All Posts By

Mike Heal

EVP research

EVP and Employer Branding Whitepaper

By News

The opportunities for the Employer Branding profession have never been greater and neither have the challenges

Some interesting and timely research we conducted in partnership with Neil Harrison at NH237 Consulting on how EVP and Employer Branding are currently perceived across the UK TA community. The research touches on the concerns and opportunities of the sector. Its alignment with D&I and the corporate brand, metrics, consistency and experience. A big thanks to all that filled in the survey.

To view and download the report, please click here.

#evp #employerbrand #recruitmentmarketing #hr

Public sector recruitment advertising

WDAD awarded a position on ESPO Framework (No: 3A_20 Advertising Solutions)

By News

Following a tendering exercise, we’re delighted to announce that WDAD Communications has been awarded a position on the ESPO framework for Advertising Solutions (No: 3A_20), covering the supply of broad range of recruitment advertising and other resourcing-related services.

These include:

  • Digital media planning and execution
  • Traditional print campaigns
  • Social media
  • Employer branding
  • Career websites

The framework offers organisations across the Public Sector (and beyond) access to pre-approved suppliers who have been selected for their ability to provide customers with a comprehensive range of services that combine quality and value. All suppliers on the framework have been assessed and appointed using efficient and streamlined procurement processes, ensuring customers obtain value-for-money services which meet their requirements.

Other key benefits of the Framework include:

  • It’s compliant with UK/EU procurement legislation – ESPO has done the work, so there’s no need for you to run a full EU procurement process.
  • We were assessed during the procurement process for our financial stability, track record, experience and technical & professional ability.
  • What you see is what you pay – there are no additional charges.
  • Pre-agreed terms & conditions to underpin all orders.
  • ESPO’s expertise in this market is tried and tested. The framework is fourth generation in a succession of successful advertising frameworks.

For more details please visit:

If you’d like to know more, please contact Mike Heal quoting ESPO Framework 3A at to start a conversation.


Everything changed in 2020 – why your EVP needs to look forwards not backwards in 2021

By News

The employment landscape changed beyond all recognition in 2020. Suddenly, working from home became the norm. We’ve debated the respective merits of Zoom, Meets and Teams. We discovered how to spell furlough and what it meant. From record lows, unemployment has risen significantly. At the same time, the number of vacancies and job postings is now increasing. Pre-Covid skills shortages have not gone away. Some industries have been badly hit, others have seen demand for their services soar. We’ve been in lockdown and out and then back in again. It’s been enough to drive us to Tiers!

Just as importantly, where we work, why we work and with whom we work are not the same today as they were way back in March 2020.

The employer brand and reputation of every organisation in the land has been put to the test like never before. Some have risen to the challenge, others not so much.

And what of your Employee Value Proposition? The promise you make around the employee experience you’ll provide? Your employment ‘why’?

How relevant, how differentiated, how ready for 2021 is it? It’s a key question to answer.

So much of what contributes to an EVP has changed. The mindset of your employee base. The competitor set. The labour market. Perhaps even the structure of your own organisation.

And a robust and effective EVP has to reflect where you are and where you’re going, rather than where you were.

It’s worth perhaps reminding ourselves what an EVP is and what it can deliver.

It’s your commitment to the employee experience you’ll be delivering. It’s the narrative thread creating consistency across all people communications. It’s your direction of travel as an organisation and how your people can contribute to this.

Get this right and the potential of what your EVP can deliver is huge:

  • Employers who effectively deliver on their EVP can reduce departures by 69% (Gartner)
  • 83% of employers felt their EVP had a significant influence on their ability to hire talent (LinkedIn)
  • Poor EVP and employer branding adds 10% to the cost of external hiring (LinkedIn)
  • A well-executed EVP can improve new hire commitment by up to 29% (CLC)

Whilst we have worked with some organisations here in the UK and internationally to develop their EVP and their employer brand this past year (including their career websites and attraction material), it would be fair to say that for many in 2020 that this was not the time to either create or re-visit an EVP or brand. There were too many moving parts, too much ambiguity, too much uncertainty.

