In today’s competitive talent market, attracting and retaining talent poses a significant challenge for organisations. This is where employer branding plays a key role. Your Employer Value Proposition (EVP) or Talent Value Proposition (TVP) should take centre stage in acquiring and retaining the right talent.
But the world is changing at a fast pace. The flexible work arrangements and global talent accessibility are prompting organisations to rethink how they can deliver a consistent employer brand proposition to engage the talent they need.
Recently, AMS held a discussion with talent acquisition leaders across the APAC region to explore strategies for building a compelling employer brand, and the nuances of customizing brand messages for different audiences.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the session.
Moving from EVP to TVP
Organisations are now moving away from the comprehensive EVP model and towards creating targeted TVPs.
Traditionally, EVPs look across an organisation’s entire group – its audiences, locations etc. – and communicate (to both internal and external talent) the values of the organisation, what it offers to candidates, and what is expected of them. Crafting a robust, all-encompassing EVP can requires a lot of investment, both in financial cost and resources.
In contrast, TVPs focus on specific core priorities, whether it be a location where talent is lacking, or a specific skill set needed to fill a skills gap. So, rather than trying to tackle the whole EVP, crafting a TVP allows the organisation to understand a particular talent segment and develop a messaging platform that speaks directly to them.
This targeted approach enables organisations to analyse their TVPs to identify collective patterns and candidate responses. This valuable insight can subsequently shape their EVP. As one expert put it, “It’s basically building your EVP from the ground up, instead of a big pie in the sky idea and trying to make it fit for each of your audiences.”
Getting the balance right
There were varied opinions from the roundtable panel on whether a business’ TVP should be the same for both internal and external candidates.
Many panellists emphasised the importance of brand consistency, especially when communicating the organisation’s values. Nonetheless, all experts agreed it was crucial to have the ability to adapt a TVP messages flexibly when targeting specific markets.
One panellist shared their strategy of developing tailored TVP ‘personas’ to create targeted messaging, focusing on candidates with specific degrees. Another speaker seconded this approach, highlighting the necessity to adapt strategies for various global locations, resulting in a more niche and targeted TVP messaging. As one panellist aptly put it, “The concept of a brand needs to evolve over time depending on your needs”.
This was no different when it came to internal staff. One expert highlighted that most of the talent in their organisation is under 35, hence they have tailored their TVP messaging specifically for Generation Y and Z workers.
The key takeaway is, regardless of the message, organisations must be clear on the connective tissue in their TVP. Understanding the fundamentals that align with the business’ core values and culture remains paramount.
Delivering the proposition
Discussing the new TVP approach is one thing, but executing it is a whole different challenge.
Many panellists faced the same dilemma: creating a consistent brand message while retaining the flexibility to tailor it when necessary.
A solution proposed by the panel was having access to strong and consistent toolkits in local markets. These toolkits empower organisations to target specific talent groups with adaptable key messages. This might include using different imagery or pulling out sub-key messages that are relevant to the targeted audience.
Understanding the audience is key, and having a toolkit that sets your TVP benchmark makes it much easier to flex and shape around different groups. Without one, ensuring brand consistency can be challenging.
As one panellist said, “The key to success is to prioritise the exact talent segment you need to talk to, focusing on the niche or business-critical ones, or the ones that meet your diversity targets.”
Showing people what you’re made of
Telling compelling stories about the business is one great way to bring in new talent. Many panellists shared how they are creating new and engaging video content based on the day-to-day life of the organisation. This has proven to be successful in attracting candidates. “It’s an authentic way of showing people what it’s really like to work at the business. It helps people see what they could be doing within the business,” said one speaker.
However, the panel emphasised the importance of keeping it real. Though authentic testimonials may not always have the most polished look and feel, they contribute to the content’s authenticity. One panellist said, “Having content that's believable is far more important than having something that costs a lot or takes time to produce.”
Listening to your teams
At the heart of any business are the people that work there. Listening to internal teams is crucial when crafting a TVP or any related content. Understanding the reality of everyday life in the business is essential for accurate representation. As one panellist highlighted, “You don’t want to be selling something that’s not true about the business. Because when people join, if it’s not the reality, then attrition starts.”
Setting the guardrails
There was extensive discussion on maintaining control of TVP content. When executing brand activities online (creating video content or writing social media posts), you open yourself up to the risk of negative posts or comments. Establishing some ground rules is a good idea to mitigate potential damage.
Industries such as Pharma/Life Sciences and Finance, being highly regulated industries, need some rules in place. Many organisations will create simple one-page user guides with helpful hints on how and what to post on the business social media platforms.
Utilising technology is extremely useful for creating controlled, consistent TVP content. Some panellists said they use platform or apps that allow internal ‘brand ambassadors’ to easily film videos on their phones, edit them using pre-determined brand guidelines, and publish directly. It’s about creating a framework that represents the brand and is user-centric.
One organisation even formed a team to track the content and adapt anything that wasn’t ‘on-brand’. However, as one panellist said, “People will post what they want, and you can’t verify everything that goes out.”
The challenges ahead
TThe talent landscape is evolving rapidly, with new factors impacting the ability to attract and retain talent each day.
The panel experts agreed that the ability to pivot needs to be accelerated. Candidate and employee expectations, especially for Gen-Z talent, are shifting. An organisation’s TVPs must align clearly with and articulate its values and aspirations. Businesses must be prepared to be agile, creative and genuine in communicating their brand to this new world of talent.
Need help building a compelling brand both externally and integrally? AMS has the expertise to deliver the right talent strategy for your business, today and tomorrow. Get in touch today.