7 Metrics to Put Your Employer Branding On Track

What is top talent saying about your company right now? What do your employees say when they talk privately about the work culture? Perhaps your company is in the slim margin of companies with a favorable buzz or you might suspect that the buzz you hear is a murmur of discontent.

You're certainly not alone. Recent Gallup polls demonstrate that 70 percent of employees are not committed to their place of work, with 18 percent of them actively disengaged.

70 percent of employees are not committed to their place of work

This active disengagement has a very real economic impact. It's estimated to cost the US economy around $550 billion in lost revenue every year.

Improving your employer branding can lower hiring costs and attract and retain better talent, but how do you know if what you're doing is working? If you have an active employer branding program at all, you already have an advantage.

In order to build on what's working and develop a forward-thinking approach that anticipates the next generation of top talent, you'll need a reliable set of metrics.

How to Measure Employer Branding Success

Deloitte's 2015 Global Human Capital Trends survey pegs employee engagement as the number one top challenge that companies are struggling with around the globe. Nearly two thirds of HR leaders (61 percent) report that their HR departments are "barely adequate or falling behind" in terms of employee engagement. Only 7% rate themselves excellent at measuring and improving engagement.

Here are seven of the best metrics to make sure your company is broadcasting the right message.

  1. Retention rate - How many employees leave every year and what is their average length of service. Are their any identifiable characteristics of the employees that are leaving? Do they cluster on an age range or skill set?

  2. Employee engagement - The traditional employee survey is not enough. Discover what is really being said in focus groups, in interviews with former employees, and through automated monitoring of social media for work-related keywords.

  3. Quality of hires - Measure your current average profit contribution per employee and you can benchmark what top talent should be able to contribute. Use performance objectives pre- and post-hire to test your success.

  4. Cost per hire - This includes the actual cost of recruitment and the number of applicants that responded. HR has always been good at narrowing down the pool of applicants, but now the focus has to change to casting a wider net and persuading the right ones to apply in the first place.

  5. The image survey - These are normally collected from populations like students approaching graduation. They grade your company on qualities such as: innovation, attractiveness, ethical standards, financial strength, market leadership, and social responsibility.

  6. Marketing efficiency - This is a combination of content impact and an evaluation of whether the channels used reached the right pool of candidates. Find out who is the most desirable employer in your industry and which social channels are being used to discuss them.

  7. Predictive analytics - Advanced segmentation for scenario planning and risk analysis. This requires a shift in thinking from costs to where the right employees will add value to the company.

HR Trends for the Future

According to 2014 Employer Branding Global Trends Survey Report, the top 5 most used metrics in the real world were:

  • 44% - Employee engagement surveys
  • 41% - Retention rate
  • 34% - Number of applicants
  • 33% - Quality of hire
  • 33% - Cost per hire

Of course, gathering the information is vital but only alongside a commitment from upper management to use these finding to make positive changes. The future of HR lies in treating the workforce more like an investment portfolio that constantly needs monitoring for balanced risks, potential skill development, performance improvements, and long term ROI.

Expect the next generation of HR teams to look more like a data-driven start-up in financial consulting. HR needs to respond quickly and creatively to the next set of challenges as competition heats up over smaller, more specialized pools of talent. Securing and developing the right talent will be essential. An effective employee branding strategy is the key to a critical competitive edge.