has worked with global organizations on developing and communicating EVPs and EBs.  Often the participation of an outsider can help provide perspective that can be difficult to achieve when you’re so close to the subject matter. If you need an outside perspective to help with your employee value proposition or employment brand, we’d love to talk with you.

About Alice Wright

As Director of Content Strategy, Alice directs projects while also designing program strategy and instructional content. She has more than 22 years of experience managing integrated strategic marketing, communication and training programs for globally recognized brands. Some of her current and past clients include Nike, Sunglass Hut, Safeway, Banfield Pet Hospital, Office Depot, Unilever, LensCrafters, EMC, Intel, Microsoft, Dell, adidas, Joann Stores and others. Alice earned her bachelor’s degree from the School of Journalism and Communication at University of Oregon. She lives with her husband and teenage son in Portland, Oregon where she loves exploring the outdoors and being a soccer/band mom.