Employer branding is widely recognised as providing competitive advantage for employers looking to differentiate themselves in as crowded, candidate-driven marketplace.

So why do so many projects fail to gain the traction needed in the marketplace?

Based on conversations with employers across a range of sectors, here’s five top reasons why projects fail to deliver the promised returns – and how to overcome them.

  • Lack of clear objectives

Too frequently, EVP/EB projects are launched with good intentions, but a lack of tangible – and measurable – objectives.

Whether you’re looking to increase unprompted brand awareness, shift sentiment and engagement on social media, increase candidate volumes, improve retention, cut cost or time to hire - or any of several other benefits, it’s vital that the project has clear, measurable goals from the outset.

  • Early identification and engagement with stakeholders

It’s not uncommon for EVP projects to hit the buffers – or lose impact – if key stakeholders aren’t included from the outset to build engagement & buy-in.

Whether the project is being led by HR, Marketing/Comms, Employer Branding specialists or Business Change teams, it’s important that the full stakeholder landscape is mapped out and key parties are included with the project from the outset. At that includes some level of explicit ‘C’ suite/Board sponsorship.

  • A plan that goes beyond EVP

An EVP (Employer Value Proposition) is merely the distillation of your offer to candidates and what you expect in return. It crystallises this into a succinct ‘deal’ which provides greater consistency internally and externally around what you offer and what makes you different as an employer.

Sometimes employers reach this stage and stop the project - without realising that without it being articulated and brought to life across multiple platforms and touchpoints it’s merely an academic exercise which won’t change perceptions on its own.

  • Mistaking the ‘corporate brand’ for the ‘employer brand’

‘Brand’ really just means reputation. So the employer brand is just one dimension of an overall organisational brand. Yes, there should be a connection between the two, but the employer version purely sums up everything that the organisation stands for to existing and potential employees.

So you can’t just apply messages & strategies developed for shareholders, customers, suppliers etc and assume you’ve finished the job.

  • One sized EVP

Increasingly as candidates expect – or respond best – to a highly personalised experience, you can’t create a single EVP and supporting evidence that satisfies the motivations and desires of all candidate groups.

Whilst an EVP might initially be developed to cover the whole organisation, the real benefits are derived when it’s highly nuanced and subsequently personalised for as many segments or personas as possible.