Not measuring your employer brand? Here’s why you should be

Employer brand put simply, is how one company sets itself apart from others in the labour market. It’s communicating the values that your company is made up of so that you’re recruiting, retaining and engaging the best and most relevant candidates.

Finding your people

The era of social media has arguably lead to more transparency than ever – especially when it comes to what a business is like behind closed doors. Platforms like Glassdoor are used by almost half of all job seekers who admit that a negative company profile would deter them from applying for a role at a company.

If you can’t clearly convey the message of what your organisation is about, then chances are you may have a certain level of disengagement with existing employees, as well as not getting enough relevant candidates applying for your vacancies. In a candidate-driven market, it becomes increasingly difficult to attract and retain employees without a clear driving purpose behind you.

Critical metrics

Understanding how to measure your employer brand is key to building your company’s reputation as an employer of choice, both to external candidates and existing employees. The breadth and complexity of how this is done will depend on an organisation’s size, as well as the industry but here are just a couple of key metrics to pay attention to (if you aren’t already).

Retention rates

Calculating your retention rate is an effective method to determine who is leaving, when and under what circumstances. A simple way to work out your rate is by dividing the number of employees who stayed during a period by the total number of employees you had at the start of the period, times 100 to get the percentage.

But this calculation on its own does not tell the whole story. Are there any common reasons leavers cite during exit interviews? Are there any patterns in the people leaving? This can include people from the same business division, office or even people from similar backgrounds. Keeping track of your retention rate will help you uncover turnover patterns before it has a detrimental impact on your business.

Applications

How many applications do you see for roles? Are they coming from a particular place? By being methodical in the way you track the source of your applications, you could make better use of your recruitment advertising budget. You might not be advertising your vacancies in the most effective way – but you won’t know this until you begin to delve into your data.

Interview process & time to hire

When it comes to interviews, all hiring managers should fully understand your business’ process. How many people are you interviewing per role? How many stages in the interview process are there? Your process could be detrimental to your employer brand if it’s too long, or needlessly complicated.

Cost per hire

Cost-per-hire refers to all the associated costs with bringing a new employee on board, which is inclusive of external costs like agency fees, advertising and background checks, as well as internal costs like salaries for in-house recruiters. There are advantages and disadvantages to using CPH as a metric.

Employee referrals

If you don’t already have an employee referral scheme in place, then consider doing so. It’s an excellent measurement of how your company is perceived by existing employees. How many of your employees are advocates for your business? If there isn’t much uptake on the programme, there might be a reason.

Social media engagement metrics

Having a presence on social media is not just a box to tick; it’s an affordable, measurable way to convey your employer brand to many people. Showing off your people and what makes them great is not only morale-boosting, it’s also authentic – personal touches are far more compelling than slick campaigns.

Track mentions of your brand across a variety of social media platforms, and see what conversations are being had around it. There is a lot more value to engaged followers than a broad reach. Be quick in handling any queries or concerns and you could win points with potential candidates.

Careers page

A company’s website is often undervalued as a candidate touchpoint, but having a dedicated page for careers in your navigation bar will increase your chances of converting candidates.

Use Google Analytics to track user activity on your careers page to gain valuable (and free) insight into how candidates interact with your page. Do visitors have a clear option to send through or upload their CV? How long are visitors staying on your page? Where else on the site are they navigating to? If you’re seeing a lot of drop off at application stage it’s likely you need to shorten the process.

If you can measure it, you can mend it

The scope for how you measure your company’s employer brand is as wide as you’re willing to go, but a simple approach is a great place to start. Evaluating your current position and determining how you’d ideally like your business to be perceived, both internally and externally, is going to influence which metrics are most valuable for you to track.

However, not taking a data-driven approach to how you’re perceived could cost you great people – then you’ll be sorry you hadn’t started sooner.