When it comes to employer branding initiatives, one of the most important is creating your employer value proposition (EVP). But once your EVP pillars and messaging are created, what happens then? It’s time to activate your EVP to ensure you clearly communicate your employer brand to candidates and internal employees!
Activating your EVP is just as important to your talent brand as creating it. After all, an expertly crafted EVP message won’t do your company any good unless candidates and employees can see and hear your message to get a better understanding of your company as an employer.
At HARMAN, I have been working with my team over the past year and a half on our own EVP messaging and how to successfully activate it. Although our organization has over 30,000 employees located in more than 35 countries, I’m working with a core group of 4 other people to make sure we are effective at communicating this new strategy.
Our work isn’t yet done, as our EVP is set to launch in just a few months. But we’ve learned some very valuable lessons so far on our journey, and I’d like to share them with you to help you achieve an effective EVP activation strategy.
Thinking Now About What Comes Next
None of us were surprised by the fact that creating an EVP from the ground up was going to be a massive undertaking. But we quickly learned that creating the EVP was just the beginning of our project.
About halfway through our EVP efforts is when we first began to turn our attention to how we were actually going to activate it. We realized that the hard work wouldn’t end once the EVP document was published. Because of the global scale of our EVP messaging and the vast span of our efforts, we determined that we needed to localize in the regions we’re targeting – 5 countries, to be exact. For the EVP to become real, it would need employees throughout HARMAN to help bring it to life.
From there, we started by building a governance structure or tiered approach that outlines the different stakeholders and how each player will help roll out HARMAN’s EVP. This framework helped us get a clearer grasp on what exactly we needed to achieve our activation goals and what we would be asking from our activation team.
Pulling in Activation Help
One important question that we uncovered was critical to answer was, “If we commit to this plan of localizing the EVP in 5 countries, how do we keep it intact?”
Being a small team, we knew that we didn’t have the bandwidth to act as day-to-day “police” of this localization plan. And so the idea of “regional brand leads” was born. These leads are helping to bring our employer brand to life in their individual countries in very specific ways, and our team is here to fully support them in their efforts.
Who are these regional brand leads, and how do they fit within our governance? They’ve agreed to take on assisting with the localization strategy for their region (in addition to their full-time jobs, I might add!) to ensure our messaging is succinct in their country, and they are HARMAN employees within any of the following spheres: marketing, communications, Human Resources, Talent Acquisition and even Engineering. These leads report up to those at the top of our governance, who are mostly based in corporate.
Below the brand leads are what we call “brand ambassadors,” which we define as anyone who wants to be an advocate of the work we’re doing. By pulling in this crucial support, we’ve been able to build an activation strategy that will get our EVP messaging to the right candidates at the right time in the right regions.
3 Key Takeaways
Here are the 3 most valuable lessons we’ve learned that can help you create your own successful EVP activation strategy:
- Stay aligned with stakeholders: Out of the gate, it’s crucial to make sure you have the right people on board who will be aligned and engaged with your EVP activation efforts throughout the entire journey. For example, the team and I met with the CMO and Head of Corporate Communications at the very beginning because we knew that while this work was part of Employer Branding, it was also just as much a part of Marketing and Communications. Building this “steering committee” from day one has helped us move quickly to get our activation strategy in motion.
- Launch your careers site with your EVP: If you’re not planning to update your careers site with your new EVP, your efforts run the risk of falling flat. These two elements need to be in sync in order for your strategy to have the most success, because your careers site is the most visible channel you have to feature your employer brand. Our EVP and careersite partner was one in the same so TMP Worldwide helped tremendously with ensuring with continuity between the EVP and our site.
- Take the time you need: Of course, there should be deadlines to adhere to so that your EVP project doesn’t languish, but we’ve found it’s important that if you have the time to work further on your EVP activation strategy, then you should take it. Even though small teams have the benefit of moving at a faster pace than larger teams, some things can get lost in the frenzy. Use the time you have at your disposal to make sure that everything is aligned in your strategy.
Although we’ve still got a few months to go until we officially roll out our new EVP, we’re already seeing great results from our efforts through our work with brand leads and stakeholders. Activating our messaging has required (and will require more) hard work, but it’s a project that will have a positive impact on our organization by better telling our story to help attract qualified and experienced candidates.
Note: Kumari will be presenting at this year’s EBrandCon on May 9, and she will be speaking more about her team’s efforts in successfully activating their EVP to reach top candidates across the globe. Register now to reserve your spot for her session!