182: The Power of an Authentic Employer Brand and EVP | with Laurie Barnes



A strong, authentic employer brand is key to recruiting, retaining, and fully engaging top talent. The most effective companies build a differentiated employee value proposition (EVP).

Many people think of an employer brand only in terms of recruiting new employees, but to be effective, it should be comprehensive and authentic as relates to the overall employee experience. It’s helpful to think about four branding components that drive how your organization is perceived within your workforce as well as the talent marketplace:

  • Employee Experience is the overall reality of what it’s like for people all levels to work at your organization. Your EVP and employer brand must reflect this reality, or else it will become quickly obvious to employees and customers that it’s a fake brand. However, to win the war for talent over the long term, your organization needs to strive to build an employee experience that aligns with the EVP and employer brand you aspire to achieve.
  • Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is a clear description of the key reasons why people choose to join your organization, continue working there, give their best effort, and speak well of the company to others.
  • Employer Brand includes the messages, visuals, stories, and packaging that help your organization create emotional connections to reinforce the EVP with current employees, as well as shape its reputation as an employer of choice for targeted and diverse talent.
  • Talent Brand reflects how current and former employees socially represent your organization — as a place to work — with friends, connections, and others in the talent marketplace. You can influence and help shape its talent brand, but it is ultimately controlled by your people.

In this episode, Jesse and his colleague Laurie Barnes explain the key components of an employer brand. In addition, they describe their six-step recommended approach for crafting a compelling EVP and creating a powerful employer brand:

  • Plan
  • Audit
  • Craft
  • Test & Refine
  • Build & Implement
  • Monitor & Manage

Along with Jesse, Laurie Barnes is a co-founder of Workforce Communication. With more than 30 years in the biz, Laurie is a successful communication executive who is known for out-of-the-box thinking. She has held leadership positions at three large, global consultancies — Willis Towers Watson, Deloitte, and Mercer. In 2010, Laurie formed Maple Tree Lab, a communication boutique. At Workforce Communication, she serves as a talent leader inside the firm and a creative strategist for clients.

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