The first in our two-part EVP blog series discussed the Importance of Building an Effective EVP Platform: What Steps to Consider, to improve your employer brand and boost your success in finding the best talent for your business. Are you ready for the sequel?
In this second and final part, we identify five common mistakes made by companies when developing an EVP.
Employer branding mistakes to avoid include:
- Focusing too much on benefits and not enough on culture.
- Using vague buzzwords and phrases that don’t provide insight into the benefits.
- Only featuring top-level executives in people profiles, instead of showcasing a variety of employees.
- Using a one-size-fits-all approach to the EVP, rather than segmenting it for different job functions, locations, and countries.
- Overselling the company culture, which can lead to negative consequences in the long run. Honesty is the best policy when creating an EVP.
1. Focusing On Benefits.
In our first blog post, we discussed how a good EVP should answer the question ‘what is in it for me?’ from the candidate’s perspective. It isn’t much of a surprise that employers often see this as an opportunity to promote their benefits. Granted, these benefits answer the question of what’s in it for the candidate. However, they often scratch the surface in offering the candidate an insight into your organisation’s culture. Businesses that do this usually miss opportunities to make themselves stand out from their competitors.
This is not to say that employers shouldn’t draw any attention to company benefits, particularly if they’re unique. Still, it should not be at the forefront of an EVP, and instead should be used to highlight another aspect of your employee offering.
2. Buzz Words
In a time when job vacancies continue to be at a near all-time high, an effective and engaging job advert that will entice potential candidates is more important than ever. Many aim to get their message across in as few words as possible, but whilst this is not bad practice, it does mean that employers fall victim to using empty terms or phrases. For example, how often have you seen terms such as ‘open culture’ or ‘fast-paced environment’ in a job advert… what do these actually mean? The issue with these phrases is that they are relatively vague and provide little insight into the benefit. This can easily leave candidates with more questions than answers – a big no when attracting people to work for your business!
3. Top-Down Messaging
We’re seeing people profiles and stories become more of a feature on careers sites – and rightly so! How often do you see ‘employee journeys’ or ‘a day in the life’ stories on company social media platforms? People profiles are an excellent space for employees to share their experiences throughout their time with the business. They allow potential applicants to see real examples of what it is like to work for a business. However, some organisations use this space to share profiles from the more senior people within their organisations to discuss what it is like working for the business. Of course, these people are valuable members of the business. Still, it is worth considering that people generally want to hear from those who work in a similar role (or at least level) to them – they’re more likely to share the experiences of potential employers, meaning their stories will resonate more. The best way to share people stories is by ensuring that there are multiple and are from various parts of a business.
4. Lack Of Segmentation
Many employers hire personnel from different job functions, locations and countries. There is no problem with this. But too often, we see companies use a single EVP across their whole brand, regardless of the differences that there may be across other sites. It happens, but the goal is to give potential applicants a true understanding of working within an organisation. A ‘one size fits all’ attitude means that candidates often leave behind key information that makes their workplace desirable to a specific segment.
5. Overselling Company Culture
Whether you’re designing a careers site or writing up a job advert, of course, the main goal is to make your employer appear that people want to work for, but at what cost? In such a competitive market, it becomes quite tempting to oversell your company’s culture. But, as good of an idea this may seem at the time, the truth will eventually come out, and the ramifications of this can be quite harmful to an organisation (lowered morale, high turnover, and negative reviews on sites such as Glassdoor). Honesty really is the best policy here. Some of the best EVP’s have been from researching the internal and external market, listening to employees through focus groups and so on employees’ stories which have discussed the challenges they have faced in their role, and how their employer has supported them in overcoming this – this has been coined the DIY approach.