Measure Your Employer Branding Content to Green Light Its Growth
Tracking your employer brand content is the best way to grow it. Kareen Emery, director of innovation and consulting at The Foundry, shares the four steps to successfully measure its success.
By: Anne Shaw
Is your employer branding content doing what you want it to do? Are you tracking the right metrics to prove its value to higher ups? Do you know if it’s working?
If mastering the measurement of your employer brand content seems a bit daunting, we’ve got a clear plan of action to help you get it right. After all, your employer branding is essential to the success of your company’s recruitment and retention goals.
Just how important is having an employer brand strategy? According to a 2017 Workforce Employer Branding Practices survey conducted for Monster, nearly four in ten mature organizations surveyed have vanguard employer branding practice in place. Surprisingly, 40 percent of those companies reported a lack of budget as a roadblock to strengthening their employer brand.
Perhaps you’re in a similar situation. What metrics will give you the proof you need to know you’re moving in the right direction? What are you going to measure? How will you measure it? And more importantly, how will you build on those findings?
Read on for valuable expert insights to help you grow the value of your company’s employer branding content with better measurement.
Measure what matters most
Ever bake a cake without a recipe? Likely not. In the same way, you’ll need to know what to measure and why those metrics matter before you can assess your brand strategy (your yummy cake.)
According to The Foundry’s director of innovation and consulting Kareen Emery, “employer branding can fix many things,” she noted. “It can help retention, time to hire and quality of hires.”
The top priority is to clearly define your employer brand needs and priorities. Only then can you determine which metrics matter.
Those metrics are used by a majority of mature organizations who responded to the 2017 Workforce Employer Branding Practices survey. Sixty-three percent said they use employee retention or turnover to track the strength of their employer brand. Forty-eight percent use it to track time to fill per open position, while fifty-three percent use it to track the quality of their candidate pool.
When developing your own strategy, focus on metrics that are directly tied to your content goals. For example, if quality of hire is a key priority but retention isn’t, base your decisions about content on the former metric. Use your priority metrics to drive content decisions. Avoid letting non-priority metrics distract you from your primary goals.
Set a baseline, and revisit it often
Do you know your target audience? If not, you won’t know how to reach them or how to accurately measure their feedback.
Let’s say the primary audience you’re trying to reach is engineers. Your goal is that they see your organization as an innovative industry leader. To reach them, find a place where they congregate on the web, like Reddit or Github. Then, conduct a short survey with this group that reveals their perceptions of your employer brand.
Imagine that 25% of those responders see your company as an innovative industry leader. That gives you a baseline to work on your employer value proposition (EVP) and start building targeted content.
This baseline is simply a starting point. The next important step is to measure your progress against that baseline and to do so repeatedly.
“Six months after your content has gone live, target those same people again,” Emery recommends. “Ask the same questions another time. Hopefully, you should see the needle move. This is how you know you’re really making an impact with what you’re doing.”
Tracking the impact you’ve made on your target audience is valuable information to make the case for growing your employer brand budget.
Optimize your content for humans—and machines
Creating an effective employer value proposition is, in Emery’s words, “a fine art.” Your content must resonate with humans while also navigating the complex world of search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO will help drive traffic to your company website. You’ll want to measure the content that these visitors are consuming, as well as how often they share it. Be sure to measure these engagement metrics on a monthly basis. Then, use your findings to create more content that’s similar to what’s already performed well.
Emery views this process as a feedback loop. “Your SEO drives people, people drive the analytics and the analytics drive your decisions,” she said. “You’re going to learn from your content. The goal is to always stay on top of it, understand it and evolve with it.”
Don’t forget to tell great stories
Now that you understand how to track your employer brand results, there’s one more step that you don’t want to overlook, says Emery. All the planning and measuring in the world won’t get you anywhere if you aren’t telling great stories.
“I always tell my clients three things,” she said. “Be bold, be compelling and be genuine with your storytelling. These three things are key to making sure the messaging you’ve put together will make a difference on your key performance metrics, or KPIs.”
Most of all, says Emery, be sure you deliver on the promises that your content gives readers. If you over-promise and under-deliver, your KPIs are likely to go down. “Your audience won’t forget that.”
Now you’ve got your grocery list of ingredients to measure the results of your employer brand—a solid strategy and key metrics, a target audience and data-driven content decisions. Use them to track its success. Then share that story with your team. Armed with these metrics, you’ll be ready to make the case for taking your employer branding content to the next level.