The problem with EVPs

August 11, 2017
Content Marketing

On Wednesday 9th August, Jem Blake (Co-Founder) and Rob Prince (Senior Account Manager) attended ‘Reconverse: Employer Brand, EVP and all that Jazz’ in London.

Reconverse events bring together a room full of direct employers and industry suppliers in a ‘speed meeting’ format, designed to facilitate rapid idea-sharing on a given topic.

We used the opportunity to ‘red flag’ what we see as the single biggest challenge facing direct employers at the moment relating to their EVP and content marketing.

EVPs are big business.  No doubt you will have come across the agencies, consultants, experts and commentators who are jostling to tell you why you need one and how you can get one.  Much less talked about is the standout problem that we’re seeing in the market right now.

Here’s what typically happens when an employer creates their EVP…


[Employer] spends a significant amount of time and/or money on their EVP.  A distilled version gets distributed around the company with some core messaging highlighted on it.  There are likely a couple of points that really resonate, such as “everyone here is really motivated and enthusiastic, which makes it a great place to work” and “there are heaps of promotion opportunities for those that want them”.


Some period later, [Employer] will feel an urgency to do something with their EVP.  Looking back at the key messages, [Employer] will brainstorm some blog content and social posts: the team settle on a series of articles that share 'day in the life' style insights.  The focus of the series is Sally, a 25-year-old Sales Manager, who embodies both enthusiasm and career ambition.


There are metrics available (reach, likes, shares, etc.) but it feels impossible to accurately calculate ROI.  There’s a suspicion that the only people who really read the content were Sally and her colleagues.  Analytics show a slight increase in website traffic, but it’s difficult to attribute it to the content campaign specifically - and it’s the same story with application numbers.  Having reviewed what is available, it's assumed that EVP is essentially all about brand reach and general awareness - and as such impossible to track and measure.  In the end, [Employer] makes an instinctive call on whether it feels like the campaign worked or not.

So what’s the problem?  We think there are several things wrong with this situation:

  1. It’s content for the sake of content. Campaigns like this often feel like box-ticking exercises.
  2. It’s inwards facing, rather than outwardly engaging. The EVP is the inspiration for the content, rather than the candidates themselves.
  3. It doesn’t address real candidate priorities. As such is likely to only engage candidates that are already thinking of applying.  ‘Strangers’ (i.e. new candidates) aren’t looking for Sally – they don’t care about her (yet)!
  4. It’s not properly tracked. And as such, it can’t be improved for next time.  The ‘vanity metrics’ (likes, shares, etc.) feel hollow and unhelpful when it comes to measuring real recruitment success.

If these problems sound familiar, you’re certainly not alone.  Countless employers are facing these problems right now.

At Talent Nexus, we have taken some of the lessons learned from other areas of marketing (B2B, e-commerce, etc.) and applied them to this recruitment-specific problem.  We have taken the 'inbound methodology' and tailored it to help employers create campaigns that actually genereate new applications and hires.  Our content marketing strategy avoids the common pitfalls outlined above, providing effective and measurable campaigns that will generate real value from your EVP.

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