However, 2021 feels different. The staggering progress around the vaccines is creating a quiet, determined sense of returning confidence. Unemployment will not be going away anytime soon, however we are likely to see a pent-up demand for hiring in those sectors relatively unscathed by the virus. We work alongside a number of clients in tech and healthcare, for instance and this is the ‘norm’ for them; and there are, and will be, others.

For two key audiences, an organisation’s EVP will be important.

Candidates are likely to be both wary and cautious, looking for a new employer which is clear about its message, its direction and its purpose. An organisation, again, which is looking forward and not back. The employer brand and external messaging needs to convey this.

For your employees, the rationale for an investment in EVP is just as strong. They want to understand what the future looks like and how they can contribute to such a future. They want their voices, their experiences and their stories articulated. They need a reminder as to why you remain the best environment for their skills and ambition.

Because your Employer Brand is effectively the stories your people tell to describe what it’s like to work for you.

It’s a message for today which asks people for their commitment to help deliver tomorrow.

And whilst few of us wish to be defined by Covid-19, it’s important that it is referenced. Covid and how an organisation responded to its challenges will have shaped the employee experience hugely. An EVP in 2021 which doesn’t speak of how an organisation listened to its people, supported them, relied on them, would feel tone deaf and unintuitive.

Which is the danger of continuing with a pre-Covid EVP as we begin to emerge into a post-Covid world.

And how to you go about shaping, or indeed re-shaping, your EVP?

There are a number of differing approaches, but they all rely on the ability to listen to your people and tell their stories. Stories of how they have coped and how they have grown… with your support. Stories that then build a consistent employment narrative which is both authentic and inspiring.

It’s the sort of process we’ve delivered for numerous organisations. Some were looking at EVP for the first time; others wanted the tyres kicking on their existing one. And all were looking to encapsulate this into an authentic, distinctive and appealing employer brand that delivered a clear return on their investment.

If you feel it’s time for your own EVP and employer brand to look forward rather than backwards, then please contact me on 07973 131017 or email





Shaw Trust Power 100 List of UK’s Most Influential Disabled People

By News

We’re thrilled that one of our partners, Andy Gilbert, has been named as a finalist for the Shaw Trust Power 100 – the UK’s most influential disabled people. His personal achievements, and the great work Gilbey Films does for disability access and disability awareness training is inspiring.

The Disability Power 100 2020 celebrates individuals, disabled or living with an impairment, who are working to break the stigma around disability to create a more accessible and inclusive world. The list unveiling and top 10 countdown will be streaming live on Weds 21st at 2.30. Visit for more info.

And good luck Andy!

NHS careers websites

An Important New Careers Website for Frimley Healthcare Foundation  NHS Trust

By News

Designed and built by WDAD Communications, this new careers site is now live. It forms a central part of our work to help the trust refresh their Employer Brand and position them as one of the foremost employers in the sector.

The design of the site makes extensive use of FHFT’s employees following photoshoots across their three main hospitals. It leans heavily on their vision, values and future strategy, as well as promoting revitalised EVP and Employer Brand messaging.

Its clear layout and navigation has been designed to be more user-friendly, with accessibility supported by an Accessibility Toolbar for altering text size, changing colours and using text to speech technology.

We worked closely with the HR team at Frimley and our developer partner Designworks to produce a site that integrates with the NHS’s platform ‘Trac’, allowing a live feed of segmented service roles to be accessed via the site.

At such a vital time for recruitment in the NHS, we’re proud to have been able to work the ‘Frimley Family’ and we’re looking forward to helping them increase visitors to the site and evolve their messaging and engagement still further.

employee engagement post covid-19

How employee communications and engagement have changed as a result of the lockdown

By News

The response to Covid-19 is at a fascinating point. Lockdown has been easing gradually but perceptibly. Businesses are starting to open and today’s announcements in Parliament marks a significant landmark in that process particularly for the hospitality industry. However, it’s also not unlikely that we may see the number of positive tests, hospital admissions and coronavirus deaths increase once more as restrictions are relaxed.

