Got yourself a colourful EVP? Excellent work. You may help yourself to a Skittle. But before you do, here’s one more question: are you clearly and consistently communicating it across your organisation, to every stakeholder and at every touchpoint?
No? Then your eye-catching EVP may as well be vanilla.
Kelly Stone and Kris Clelland said vamos to the vanilla EVP a long time ago. Lucky for us, they were only too happy to share their ideas about where to start, what a great one looks like and how to stand out from the crowd.
Kelly Stone is a copywriting queen with a special interest in recruitment and employer branding – and all the content that goes with it. She helps organisations bring life to their comms and connect with candidates through her writing biz, Craft My Content.
As for Kris Clelland, he’s all about driving change through talent and people. That’d be why – after a huge amount of TA, HR and research experience – he founded his own consulting, advisory and research company, Clellands & Co.
Vanilla: be gone. Helpful tips: get over here 👇🏼
Nailing your ‘what’ and ‘why’
First up, says Kelly, is being crystal clear about what you’re communicating – and why you’re doing it. In other words, know your brand position difference – even if it’s not entirely unique.
‘It’s ok [if]…the foundation of your offer is similar to what other people are doing,’ Kelly assures us. “But it’s…how you create meaning for your ideal audience [because] this is the way you’re going to connect with the people who matter.’
Take flexibility, for example. Many companies offer it, but none do it exactly the same – simply because culture, values and priorities aren’t a one-size-fits-all.
But don’t forget the ‘how’
Kris says plenty of organisations know what they need to do, but struggle to actually communicate, implement and drive it. Which means the message they’re sending to the external market might not match what they’re telling their staff.
‘Employer brand and EVP go hand in hand,’ he reminds us. ‘A lot of organisations don’t tie [brand voice] back into organisational pillars or company values and goals.’
Getting stuck in your own ‘how’? Don’t be afraid to ask for external help! There are agencies who specialise in this stuff and can guide you in the right direction.
But remember: whether you handle it in-house or not, Kelly says there are countless ways to communicate your EVP. The key is to cover all your bases.
‘People might put emphasis on their social media posts, but then they don’t carry it through into creating tip sheets or talent emails or case studies – or anything like that,’ she says. ‘They focus on one and forget about the millions of other opportunities there are to do that.’
Embrace them all!
You know how the people most likely to boast about being ‘likeable’, ‘easy going’ or fun-loving’ probably…aren’t?
It’s the same when you’re communicating your EVP.
It’s not about literally saying ‘we’re more fun than Disneyland’, it’s about injecting that sense of fun (or trust or whatever your vibe is) into the language you use, across every channel and touchpoint.
Kelly says this is where your brand voice comes into play – the personality your organisation takes on using words.
‘It’s how you make your audience feel when they interact with you online…and it needs to be consistent with your consumer brand voice,’ she says. ‘So how you communicate and how you appeal to candidates and employees is going to be different to the messages that you are communicating with customers and the community. But your personality and the energy remains consistent across.’
Top tip: this needs to flow into your recruitment, too. Candidate emails, career sites and job ads all need the same feel.
‘Your corporate values, your EVP, your brand mission, your brand position, your audience – these will all shape how your brand should be showing up online,’ Kelly states.
Consistency, consistency, consistency.
Being transparent and authentic
By all means, tell the world you’re something you’re not. But what happens when employees, vendors or clients realise what you say on your website has very little to do with what actually happens at the coalface?
Kris says if this lack of transparency is obvious – usually within the first 6 to 9 months – the warning bells start ringing pretty loudly.
‘I can guarantee they’re not staying with you,’ says Kris bluntly. ‘That then goes out into the external market and it grows legs, it grows wings and arms and it spreads.
‘The purpose of the organisation, your purpose of actually being there…has to be conveyed and communicated transparently.’
Again, seeking expert support from outside your organisation can mean big savings (and less headaches) in the end.
‘The money you will save, the ROI you will create by…not needing to rehire or find new clients when they leave [because] they realise you’re not being transparent [is significant],’ says Kris.
‘When you are showing up authentically…and communicating your EVP and brand consistently, you’re going to be better able to attract the right kind of people to your organisation.’
Communicating your EVP is more than making it
A colourful EVP is just the start (albeit an excellent one). Communicating it, living it and standing by it are what really matter.