Ask ten talent teams what one thing would make their lives easier, and all ten will tell you, “more time”. Recruitment professionals know that it’s a candidate’s market right now and that in order to attract high quality talent, companies must stand out from the pack. And for the last five years or so, having a solid Employee Value Proposition, or EVP, has been touted as the best way to do it; leading teams to focus on EVP as an urgent priority, only to be disappointed when it doesn’t yield the results they were hoping for.
Having a strong EVP is one element of an outstanding employer brand and candidate experience, but it’s not enough on its own. It won’t bridge the content gap between what a corporate careers site covers and what candidates want to know, nor will it tackle sector-wide issues that might prevent companies from hiring the best talent. Enter: Storytelling. Employee stories will not only augment a strong EVP, but also help to validate and build a credible, authentic EVP that resonates with the right candidates.
There are limits to what an EVP can achieve alone
Prioritising an EVP ahead of other employer branding or candidate experience projects puts it in a position of needing to do a lot of heavy lifting for a firm's hiring strategy. However, there are limits to what an EVP alone can achieve. It's difficult to capture all aspects of an organisation. It's especially difficult for larger organisations with global territories, several different departments, and/or multiple brands. What's true of the Purchasing department in the NYC office almost certainly won't be true for the Technology department in London.
Organisations also change over time, and it's challenging to ensure that the Employee Value Proposition keeps up - particularly if the firm is in a high-growth phase. Candidates will also have questions about issues that simply aren't addressed by an EVP (e.g. what is the canteen like?).
So it's hardly surprising that a study by Weber Shandwick, in partnership with KRC Research, found that only 19% of the nearly 2,000 global employees surveyed report that their experience with their employer matches that company’s publicly facing employer brand. This misalignment between employer brand and employee experience can lead to poor retention rates and dissatisfaction.
Having a tighter alignment in the employer brand can yield positive results. According to the Weber Shandwick study, “Employees in aligned organisations are more likely than organisations on average to recommend their employer as a place to work (76% vs. 54%, respectively).”
Use employee stories to bring your EVP and the realities of your organisation into alignment
As we’ve shown previously, storytelling is 20% more immersive than a corporate careers site alone and taking a storytelling approach to talent attraction is more likely to persuade candidates to apply and accept an offer.
Storytelling will also help address the limits of EVP, improving the alignment between your employer brand and the reality of working for your organisation.
Stories will bring key messages of your EVP to life:
According to the World’s Most Attractive Employers 2018, these are the top ingredients in an Employee Value Proposition:
- Inspiring purpose
- Professional training & development
- Commitment to diversity & inclusion
- Good reference for future career
Storytelling can address each of these points in an authentic way when it comes from employees. Employee stories build your EVP from the bottom-up, making it more credible and persuasive than a careers site alone. As a report from Universum explains, “For outsiders to believe an organization’s commitment to its values, they must hear from those on the inside and see how the values play out in day-to-day work life.”
Professional Training and Development
Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion
Good reference for future career
In Practice: How Nestle uses PathMotion to enhance and build on their EVP
Nestle promotes a culture of Creating Shared Value, something that extends to their employer brand and EVP. The PathMotion platform allows candidates to engage directly with their employees to better understand how the company demonstrates its values by asking questions about volunteering and mentorship programmes (which create value for the community and junior employees), as well as how working for the organisation will help further their career (creating shared value for the company and the prospect).
Storytelling delivers more targeted, personalised content to candidates across their journey - something an EVP can’t do
An Employee Value Proposition can only go so far when it comes to answering candidates’ questions about working for your organisation. Candidates will have a range of questions that cannot be answered in an EVP, and as shown in our candidate experience research, employees are best placed to answer them.
Making your content more personalised for your candidates will drive improved candidate experience while building a more robust and aligned EVP. Improve your candidate experience and build an authentic EVP at the same time - there’s no need to wait for one to do the next.
Some examples of the specific questions that individual candidates have, few of which could be answered by an EVP:
A typical day in Product Technology - Marks & Spencer
Expectations vs. Reality - Citi
And from an ROI point of view, direct engagement with employees pays off. The NHS Leadership Academy has seen an improvement in candidates’ perception of the company, as well as better conversion of high-quality applicants following the use of live exchanges with their employees.
At Citi, live exchanges with employees improved candidate experience, the impression of the company, and drove the candidates to apply for a role.
PathMotion creates employee stories that build a credible, authentic employer brand
There are several ways to use storytelling to build an authentic employer brand, and it’s important to take a varied approach. The PathMotion platform allows organisations to empower employees to become ambassadors, directly answering candidates’ questions on the subjects they want to know about.
With PathMotion, there is no need to wait until you have the perfect EVP before looking at candidate experience or employer branding. Your EVP is augmented and continuously developed and validated from the bottom-up by the people who make up your organisation. Their stories, their experiences, and their feedback build an authentic, credible employer brand while improving candidate experience by bridging the content gap for candidates. Highlighting and showing real examples of your values in action lends weight to your proposition, helping to evolve and inform your company’s understanding of its culture.