Your One-Size-Fits-All EVP Strategy Isn’t Fitting Anyone.

Katrina Kibben Employment Branding and Culture, HR & Marketing, Recruiting, Recruitment Marketing, Talent Acquisition, Talent Strategy

I’m going to say something a little unpopular, especially among the big agencies who want to charge you 6 figures for a one-liner: I don’t think most companies benefit from having an employer value proposition, or EVP.

Don’t @ me.

Before you throw any virtual tomatoes, hear me out. When I say employer brand, what do you think of? When I’ve asked this question in recent presentations, I usually hear things like, “purpose” or “mission and values.” All novel concepts. 

But they’re also big promises. 

I mean, if you’re going to go so far as to say this is my purpose for showing up and sticking it out 40 hours a week in my ugly cubicle next to the oh-so-chatty Nancy, I want some Oprah shit. I want to cry. I want to get a little misty about how purposeful this is. How it’s going to change my damn life.

But let’s get real. This is what actually happened:

This was taken from a random sample. We looked at the top 50 most admired companies in the world and pulled their EVPs from their websites. Over 1/3 of those companies used the exact same language. So, if you’re going by science, this is the ultimate EVP.

I wrote an EVP with science! Data! Woo!

But here’s why that doesn’t work at all.

Work isn’t one size fits all. The reasons why we go to work are a little different for every person. We’re all unique in that way. But let me tell you, very few of those reasons ever have to do with making your company successful. These reasons for working are very human and not as novel as your traditional employer value proposition. They’re about feeding their family, paying for college, et cetera.

So if you’re basing your entire strategy off of something that’s all about you and your company as an employer value proposition, you’ve got it all wrong in the first place. If you want to recruit using your mission and values, you need to show people how those translate into what is important to them using things like recruiting personas.

One size fits all doesn’t fit anyone in 2019.