Employer Branding Metrics

WRITTEN BY: Jörgen Sundberg

A positive employer brand positions the organisation as a great place to work and a good employer.

In order to leverage what makes the employer brand unique, and build for the future you need to regularly review, measure and analyse appropriate employer brand metrics. It’s important to define metrics to measure results so you can assess the impact of branding efforts and justify the investment of resources in the initiative.

Studies suggest that retention rate is the most commonly used metric to measure ROI on employer branding, followed by employee engagement. There are a number metrics worth considering:

  • Retention rate – staff turnover has been an HR standard for a long time
  • Employee engagement – regular surveys to check engagement ratings can be revealing
  • Quality of candidate – the recruitment team should be able to devise a simple system to assess the quality of applicants
  • Cost of hire – agency fees, expenses, advertising, testing fees, interview time all add up and it should be possible to measure the effects on hiring quite easily
  • Number of candidates – are more good candidates applying, is the organisation more visible?
  • Brand awareness – determines the percentage of the target group who are familiar with the organisation
  • Look at where the bulk of employees come from and consider whether you are allocating resources effectively.

Relevant to recruitment

Use the metrics that are most aligned to your hiring strategy. If you have a naturally high turnover rate then cost of hire may matter more than it does if you only fill a few vacancies each year. So develop and use metrics to assess and track the success of the employer branding strategy.

There are a number of issues that could be measured in order ensure the organisation maximises the benefit of branding strategies. HR professionals who are working on employer brand may want to ‘check in’ with the workforce with surveys to learn what is important to staff and how they see the company. This also helps the recruitment team to focus on organisational strengths when presenting the company to candidates.

Look too at employee referrals. A word-of-mouth referral by an employee is a real source of competitive advantage, not to mention the savings in recruitment and turnover costs. Mobilise employees as brand advocates to help build your employer brand – when it comes to hiring decisions those that result from an employee referral are shown to have longer tenures and higher job performance than those hired via any other channel.

Relevant to real people

When reviewing branding strategy we suggest you ask questions about things that matter to staff as well as to the HR team: work/life balance, meaningful work, learning and development opportunities, career pathways, management support, and cooperation amongst the workforce. If you go to the trouble of collating data and seeking input it’s important to use the information that you garner. Don’t focus on making changes to recruitment policies and ignore issues that impact on workplace culture if that’s where staff point up areas of concern.

Given that candidates increasingly use social media in their search for work and to research and make contact with employers, including links on the organisational career site will encourage candidates to engage via LinkedIn and Facebook. The corporate social media page is a great way to reinforce employer branding. Regularly check click-through and subscribe rates, think like a marketer.

Employer branding is a route to gaining competitive edge in a challenging marketplace. 80 percent of talent leaders acknowledge employer brand has a significant impact on their ability to hire great talent. Tara Murphy of Cornell University points out that the rise of social media means people are far more likely to trust a company based on what its employees say rather than on recruitment advertising and so talent attraction relies quite more heavily on employee engagement and advocacy.

Ready to learn more? We developed The Employer Brand Index to help practitioners like yourself understand and measure your company’s reputation as an employer.


Our newsletter is exclusively curated by our CEO, Jörgen Sundberg, for leaders who make decisions about talent. Subscribe for updates on The Employer Branding Podcast, new articles, eBooks, research and events we’re working on.


Play Video

Recent Articles

COVID-19’s Impact on Employer Brand

What we do here at Link Humans is helping our clients understand how they’re viewed by talent online, so they can improve their employer brand. Our approach is The Employer Brand Index and there are a host of use cases...

How Coronavirus Responses Define Employer Brands

People are going to remember what your company did during the Coronavirus epidemic. John Elkington's triple bottom line model of "People, Planet & Profit" could not be more true today. Now is not the time to focus on profit, and...

EVP Pillars in a Time of Crisis

A pandemic, or any crisis, will be an acid test for your corporate furniture such as purpose, values, principles, behaviors, etc. In the employer brand world, we have to ensure our EVP is robust and is delivering what it promises,...