In 2014, Recruitment Marketing Leader Charlotte Jones developed the first data-driven employer value proposition for Lockheed Martin. With limited resources, she adopted a multi-year phased approach. Then in 2018, she embarked on a journey to refresh the EVP messaging while incorporating a global perspective.
The first step for the original EVP was to identify the scope and available resources.
She emphasized how choosing to identify their critical talent segments helped define their scope and target the messaging to the right audience.
“We knew that our target was going to be consistent, so we focused on the STEM audience,” Charlotte said. “Especially those who graduated with engineering degrees and are early-career, and those who had military backgrounds. Security clearance is a major requirement for many of our positions.”
Identifying how to target those critical talent segments required in-depth research.
“When we moved into the research development and insight phase, we partnered with TMP,” Charlotte said. They leveraged TMP — their digital employment branding agency — to develop a three-pronged research-based methodology.
For the first prong, they looked at external labor market insights from Universum and other employer branding surveys to gather secondary research on what their critical talent segments typically want from an employer.
“We gathered information from an enterprise-wide standpoint, because we have many breakdowns for the business areas, but at the time it was not specific to certain critical talent segments,” she said.
However, due to resource and time constraints, the team couldn't execute on the employee focus groups, which would have contributed to the employee insights. “This is where the phased approach came into play. In the following year, we were able to conduct online focus groups with employees in specific STEM fields.”
The third prong was internal primary research of leader aspirations. “That research involved gathering leader aspirations from interviews and published leader communications,” Charlotte said.
In the meantime, Charlotte's team focused on a primary research study of Lockheed Martin's critical talent segments.
The external research study involved approximately 500 participants and contributed to the external talent insights.
“The next stage was to take all of that information and conduct a gap analysis of what our employees are experiencing, versus what our potential candidates are saying they want from us as an employer,” Charlotte said. “And, of course, what our leaders are saying about our employee brand.”
“Then we developed a findings report to share with our stakeholders and leaders,” she said. From there, the team was able to identify Lockheed Martin's strengths and weaknesses within their labor market and ensure the EVP aligned with the research they had done.
Once the research and insight phases were complete, Charlotte and her team determined their EVP's five pillars.
“The pillars represent our ethics which have been consistent over the years. And even though we're refreshing our EVP, those ethics are still a big part of why people come join us and why people stay,” Charlotte said.
Then, the EVP went into “activation mode.”
In creating the EVP, the team had to ensure they had a new recruitment marketing campaign to match. “We looked at several concepts and shared them, along with the EVP, with our stakeholders and leadership for approval,” Charlotte said.
Once it was approved, they brought it to life in a talent brand guideline book that included the EVP messaging, new creative campaign, and what messaging to use for different target audiences.
Deploying the EVP (both the original and refreshed version) require training and education across employee channels.
Once the team had their materials, they focused on educating the talent acquisition organization on the new EVP messaging.
“I do a lot of scenario-based training to communicate the business case of why it's important we all know the EVP,” Charlotte said. “With the multiple videos of employee testimonials my team has produced and published, we have captured those EVP messages with true employee stories. They're a great reference tool to promote the EVP,” she said.
Now that the refreshed EVP is in process, Charlotte is focusing on the future.
Charlotte positioned the next step in the process: “Develop a global EVP message.”
Her team is working with TMP and Bayard for the global EVP launch. “This will be a four-to-six-month process that involves multiple stakeholders and approvals,” she said.
“We know the right thing to do is think globally but act locally. So, we're in the process of ‘glocalizing,'” she said.
Creating a global EVP presents its own challenges — most notably, choosing language that will translate and resonates across different countries and cultures.
For similar brands going through an EVP refresh, Charlotte said to focus on messaging that truly distinguishes you from competitors.
She recommends choosing pillars that highlight your brand's most unique qualities and ensuring those qualities resonate with your employees and are relevant to potential candidates.
Charlotte also stressed the importance of communicating the EVP across the organization properly.
“Internal and external efforts should be parallel, with consistent messaging,” she said. “Be transparent with employees and candidates. Everyone, from top leaders to the hourly workers, should be able to speak the EVP like an elevator pitch for the company.”