If you put resources into building and promoting a robust employer brand the aim is to enhance the attractiveness of the organisation to potential employees; improving recruitment and retention them and becoming an employer of choice. Organisations that build a strong, positive brand receive more applications from better quality candidates than those with poor brand reputations. It’s important to ensure that your efforts buy the organisation that advantage.
Employer brand reflects how employees feel about the organisation, their roles and their work. What your employees say about you is what counts, not what you think your brand should be but what happens at the coalface. Periodically, you need to check that the brand message is landing effectively; we all know that you can’t manage what you can’t measure.
Most job candidates look beyond the organisational website when they research the job market; 62 percent research companies using social media, such as LinkedIn and Glassdoor. Some 70 percent of candidates claim they trust what employees say about an organisation rather than what a job ad or an agency says. Talk to staff and leavers too, check the candidate experience, ensure that the brand message is effective and accurately reflects organisational objectives.
Review and measure
A strategic approach to managing the employer brand will delineate and employ relevant metrics to monitor performance; there are a number of ways to measure employment branding efforts. In order to leverage what makes the employer brand unique, and build for the future you must regularly review, measure and analyse appropriate employer brand metrics.
Given the resources invested in employer branding, it’s important to use key performance indicators (KPIs) that provide performance data which can be used for further development. This may be KPIs which focus on indicators such as retention and candidate quality, and also external factors such as brand perception. Identifying the right key performance indicators is crucial in looking to monitor the effectiveness and efficiency of employer branding efforts.
Sourcing and acquiring talent is crucial to strategic success in a competitive environment, as important as investment or innovation, so employer brand should be tracked and monitored with the same level of focus. With the right objectives and KPIs in place the organisation will be well placed to adjust and optimise branding activities and messages as needed, in order to deliver on organisational business needs.
As time moves on, things change, and as part of employer brand review activities, it’s important to ensure that everyone within the organisation understands the employer brand and how it contributes to strategy, objectives and brand reputation. Check the message is playing well with your current staff, listen to key stakeholders and make adjustments where they are needed.
Of the many performance indicators that could be used, only a few seem to be regularly used by HR professionals – those who do measure mainly focus on retention of employees, number of unsolicited applications, position in ranking systems like Glassdoor and click rates on recruiting websites.
Performance-based measures are predicated on what you hope to achieve but it is probably fair to say that the goal of every employer branding programme is improved brand awareness and positive brand recognition amongst future, potential, current and previous employees as well as other stakeholders. The perception of the organisation’s employer brand is what determines success or failure, so it is essential to monitor if you are to understand how the brand is doing.
Benchmark the brand
The first step is to benchmark the employer brand using appropriate metrics that enable a before and after comparison of results. This marker facilitates an assessment of the impact achieved by the employer brand project. Carefully collated insights from HR and talent management data alongside employee surveys will provide a perspective on how internal and external stakeholders view the employer brand and that understanding of brand position gives the starting point for developing and improving employer brand.
In the next article, we’ll look at some metrics that could be considered in alignment with organisational objectives in order to measure ROI on employer branding efforts.
To get an unbiased view of your company’s reputation as an employer, check out The Employer Brand Index.