Employer branding is key to building your company’s reputation as an employer of choice and there are a growing number of companies who are seeing the value in putting resources and budget into this work. After initial activation, your employer brand should continue to evolve and be updated to accurately reflect changes within your organization. Therefore, the longer tail of any employer brand strategy is the sustainment and management of it. But you can’t manage what you don’t measure. And it is very hard to describe the impact you’re making to an organization without that measurement.
Your employer brand is designed to attract the right talent to your organization (talent marketing) and then infused into your HR programs and culture to retain your current employees (employee engagement). So, when determining how you will measure your employer brand, you really need to think both as a brand marketer and as an HR communicator.
It was with this mindset that I created my own employer branding measurement dashboard. You’ll find that it applies both a Human Resources and Marketing lens for return on investment and return on engagement. Download: Employer Brand Measurement Dashboard (1807 downloads)
There are traditional HR metrics which should be used in your measurement dashboard. For some data points, you might not necessarily claim that the data change is based solely because of your employer brand; however, you can correlate them to different attributes within it. For example, a change in your retention rate can be influenced by any number of reasons, but if one of your employer branding objectives is to increase employee retention, then you would want to make sure that retention rate is part of your dashboard.
|RETENTION / ATTRITION RATES – Track how many employees stay / leave every year and what is their average length of service. Determine if there are any identifiable trends or common characteristics in why employees are leaving. Do they cluster on an age range or skill set? Or can the change be attributed to a specific job family or particular area of the organization?|
|EMPLOYEE OPINION – Analyze the results of your employee survey, establish benchmarks and then compare year-over-year results. But the traditional employee survey is not enough. Get a deeper assessment of employee opinion by conducting focus groups, reviewing exit survey results, and through interviews with senior leadership and people managers.|
|NUMBER OF APPLICANTS – Number of applicants is simply the volume of applicants who apply for jobs with your company. While it’s good to see if there is an increase, it is not the same as the quality of the applicants nor is it an indicator of whether you’re hiring the right candidates for the right roles. If you are filling positions for an industry with a traditionally high turnover rate, you will to also measure quality of hire, cost per hire /or predictive analytics.|
|QUALITY OF HIRE – If your objective is to not only attract new talent, but to attract the right talent for the right roles, then quality of hire is an important metric. Measure your current average profit contribution per employee and you can benchmark what top talent should be able to contribute. You should also use pre- and post-hire performance objectives / assessments to test your success.|
|COST PER HIRE – Cost per hire, when calculated correctly, pulls together all of the costs associated with filling an open position, and determines the average amount spent to hire a new employee for that role. To calculate, simply add up the external and internal hiring costs and divide it by the total number of new hires. If you’re employer brand is working, you should see a decrease in the cost per hire.|
|PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS – This is advanced segmentation for workforce planning and risk analysis. For example, if you are an insurance company who knows that the insurance industry is a declining career choice for millennials, then you’d want to build a scenario on what it would take to attract and retain them, and the risk to the company if you don’t. To build these scenarios, you need to include external research and competitive reports that you conducted during your discovery work.|
You’ll find that a lot of traditional brand marketing metrics also have relevancy to employer branding. Which makes sense since what you’re really doing is talent acquisition marketing to potential employees. Awareness metrics help you determine to whom and to where your employer branding is getting through. In short, they can help you allocate your resources so that you reach the target audience with the greatest degree of penetration possible.
