Evaluating the success of employer branding efforts involves monitoring and analysing data around all the effort and investment made in building the brand over time.
The obvious areas to track may be:
- Quality of hire
- Time to hire
- Cost per hire
- Source of candidates
Larger organisations that have applicant tracking systems in place will find this sort of analysis really straightforward but even the smallest operation should be keeping a weather-eye on this level of data. Of course, to enable effective analysis it is important to have established a base point, a benchmark against which you can judge key performance indicators.
Metrics will vary depending on the size of enterprise, field and industry and one size does not fit all, it’s important to see branding as a live project rather than a badge of honour. You need to make adjustments and realignments as markets and circumstances change.
Adjust and align
Where you find candidates and how they find you are particularly interesting, particularly, if the organisation is spending significant budget on advertising vacancies. Investigating this area allows the optimisation of recruitment budgets and the fine-tuning of the information you make available to potential recruits and interested parties, ensuring you attract high-quality applicants and provide the candidate experience they expect.
Apart from hiring you should also consider data around employee engagement and satisfaction. Harder to quantify this is where you should see real pay-off. When the employer brand is robust and authentic you will be able to see how what employees feel about their work, their jobs and your organisation measures up against corporate objectives and employer brand expectations.
If the organisation can impute some of measure of engagement and advocacy and how that data compares with that of competitors, then you have some real indicator as to how employer branding efforts are playing out. Success in building engagement with potential employees facilitates an enhanced talent pipeline that aids recruitment efforts. The best candidates want to work with and for organisations that align with their values.
Invest for real impact
The investment an enterprise makes in branding initiatives may be designed to address specific business challenges an analysing how enhanced branding has helped address these areas is a given. It’s an ongoing process and so it is critical to set KPIs and take regular soundings with a variety of data collection points from staff surveys to exit interviews.
In essence we believe you need an integrated and systematic approach to collecting and analysing impacts and benefits accruing from the branding project. Data around retention, engagement and productivity will, over time, afford the opportunity to assess the real impact on the business with specific reporting metrics that demonstrate ROI.
Get it right and you should see:
- More effective recruits and increased rate of referrals
- Enhanced employee productivity
- Improved retention rates and enhanced engagement
- Enhanced talent pipeline with quality candidates from competitors and high potential recruits favouring the organisation as an ‘employer of choice’.
The value of something as intangible as branding can be quite subjective – we are talking about the ability to get the right people in the right place at the right time in a volatile marketplace.
Although there is no standard measure that suits all organisations it important not to settle for what you can glean easily from data to hand, but to look hard for robust data about tangible impacts on business performance which translate into real-time savings and increased revenue. It is this data-driven insight that is essential in ensuring the employer brand is attractive, authentic and aspirational.
Ready to calculate your employer brand ROI? We developed The Employer Brand Index to help practitioners understand and measure their company’s reputation as an employer.