Employer branding

What is an Employee Value Proposition or EVP?

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Like every company, every employer has an image. For example, everyone has an image of what it is like to work at the government or at McDonalds. This applies not only to larger companies, but also to the bakery around the corner. An Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is the tool to manage your employer image. In this blog, we share what an EVP is, the importance of an EVP and how to build one.

What is an Employee Value Proposition or EVP?

An Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is your employer promise to your current and future employees. The purpose of the EVP is to position an employer in the job market and improve its employer image. An EVP is combination of two to three values that describe the organization's employer identity. With that, an EVP is an inside-out approach; you communicate what is lived within the organization and not what is desired outside the organization. An EVP is the core of the organization's employer brand.

We ourselves use the following definition to describe an EVP:

"An employer promise of two to three values that describe the employer identity and are a promise to current and future employees."

Why is an EVP important?

Of course, the main argument for having and sharing an EVP is to improve your employer image. A good EVP will ensure that more potential employees have an idea of what it is like to work at the organization and more will consider actually joining the organization. Ultimately, this will result in more candidates. Something that is of course always a nice bonus in the tight labor market. Another nice bonus is that current employees will also stay with the organization longer. This is because a good EVP is not only emitted externally, but is also actively shared and observed internally. This will ensure that current employees perceive being an employer is more attractive and a sense of pride will prevail.

3 dimensions of an EVP

An EVP consists of two to three values that describe the employer identity of the organization. We ourselves distinguish three dimensions that form inputs to the values of an EVP, namely:

  • Employer

Being an employer is about everything you can offer your employees, such as job content, development opportunities or benefits.

  • Culture

Culture is about the way colleagues interact with each other within the organization, for example, the norms and values that are lived out.

  • Purpose

Purpose is about the organization's contribution to the market or society and describes the essence of the business. A purpose value can be very diverse, but is about sustainability or innovation, for example.

There is no set form of which dimensions should be included in the EVP. It is your employer identity that determines which dimensions and values to include. You can choose a value from each dimension or a mix thereof. However, we would recommend including at least one purpose value, because this value often touches the essence of the organization.

Five pillars of an EVP

In our model, we assume that five pillars influence the choice of the final value set, namely:

  • The lived values

These values indicate what current internal employees find most attractive about the organization as an employer. By aligning with the perceived values, the EVP will be authentic and more easily expressed by colleagues.

  • The desired values

These values come from communication and/or management and provide insight into what the organization would like to portray on the job market. By including the desired values in the EVP, the EVP will align with and contribute to the long-term vision of the organization.

  • The employer brand values

Image values provide insight into the organization's associations in the job market. In fact, confirming a recognized EVP is always easier, than building a totally new EVP.

  • Competition values

Competitor values provide insight into competitors' associations. Taking competitive values into account will increase the distinctiveness of the EVP.

  • The benchmark values

The benchmark values show what the external labor market finds important to see reflected in work. Despite the fact that an EVP is inside-out, it is important that the EVP is relevant to the external labor market.

The first two pillars are by far the most important and are the input for the values. The third, fourth and fifth pillars can be seen as check pillars and will help with the choices between the values retrieved in the first two pillars.

Positioning of EVP in the organization

We often see that developing an EVP can meet with resistance. A frequently mentioned argument is that value sets have already been developed from marketing and/or communication and there is fear that an EVP will create ambiguity. Still, a promise to customers and suppliers has different themes than a promise to employees. However, it is important that the EVP is consistent with these value sets. A good EVP not only stems from the organization's mission and vision, but also contributes to it. Therefore, it is important to also include the desired values (pillar 2) in the proposition.


In summary, an EVP is unmissable in a successful organization. An EVP consists of two to three values that describe the employer identity. An EVP value can be about employership, culture or purpose. An EVP is sourced by combining the most attractive perceived values with the desired values from management and communication. Communicating the employer identity to the internal and external job market will improve the employer image and make colleagues stay with the organization longer.

Dit blog is onderdeel van een grotere reeks. Ben jij benieuwd hoe je in 7 stappen een EVP opzet? Schrijf je dan in voor de webinar van 23 maart 2023 via deze link.

Designing your Employee Value Proposition from internal insights?

Gino Ammerlaan

Account Manager

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