|BASIC AWARENESS – Simply stated, this metric determines what percentage of a very targeted group (in this case, your potential candidate pool) is familiar with your company. To use this metric, you simply ask the question, “Are you aware of XYZ Corporation?” and record the percentage that say yes.|
|RECALL AWARENESS – Similar to basic awareness, recall awareness measures what percentage of the target audience names your organization when asked to list organizations that match some criteria (one or all of your employee value proposition attributes). This metric can also be used to see if you are recognized as a leader with respect to certain criteria, such as innovation. To use this metric, survey your target group and ask them to list the companies they are aware of that are in your industry. It is essential that the survey not come directly from your organization. Recruit a staffing agency or research firm to deploy the survey for you. Count what percentage of the respondents listed your organization.|
|TOP-OF-MIND AWARENESS – An offshoot of recall awareness, this metric simply determines what percentage of the target group who can recall your organization recall yours first.|
|BRAND FAMILIARITY – The most complex of the awareness measures, familiarity further breaks down the percentage of the target group that is aware of your organization by weeding out those who also have already formed an opinion of you, be it positive or negative. To use this metric, survey the target group with a series of questions that determines not only if they are aware of your organization, but also if they have either a positive or negative opinion of your organization.|
Through differentiation, you can determine if your target group believes that your organization is significantly different from other employer options, or relatively the same. For the most part, metrics that measure differentiation measure to what degree your organization is seen as meeting some characteristic (e.g., this organization is one that I would trust).
|BRAND VALUE – This metric determines whether the value proposition of working for your organization exceeds the value proposition of working for someone else. Measure the attributes and differentiators outlined in your employee value proposition (EVP) to see if they resonate with potential and current employees.
To use this metric, first develop or optimize your EVP – the benefits and offerings you as an employer provide to your employees. Second, develop a similar list for at least two of your competitors. Be sure the list of EVPs reflects the entire employee lifecycle — includes not just benefits (or total rewards) but culture and organizational performance attributes and differentiators as well.
Survey the target audience to determine what percentage of the population would choose your organization over the other options.
|BRAND PERSONALITY – Every company leverages an employer brand to describe itself – the personality traits or characteristics that make your company unique (e.g., innovative, friendly, flexible, inclusive, etc. are all adjectives that many companies use to describe their corporate personalities).
The goal is to determine if your target group assigns the same personality characteristics to your employer brand as you strive to communicate. For example, let’s say that you strive to be known as the most innovative company in your industry. Then one personality metric would measure what percentage of those surveyed identify innovativeness with respect to your brand.
|RECRUITER PROMOTER SCORE – Recruiters are a great barometer for knowing where you stand as an employer — not just in what potential employees are saying but also as to whether recruiters, specifically executive search firms, recommend your company to their candidates. For this metric, simply conduct interviews with external recruiters and search firms to determine their probability of promoting your company as an employer of choice versus your competitors.|
|EMPLOYER REVIEW RANKINGS – Evaluate your company ratings on employer review sites (e.g., Glassdoor, CareerBliss, Simply Hired, etc.) as well as Best Places to Work lists to see how you rank against your competitors and in your industry. Establish a benchmark before activating your employer brand and then conduct another review post activation to see if there is any change in your ratings / rankings.|
|SOCIAL MEDIA – Especially important if an employee advocacy program is part of your employer branding activation, track social media metrics gathered from shared content intended to specifically promote an EVP attribute or differentiator. Track all of the traditional social media metrics (e.g., amplification, shares, likes, retweets, etc.) and see what content engages / doesn’t engage your employee advocates as well as their external social networks.|
|EMPLOYEE REFERRAL – It goes without saying, if you have a strong employer brand then the number of employees who recommend and refer you to their professional contacts and networks will increase. Start with a baseline of your current employee referrals and see if the number of referrals increases as a result of the employer brand.|
|NET PROMOTER SCORE – A Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a customer relationship/ “word of mouth” marketing metric derived from survey responses to a ‘how likely are you to recommend…’ question. Respondents who provide a rating of nine-10 are ‘promoters’ while those who give ratings of six or lower are ‘detractors’. The NPS is found by subtracting the proportion of detractors from the proportion of promoters. Not all companies track their NPS, but if yours does, you should note what is being said about you and determine if you can correlate it to your employer brand.|
The “Employer Branding Measurement Dashboard” was created by Elizabeth Lupfer / The Social Workplace and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. You are welcome to download and use it with proper attribution.
- Measuring Your Employer Brand, ERE.net
- 7 Metrics to Put Your Employer Branding On Track, Breezy HR
- 5 Metrics to Help You Track the ROI of Your Employer Brand, Simply Hired