So you’ve implemented an employment branding program. But how do you know it’s working — or working well? There are a number of ways to measure employment branding efforts, and as the field evolves, more metrics are bound to develop.
A traditional method of determining return on any investment is to divide the benefits by the costs. Some HR professionals create a formula by giving a specific value to each of the benefits of their branding efforts, and giving a specific value to each of the costs associated with employer branding efforts. Using those values, they can determine their returns on employer branding efforts.
To get started developing a formula that will best fit your company, consider the benefits of employer branding that you hope to measure. Some of the benefits to which a value could be associated include:
- Cost per hire. You can determine a set value for the process of successfully attracting and recruiting a candidate that matches your company’s profile. The value may be the same for every successful hire, or it could vary based on position.
- Candidate quality. While it’s difficult to objectively measure candidate quality, you can assess a value to managers' perception of quality per candidate or hire. This measure can help you evaluate the level of talent of your pool of candidates, compared to what exists in the market. You can use surveys or post-interview discussions with managers to determine this measurement.
- Company brand reputation. Consider valuing your company’s ability to achieve the perceptions you’re after among your target audience. You could do this by surveying your target group, distributing evaluations at career events, or inviting target audience members to join focus groups or write reviews on Glassdoor. Based on your core values you want to communicate about your company, develop questions to determine whether your audience perceives your company to meet those qualities.
- Talent pool development. As you build your employer brand, your company’s pool of potential candidates who match your culture should continue to grow. You could establish a value for each profile in your talent pool that matches the qualifications you’re looking for.
- Open positions. As your average number of open positions varies, set a value per each variation. If your employer branding efforts are working well, your number of open positions is likely to diminish gradually.
- Employee engagement. Because successful employer branding efforts also target current employees, consider valuing each percentage point you gain in employee engagement. Because more engaged employees will be more productive, this is a very valuable sign of ROI.
- Time to fill positions. When you have an open position, set a value for each day that is added or lost before the position is filled.
Determining the costs associated with employer branding is a little easier. The costs you might consider in determining ROI include:
- Staff time spent on employer branding efforts.
- Development costs for communication materials.
- Costs associated with recruitment such as travel and logistics.
As you work to determine how your investments in employer branding are paying off, keep in mind that employer branding is a subjective exercise. Because many of the results you’re looking for are not strictly financial figures, it will be difficult to determine a strict mathematical result. But that doesn’t mean you’re not getting valuable returns on your investments.