Employer Brand Value Proposition vs. Employee Brand Value Proposition

You’re probably familiar with the concept of employer branding: how your organization is perceived as an employer by candidates as well as current and former employees. But what about the employer value proposition? Or ... is it the employee value proposition? Or something else entirely?

Illustration of a diverse happy work team.
Published: 4.24.2019

Which one’s correct, and why? Or does it matter?

As we noted in a previous post, whether you like it or not you already have an employer brand. Maybe you’re actively managing it and getting great results, or maybe you’re in the planning stages of bringing it to life for your candidates and current employees.

Wherever you are in the process, one of the most critical components of your employer brand is the value proposition. You may have heard it called the employer value proposition, or the employee value proposition, or both. Maybe you’ve split the difference, and call it the employment value proposition (we’re seeing that more and more, and actually, we like it a lot. More on that later.)

Regardless of what you call it, the value proposition for your employer brand is the unique set of benefits an employee receives for the expertise, experience, and capabilities they bring to your organization, and what you as an employer expect from them in return. It’s not about money, because then every value proposition would be the same. Instead, it’s about what your company stands for: what makes it unique and why people want to be a part of it.

Both employer value proposition and employee value proposition are correct, and in widespread use, similar to brand value proposition and consumer value proposition (though employee value proposition has a bit of an edge in popularity). When you think about what the words really mean, though, there’s a marked difference.

“Employee value proposition” focuses more of the value of the employee to the organization, i.e., “what is this employee worth to the organization?” It’s company-centric rather than employee-centric (ironically), and feels more transactional. It may also be a little confusing: when we talk about employee branding, it’s clear we’re talking about an individual’s personal brand, including what shows up in their LinkedIn profile (and just as with employer branding, you have a personal brand whether you like it or not.)

“Employer value proposition” feels more candidate-centric, focused on why a candidate should want to be part of your organization and why being part of your team is a good thing for them, their career, and their aspirations. It’s warmer and more inviting, and at the heart of it, that’s what your employer brand is designed to do: present an authentic and aspirational image of your company that will engage and inspire the candidates who will be a great fit for your culture and contribute to your business results in a meaningful way.

As we noted earlier, more and more experts and clients alike are splitting the difference, using the term “employment value proposition.” We like that – it reflects the needs of both the employer and the employee and focuses on creating and nurturing a positive and productive relationship between the two. And at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.

How you choose to refer to your employment value proposition will depend on what works best for your culture and your stakeholders. As long as you’re using it to effectively achieve your organization’s goals for attracting, engaging, and retaining top talent, that’s all that really matters.

Getting started on defining your employment brand or looking for new ways to bring it to life through creative recruitment marketing? Let’s talk about new ideas for fulfilling your vision.

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