How to Measure Your Employment Brand
Growing numbers of employers are convinced they need to focus on building their employer brand — according to research from Employer Brand International (EBI), more than 39 percent of companies planned to increase their investment in employer branding initiatives this year. But simply focusing on your employer brand isn’t meaningful until it’s measurable.
Effectively measuring your employer branding efforts will help you figure out what’s working and better plan for future efforts. But how do you do it?
Employment Brand Measurement
Organizations use different metrics for determining how their employer brands stack up. Among the most common are:
- Retention rate
- Employee engagement
- Quality of hires
- Cost per hire
- Number of applicants
To determine your own best measuring stick for employment branding, consider your business objectives. For instance, if employee referrals have historically resulted in the best employees for your business, focus on measuring employee referrals. If you work in a field in which work experience is highly valuable, you may want to focus on retaining employees more than on recruiting high numbers of new applicants.
In addition to the company’s objectives, HR professionals should consider their target audiences when deciding how to measure branding efforts. Hold focus groups, discussion sessions and interviews with current and potential employees. Ask for feedback that will help you better understand why employees chose to work at your company, why they stay, and why job applicants want to join you. With this knowledge, document the employer characteristics that are most important to your key audiences.
Keep It Going
Once you’ve determined the business objectives and employer qualities you want to measure, develop a system to make ongoing measurement an important part of your branding strategy. Here are some ways to make that happen:
1. Assemble baseline data. Do whatever you can to learn more about your current employees and the things that are important to them. Read your own company reviews. Conduct surveys and interviews to find out what they think about your company, as well as what they like to do outside of work and what their lifestyle, commute, and family situations are like. Organize this information into an easy-to-read document, grouping likes and dislikes and challenges according to the number of employees who share them. This data can help you understand who you’re serving and develop plans for improvement. For instance, if most of your employees travel to work via public transportation, offering free Metrocards to top performers may be a nice perk. If a large percentage enjoy video games, consider incorporating gaming into your next training opportunity.
2. Create a brand scorecard. An effective scorecard identifies the financial and non-financial measures that contribute to your employer brand, and allows you to track and report on your progress in those categories. If you compile a brand scorecard, make sure that the appropriate staff or department is given accountability for each measure, and that all those who are accountable for pieces of the pie understand your employer branding goals.
3. Regularly assess progress. At least on a quarterly basis, take a look at your employer brand scorecard and examine how you’re measuring up. In addition, ask key employees how you’re doing, monitor online discussion about your workplace on sites such as Glassdoor, Twitter and Facebook. When something isn’t working, be willing to reexamine and try again.