Measuring Employer Brand Over Time

WRITTEN BY: Jörgen Sundberg

In a competitive environment it can be difficult to decide on which brand metrics to focus but increasingly an organisation’s image as an employer merits serious consideration. If the employer brand is favourably rated, then it is seen as an attractive place to work and becomes an employer of choice. Employer branding is the process of differentiating for competitive advantage and the specific actions used to attract, recruit, select, retain, recycle and release employees

The concept of employer branding can be characterised as the package of functional, economic, and psychological benefits provided by employment, and identified with the employing company. Measuring the value of that brand is no simple feat and nor is it a one-off calculation; brand initiatives take time to have the desired effect and meanwhile the market, the enterprise and the employees change, develop and move on.

So measuring the employer brand is an ongoing project and the most difficult part of measuring employer brand can be deciding which characteristics best portray the organisation, and thereafter developing the tools (surveys, social media reviews, content engagement, analytics, etc.) used to capture relevant data. While there may be an element of the aspirational in your employer brand strategy it needs to be founded on sound metrics and analysis.

Optimal performance

Employer branding metrics should carefully identify, track and report on costs and benefits involved in attraction, engagement and retention activities; and those metrics should be aligned with overall business objectives. Metrics are only useful if you measure against objectives.

Once metrics are established it is useful to maintain a reporting schedule, so that information is gathered and analysed to meet key reporting targets and to ensure overall themes are analysed such as retention rate, quality-of-hire, employee engagement, rating trends.

When an organisation invests in an employer branding programme it is wise to track performance in order to make any necessary adjustments to the strategy and implementation plan. If there is no ongoing measurement, adjustments may be based on anecdotal evidence, that’s not the smartest way to optimise performance.

Assuming your employer brand initiative rolls out smoothly you need to measure impact. Are you seeing the projected results? Do you get the right kind of referrals and sufficient candidates of the required quality? Are recruitment and retention goals met? Effective measurement tools are those which reflect the strength of employees’ commitment to the employer brand.

Realign for results

With the right data from your metrics it should be possible to identify how well the branding initiative is succeeding and where realignment and alternative strategies are required. With this information to hand the team can test new methods to meet organisational objectives. Ongoing monitoring is important as without systematic measurement you may never see the results you seek.

Evaluating ROI on employer branding is a complex issue as so many variables are involved in brand programmes with regards to retention and hiring data. There are financial impacts such as cost per hire and staff turnover cost but also non-financial impacts such as employer brand awareness, employee engagement, employee loyalty and these need to be assessed and re-assessed on a regular basis.

The key to success is deciding what metrics are applicable and relevant to the organisation so it is possible to measure, track, and report on progress and performance. The monitoring data then facilitates the production of regular reporting to assess the effectiveness of the brand in a reliable, consistent and coherent fashion. Aligning the corporate image with employee commitment is a key strategic opportunity particularly for those operating in globalised environment. If the organisation does not measure, evaluate and adjust their approach based on realistic data, they are missing an opportunity to improve their recruitment and talent strategies.

Ready to measure your employer brand over time? Check out The Employer Brand Index today.


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