This is the second story in our On Brand series, a look at how to make employer branding work for your brewery.
The brewing industry is a competitive hiring market, and every brewery is interested in finding top-tier talent for their team. As we covered in our introduction to employer branding, an Employee Value Proposition — or EVP — refers to what an employer offers its employees: your brewery’s unique mix of benefits, culture, values, and opportunities.
In the search for the best employees for your brewery, it is this EVP that sets you apart from your competitors. Putting your EVP into words through a carefully-crafted paragraph brings your employer branding into focus as well as allowing you to show off for potential talent: two key steps in employer branding.
What Does Your Brewery Offer?
Before writing your EVP, it’s critical to take stock of what you have to offer. Interviewing employees is a great start for larger breweries, while breweries with smaller teams might be able to save time by brainstorming as a group. Regardless of your method, make it clear that you’re looking for truthfulness rather than propaganda.
During this process, you should keep an unbiased eye out both for areas the brewery excels at, as well as areas where it has room to grow.
There’s no question that money is a major motivator for employees. This category includes standard wages, but also contains all other ways your team might receive money for their work, including bonuses, options, and other possibilities. Are these on par, high, or low for your region?
As more breweries begin to offer robust benefit packages for their team members, those that don’t may be in danger of being left behind. Consider your brewery’s approach to benefits like:
- Health insurance
- Vacation and sick leave
- Subsidized memberships
Have you ever heard someone say that you couldn’t pay them enough to work somewhere? It’s likely that brewery had a poor work culture, which some research says trumps financial compensation in terms of employee satisfaction. While work culture can be notoriously hard to pin down, start with answering these questions:
- What is the overall approach to a work-life balance?
- How much recognition do employees receive for their work? Is that recognition private, or public to others in the brewery?
- What are the brewery’s overall goals, mission, and values? Is the entire team aware of these? Where are these goals and values reflected in the brewery’s culture?
- Has the brewery made a commitment to diversity? If so, are there guidelines in place to work towards this goal?
- Do team members feel supported in sharing their ideas and views?
- Are there any regular events to support team-building?
The work environment is similar to the work culture, but it tends to be based more on the physical location and your brewery’s policies and systems. Think of it as the bones that provide structural support to the work culture. Some components of this category include:
- Flexibility in work or hours
- The physical space where work occurs, including break and rest facilities
- Systems of communication
- Systems of recognition
Superstar employees want to continue to learn and grow, and your brewery’s opportunities for career development are a great way to stand out from your competitors. Common offerings include, but are not limited to:
- Promotion opportunities
- Mentoring and guidance
- Opportunities to work in other areas of the brewery
- Opportunities to learn skills from colleagues
- Networking events
- Training and courses, either in-house or paid for by the brewery
- Attendance at conventions
Writing Your Brewery’s EVP
Preparing to Write
Now that you have a good idea of what sets your brewery apart from other employers, it’s time to narrow down your list. A solid EVP highlights your best feature as an employer, as well as supporting that feature with three to five other exciting qualities.
Different employers choose different methods of choosing what to focus on in their EVP. Some might interview staff members, while others limit the number of people involved.
The most important thing is to ensure you’re telling the truth: if you have employees who would disagree with a claim, carefully consider whether to include it. Employer branding works through both official and unofficial channels, and a discrepancy between your official branding and employee experience is likely to come out through the difficult-to-control unofficial side.
What to Write
Your EVP will be an important part of your brewery’s employer marketing, so the final copy should be put through the same rigorous process as all other marketing materials.
It may be tempting to go into great detail about what you offer — after all, your brewery’s amazing! — but one-paragraph EVPs are among the most effective. If you truly can’t mention everything within a paragraph, feel free to write a longer piece, but also include a shorter version to use where necessary.
The internet is a great resource for discovering examples of EVPs that have worked for other employers. Make sure to look outside the brewing industry and consider what approaches may translate well.
Note: While we’ve referred to your EVP as a single piece of marketing, there may be situations where the value you offer employees varies significantly depending on where they work within the company. In this case, ensure there are as many EVPs as necessary to accurately describe all levels of your brewery.
How to Use Your EVP
We’ll cover other uses for an EVP in following On Brand articles, but here are some ideas to get you started:
- As a way to measure what you offer your employees and as a way to generate goals
- Included in the text of job postings, such as on our Brewing Work job board
- To form the basic guidelines for further employer branding, such as across social media
- For inspiration and assistance when pursuing a candidate with other offers
Employer branding is going to increase in importance as the brewing industry grows and the hiring market becomes more competitive. By ensuring your brewery is on top of its EVP, you’ll have a leg up in finding the best talent for your team.