The Difference Between EVP and Employer Branding

Employer branding and EVP are hot topics in talent acquisition — and as part of the same HR conversation, their nuanced differences are easily misunderstood. In this article, we’ll break down those differences, whether one can exist without the other, and which you should focus on first.

By Iterate Team
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6 minute read

If you work in the world of talent acquisition, you’re no stranger to terms like employer branding and employee value proposition, also known as EVP. Chances are you’ve even heard or used them interchangeably — after all, they’re both known to move the needle when it comes to active recruitment marketing, passive talent attraction, and employee engagement and retention.

But what’s the difference between employer branding and EVP, and which should you focus on first? While both concepts have a lot in common, there are some nuanced differences to consider.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at both.

What is employer branding?

Employer branding is all about the public perception of your company as an employer. How do job seekers and existing employees view you? That’s your employer brand.

If potential and current employees see your mission and values as worthwhile, if they think you treat your staff well, and if they think you are generally a good company to work for, you have a positive employer brand. If not…well, there’s room for improvement.

Employer branding is influenced by a variety of factors, such as your:

  • Careers pages
  • Public business profiles (e.g., Glassdoor and The Org)
  • Social media accounts
  • Job descriptions
  • Employee-generated ratings and reviews
  • Employee satisfaction and retention rates
  • Company mission and values statements

In short, at every point of contact between your company and the workforce, you’re establishing your employer brand. So unless you're about to make your very first hire, you already have an employer brand. Every company does.

Even if you’ve never invested any effort in employer branding, you’ve been building your brand all along — for better or worse. In this day and age, it’s simply part of being an employer, and it's essential to long term growth.

The strength of your brand will impact the quality of your hires, the productivity of your existing staff, and the costs required to maintain a healthy employee base. The good news is that by taking the reins, you can always shape your employer brand for the better. The key is to show the world why your employees love their job so much — and why future employees will, too.

But the question still remains —

What is an employee value proposition or EVP?

Employee value proposition or EVP is made up of the specific ways your company provides value to employees. This refers to tangible value added in the lives of employees, like salary, benefits packages, and office perks, as well as less intangible aspects like job satisfaction and company culture.

At its core, EVP is the promise you make to job candidates. It’s your answer to the (often unspoken) question, “Why should I work for you?”

As with employee branding, every company is offering an EVP whether they realize it or not. And also like employee branding, you can always modify your EVP to help attract top talent.

EVP vs. employer brand: What's the difference?

Yes, EVP and employer branding have plenty of overlap — both gauge how appealing your company is to current and future employees. And both will have a major impact on your hiring process and employee satisfaction.

But they’re not synonyms, and understanding their nuances sets you up to get both right.

EVP and employer branding are opposite sides of the same coin — EVP is an internal definition of what employees get out of working for a company, while employer brand is an external expression of the EVP, designed to attract talent.

Think of your employer brand as the public perception of your company, while your EVP is how you follow through on that perception internally.

Which should you develop first?

In theory, EVP should act as the foundation of your employer branding by articulating the benefits, opportunities, and rewards promised at your company — while your employer brand transforms those benefits into external messaging, and ultimately, a positive reputation among the workforce.

Does that mean you should hold off on any employer branding work until you have a rock solid EVP in place? Employer branding experts say no. Despite EVP’s importance, it’s not a prerequisite for building your employer brand — as long as you’re tapped into your people and what resonates with them.

That said, it’s wise to keep both in mind no matter which you’re focusing on. Even though EVP and employer brand are technically separate, they should always complement each other — otherwise you run the risk of coming across as disingenuous, which is one of the biggest employer branding mistakes to watch out for.

As long as you keep an eye on alignment between your EVP and employer brand as they develop, they both play a critical role in attracting and retaining the best in the talent pool.

Spreading the word about your EVP with your employer brand

If you’re hoping to get the word out about your employer brand or EVP, you should know that every company profile on The Org comes equipped with a variety of employer branding features, such as:

  • Org chart: Your public org chart will show job seekers exactly how your company is structured and who they would be working with. Your chart will also serve as a staff directory, making it easier for your employees to get to connect with their colleagues.

  • Company values: List the core values and principles of your company to show the world what you believe.

  • Insider experiences: Add quotes and testimonials from employees about what they love about your company.

  • Behind the scenes: Upload photos of your team relaxing, partying, and generally enjoying the healthy company culture.

  • Wires: Post company announcements, new hires, and product updates so everyone can follow along.

  • Open roles: Post open job positions directly in your org chart. These openings will appear on The Org’s job board so thousands of job seekers can see what you have to offer.

At the end of the day, your EVP and employer brand both begin with current employees. Everyone at your company is a front-line operator of your employer brand — candidates will spend time learning about your people, and through them, your values and culture.

Ready to provide a window into your team, culture, and EVP?

Add your company to The Org, for free.

Get in front of millions of visitors and job seekers.

  • Showcase your company culture to a vast community of professionals
  • Host your team on a free org chart to keep employees aligned
  • Post jobs on our free job platform for high growth startups

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