How the Employer Brand Index Helps Experian Measure ROI on Talent Attraction

WRITTEN BY: Jörgen Sundberg

Anything data-related is of huge interest to us here at Link Humans. So what better person to talk to than Doug Kelsall, Global Recruitment Marketer and Branding Director at Experian?

For this episode of the Employer Branding Podcast, we learn why Experian’s EVP activation is always a work in progress and why the EBI is their cornerstone for measuring ROI.

An EVP Focused on Employee Engagement

Experian is the world’s leading global information services company. In North America, it is known as a B2C company specializing in consumer credit reporting, while in Asia, it is primarily known for B2B data analytics.

Their EVP has to bridge the gap between these two differing perceptions. At the same time, they also face a challenge shared with many other companies, which is to be seen as a landing spot for top tech talent.

“Our employer brand has been designed to do the heavy lifting from a talent attraction and brand awareness standpoint,” Kelsall says, “it’s real employees, real stories, real moments that matter.” In developing their EVP, they primarily focused on employee engagement and the values that matter to them.

Why EVP Activation Is Always a Work in Progress

Experian’s EVP can be broken down into four pillars:

  1. People first
  2. Force for good
  3. Innovate
  4. Together we win

Kelsall highlights the first two as the ones that are the most popular with employees. When they say “people first,” they really mean it. “It’s a bit cliché to lead with culture,” he says, “but all of our metrics support that we’re among the absolute best in that area.”

“Force for good,” on the other hand, is a short way of referring to the work that Experian does creating products and solutions that drive financial inclusion. As Kelsall notes, social impact has been a big driver for recruiting top tech talent.

Kelsall and his team mapped their EVP over 16 employee lifecycle stages: attraction, recruitment cycle, hiring process, onboarding, induction, and developing and building a high-performing individual.

As he’s quick to point out, this comprises a huge amount of materials, from job postings to training materials. EVP activation at Experian is, therefore, a continual refinement process to align everything consistently.

Measuring ROI with the EBI

The proof is in the pudding, and Kelsall is glad to report that Experian received a record number of applications last year. That’s a good position to be in, and now they’re focused on improving candidate quality and passive talent attraction. “Most of the work now is engaging, nurturing, and finding that top 5% of the market,” he says.

So, how do Kelsall and his team know if they’re doing a good job? For one thing, they’ve received multiple accreditations and awards, including Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” the CCLA Corporate Mental Health Benchmark, and they’re a certified Great Place to Work.

Experian has also come to rely on Link Human’s Employer Brand Index to give them the data they need to see what’s working and what they can do better. “The EBI is the flagship metric for evaluating our success,” Kelsall says, “I love the fact that it’s an external, data-driven evaluation.” It gives him the numbers he needs to prove the ROI on employer brand.

All of these metrics form the backbone of a monthly employer branding newsletter, which goes out to all of HR and beyond. Experian’s CEO recently discussed the company’s successful Glassdoor strategy with investors, and Kelsall sees employer brand becoming an area of increasing interest going forward.

Tips for Employer Brand Professionals

There’s a lot more about Experian and their employer brand strategy in the episode, so be sure to take a listen. But I wanted to know what Kelsall’s best tips are for employer brand professionals.

First of all, Kelsall says, “collab, collab, and maybe collab a little bit more.” He points to the diversity of experiences on his team as a major reason for success. They have people with experience in marketing, PR, TA, talent management, and more. They’re therefore able to partner closely with these departments and achieve more than they could ever dream of on their own.

Finally, Kelsall observes that “consistency will outperform moments of brilliance.” It’s always great to put out a great piece of content, but you need to consistently put the candidates and talent at the center of everything. And a big part of that is maintaining consistency in quality and style across platforms.

Based on the awards and metrics, I’d say they’re doing a pretty good job.

To follow Doug Kelsall’s work in employer brand, connect with him on LinkedIn. To measure your employer brand, you can use the Employer Brand Index. The EBI uses 16 key attributes that measure how you compare with others in your industry.


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.


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