How to Measure what Matters in your Employer Brand3 min read.
Deciding how to definitively measure the success of an employer brand, is like attempting to give an answer before you know the question. So how do you determine what to measure?..
Once you know the talent priorities of the business you can devise a plan that includes the right answers to the right questions. Measure what matters, not just what the internet says you should measure.
Many organisations take a flawed approach to employer brand measurement.
Companies often start by benchmarking against generic best practices or vanity metrics like social media followers. But this puts the cart before the horse, rather than clearly defining their unique talent goals first. The result is disjointed programs that fail to deliver on what matters most to the business.
There is a tendency to measure a whole host of available default and vanilla employer brand metrics. But you should consider every single number that you can track and ask yourself this - what number is that impacting inside the business? What action can I take as a result of that number to add value to the business and contribute towards the business strategy and the initial success criteria established from the beginning?
If the numbers are there just for the numbers sake, then they're probably not needed. And the last thing you need is to start measuring things that the business doesn't care about. You can always add more, and the chances are that three to six months down the line after you've activated the new employer brand, new opportunities to measure more smart metrics that really matter will present themselves. So don't be in such a rush to capture everything.
Every part of the dashboard should provide an opportunity for continual improvement. The main aspect of this is to look at the numbers in isolation. It's important that you track the performance and the change over time. Change over time is the key. And understanding what you want that change to be by setting realistic goals in line with the preferences and priorities of the business. That's how to set yourself up for success.
What to measure in Employer Branding
So, what should you measure? The answer lies in aligning your employer brand strategy with the specific talent challenges your organisation aims to solve.
Start by identifying your top talent priorities based on factors like:
- Business growth plans - What capabilities and roles will be critical to execute our strategy over the next three to five years?
- Talent gaps - In which areas are we struggling to attract, engage, or retain the talent we need to be successful?
- Employee pain points - What frustrates our people or makes them consider leaving?
- Leadership priorities - What talent outcomes do our leadership team deem most vital?
With your key talent priorities defined, craft an employer brand strategy to directly address these needs through differentiated value propositions and employee experiences.
Then determine the key performance indicators (KPIs) that will reveal whether your strategy is moving the needle on the talent challenges that matter most.
Relevant metrics may include:
Engagement and sentiment
- Review site ratings (Glassdoor etc)
- Social media metrics
- Candidate NPS
- Recruiter NPS
- Hiring manager NPS
- Employee NPS
- Brand awareness
Careers site metrics
- SEO rankings
- Site traffic volume
- Application conversion rate
- Time on site
- Application rate for priority roles
- Offer to acceptance rate
- Retention rate
- Unwanted applicant numbers
- Average time to hire/cost to hire
- Average cost of application
- Source of hire
- Quality of hire/performance ratings
- Social media engagement from target talent communities
- Referral rates
- Regrettable loss
Track performance on these KPIs over time, segmented by target personas and priorities as needed. Look for correlations between increases in the relevant employer brand metrics and improvements in linked talent outcomes.
Complement quantitative metrics with qualitative insights like candid exit interview feedback, new hire surveys, and focus groups. These will reveal if your employer brand resonates with the priorities that matter to talent.
Ongoing listening through employee lifecycle surveys and talent community groups will provide early signals to quickly adapt your strategy as new challenges emerge.
The key is not to get distracted by vanity metrics that don't directly address your business-specific talent needs. Instagram follower numbers won't predict job applications. Benchmarking against peers doesn't reveal if your strategy is working.
Instead, laser focus employer brand measurement on the talent outcomes that matter most to achieving your organisation's strategic goals. Know the questions before seeking the answers. Then you can build and fine-tune an employer brand that powerfully attracts, engages, and retains the talent you need to win.