But how has the talent acquisition community and their employers responded to lockdown and how do they feel about some of the likely outcomes?

Neil Harrison, one of our evp and research partners, conducted a survey on how employee comms has changed over the last few months. Just short of a hundred people responded to his questions so there’s an element of this being indicative rather than definitive. But there are some interesting insights and hopefully it provide a sense of the mindset of organisations.

Mike Heal, Managing Director at WDAD, was one of a number of contacts of Neil’s talent acquisition network who was asked to comment on the findings.

For details click here.

careers websites

Create Amazing Experiences

By News

A new careers website for a leading European hotel group

A huge thank you to all the team at PPHE Hotel Group as well as the WDAD creative and project management teams, and Designworks, who have all invested so much in getting this new careers website off the ground. With 15 different brands represented across 5 countries, this is just the first stage on a phased roll out that will also include the USA in the not-too-distant future.

As you might expect for one of the world’s leading hotel and hospitality groups (one that includes the Park Plaza and art’otel brands amongst others), the site is designed to be highly impactful. It’s visually striking using an array of strong and beautifully shot images throughout. In addition, we feature 19 employees with videos and static profiles to bring their stories to life, showcasing their professional and personal development and demonstrating what it is to create amazing experiences; making guests feel energised, valued, respected and, more often than not, surprised and delighted.

With the present covid-19 pandemic, recruitment activity has been put on hold, but when activity resumes, the site will highlight and filter key roles and opportunities across the brands, integrating seamlessly with the Cornerstone ATS as well as making the candidate experience and clicks to apply process as quick and as easy as possible. PPHE Hotel Group sees the new careers site as a vital platform for them to be ready when the ‘hospitality business’ picks up again and they start recruiting to help them realise their future plans.

Massive team effort and congratulations to everyone involved in delivering the project.

For more details visit or to view the site, please visit


Cyber Security Essentials

By News

We’re pleased to announce that WDAD Communications has been independently assessed and verified against the Cyber Essentials Standard and we have successfully met the requirements of the scheme. This means we meet the Cyber Essentials implementation profile [BIS/14/696/1.5] and our ICT defences were deemed as satisfactory against commodity based cyber-attack. We will now be assessed annually to make sure we maintain these high standards. 

If a partner needs to view our certificate, please contact the Managing Director. WDAD is also entered on the National Register of Cyber Essentials Certified Companies 

Covid-19 update

By News

From Monday 16th March, we have decided that our team will be working from home for at least the next few weeks. I’m confident that you will not be impacted in any way during this period – we all have the necessary tools to service your business and we will continue to do that outside the usual office environment.  We will therefore postpone any non-essential face-to-face meetings with partners/suppliers etc. and if necessary undertake virtual meetings instead.

This is a new challenge for all of us and we will regularly review this policy based on government advice.  We will continue to provide our team with regular updates and in turn will share any relevant information with you via email, social media or this website.

To all our clients, partners and friends in the media, I hope you are all keeping well and safe.

Best wishes,


Bringing a European hospitality employer brand to life

By News

Amsterdam and London video shoots

WDAD were appointed to create a new careers website and candidate experience for PPHE Hotel Group – a leading European lifestyle and boutique hotel group with brands such as Park Plaza, art’otel and Holmes Hotel London.

As part of the project, WDAD and the HR and marketing teams planned and undertook a series of employee video shoots across a number of their hotels and destination restaurant and bars. With themes based around their core values, we shot and produced 6 beautifully crafted films with supporting images that brought their employer brand to life though the authentic and compelling team stories.

The schedule was incredibly tight, but being based in some truly beautiful and inspiring hotels in both London and Amsterdam helped a lot😊

Huge thanks to all the PPHE team who helped to make it all possible. The films will be an integral part of our new website when it goes live later in 2020.