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 firstname.lastname@example.org