How to Measure your Employer Brand
Updated: May 21
No one likes wasting their time, right? So when time is a valuable (and limited) resource of yours, wouldn’t you want to ensure everything you’re doing to build your employer brand is worth your while? Setting up an analytics dashboard that allows you to track and measure your employer brand will help you see what’s working, what’s not, which areas to tweak for optimization, and which activities are dead weight.
Why Measure Your Employer Brand?
I know what it’s like to juggle everything and feel stretched thin. When I worked at companies as an employer branding team of one, I felt like I was constantly switching gears. My brain usually turned to mush at the end of each week because I was doing so many things, such as strategy, social media, content creation, design, website refreshes, vetting out new vendors, pulling analytics, and managing my budget.
Wow. Those are a lot of different skill sets to switch between.
I know a lot of people who do employer branding might not only work on branding. Some might split their time between recruiting and branding if their talent acquisition team is lean, only adding to the daily tasks that make them feel like they’re running around with their heads chopped off.
Needless to say, every minute counts. Every ounce of mental effort matters. Rather than burning yourself out trying to keep up with the Jones’, look at what’s truly working so you can buckle down and lean into it. More importantly, uncovering areas that require a ton of effort but aren’t yielding results will help you drop them from your to-do list without guilt.
Truthfully, I hated pulling analytics. It was borrrrrring. But after I got through the pain of plugging in numbers on my spreadsheet, I took a step back and saw trends. That was the saving grace for making it interesting and worthwhile. For example:
Seasonality spikes and dips
How company news impacted website traffic
Which sponsored content sites (i.e., The Muse or Built In) seemed to give us more applications/views
Which social media ads drove more traffic to our sites
What blog topics seemed to interest people the most
Which ad platforms worked best with our audience
You get the picture. By having those insights, I could reevaluate my content strategy, think of how to better allocate my budget, test different audiences for ads, and determine if it was worth me learning a new skill or just spending a little extra money outsourcing it.
What Should You Measure?
Well, first off, it depends on what you’re doing to activate your employer brand. If you just have a career site up, are using a handful of third-party sites (like LinkedIn and Indeed), and only share posts on Instagram, then you only have so much data you can pull. However, the suggestions below are still helpful in what to measure even if you’re starting off small.
Even if you’re doing much more than that, you still don’t need to get wild with your research. Measuring your employer brand can be time consuming, especially if you check out every nook and cranny. Of course, you’re more than welcome to dig deep if you love yourself some data, but a high-level view can give you enough insight to identify opportunities and weak areas.
Also, too much data might lead you to analysis paralysis, so when selecting the areas to research, consider your goals. For example, if your goals are to get more awareness or to prove that investing in specific job boards are worth it, this can influence the type of information you’re pulling. Keep that in mind before you pull analytics just because you think you have to.
Here are a few things I suggest looking at:
Website traffic and referral sources
Source of application
Source of hire
Social media metrics (i.e., followers, engagement)
Sentiment (i.e., Glassdoor reviews)
Third-party job board metrics
I know a lot of people suggest looking at things like cost-per-hire, quality of hire, and so on, but, I suggest starting with the list above because those are more directly related to your activities as a brander.
Some of those other metrics (like cost-per-hire) are usually part of the overall recruiting/HR KPIs which is fine, but those things can be influenced by the recruiter and the recruiting process. It could even be influenced by the candidate’s onboarding and whether or not the manager/team/job was truly up to their expectations.
Personally, I like to stick to top of the funnel activities the employer brand touches before it leads into the recruitment process. This can help see which of your efforts properly support your recruiters before they connect with candidates.
How to Measure Your Employer Brand
Now that you have a good idea of what to review, you might be curious about how often to measure it, what exactly you should measure for each thing, and the trends you should keep an eye out for.
To get you started, I’ve created this little cheat sheet. This can act as a guide to help you build your dashboard (I usually used Google Sheets) and to figure out how to make note of specific activities that affect your brand and potentially skew your data.
Download it here!
As always, Harlow is here to help. If you have questions or need help measuring your brand, contact us!
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