Employer Branding Impacts the Bottom Line

Employer Branding Impacts the Bottom Line
Employer Branding Impacts the Bottom Line

The ‘Leadership 101’ is a series of leadership training articles. We started this knowledge base with the goal of bringing different leadership perspectives from all corners of the web into one easily digestible format. In this series we will be looking at HR industry best practices and trends; in an attempt to keep you informed, while adding to your leadership arsenal. In an attempt to keep this forum open we would like to invite you to provide feedback here or through our@Hire4Impact feed on Twitter

Investing in your employer brand can help your organization attract the best talent; which in turn increases productivity and profitability. This notion is becoming increasingly important today as we continue to battle the global talent shortage. Employer Brand International’s (EBI) 2012/2013 Global Research study found that 39% of companies plan to increase their investment in employer branding in 2013. As encouraging as that may sound, how do organizations know they are getting the most out of their investment? Focusing on the wrong areas will just result in wasted resources or worse, a damaged brand – which in most cases is difficult to repair. Furthermore if you don’t know what to measure, it’s next to impossible to determine what’s working and what isn’t. Data from EBI’s 2011 study found that:

  • 38% of companies use ‘employee retention rate’ to measure ROI of employer branding
  • 33% of companies use ‘employee engagement levels’ to measure ROI of employer branding
  • 29% of companies use ‘quality of hire’ to measure ROI of employer branding
  • 27% of companies use ‘cost per hire’ to measure ROI of employer branding
  • 26% of companies use ‘number of applicants’ to measure ROI of employer branding.

While these are all valid metrics to use, the decision on which ones to use should be dependent upon the situation. For example if you’re hiring/staffing for seasonal positions, it would make sense to measure the number of applicants rather than retention. Obviously this is an oversimplification; the underlying point is that there is no universal metric to measure the ROI of employer branding.

Employee Value Proposition: Building Your Employer Brand

Companies like Google, Microsoft, and Zappos didn’t just become talent magnets by accident. Building your employer brand doesn’t happen overnight – it takes time and resources. Conducting interviews and discussion groups with both current and future employees are just a couple of ways you can find out why candidates want to join the company, what makes them stay, and why they would leave (as we know, it’s not always about money). Identifying and understanding these elements will help build the foundation of your Employee Value Proposition (EVP). An EVP is the experience offered by a company in exchange for productivity and performance of an employee.

A well-crafted EVP will help your company attract, retain, engage and motivate employees to drive business goals. When developing your EVP, consider the following (all of which should be communicated to prospective candidates):

  • How the company is viewed by the world
  • The company’s mission, vision, and values
  • The rewards and recognition system
  • Company culture

Implementing your Employer Branding Strategy

For your employer branding strategy to be successful employer branding leaders should:

  1. Clearly define employer branding objectives
    Obviously attracting and retaining the best talent should be the goal of employer branding. More importantly, a successful employer branding strategy has implications on your organization’s productivity and profitability. Whatever your goals, they should be articulated because they determine where the resources are allocated.
  2. Understand key drivers
    Understanding what attracts and retains talent for your organization is just as important as stating the objectives. If research shows that your onboarding process is responsible for retaining the talent, then that should be where your attention is focused.  
  3. Measurement
    Data doesn’t collect itself. As you progress through the employer branding strategy, you should have a team dedicated to collecting data and measuring the outcomes of your efforts. The data should also be readily available throughout the organization – this will help ensure that you have continued support and buy-in from top-level executives. 
  4. Evaluate
    As your business grows, it’s very likely certain objectives will be outgrown. This should be no different for your branding efforts – the branding strategy should evolve with your organization.  
  5. Benchmark
    Keeping an eye on your competition will help you unearth potential opportunities. Just be sure that your efforts are aligned with your strategy.
  6. Listen to feedback from the employees
    After all, they’re there because of employer branding efforts.

VisionSpark is the Talent Planning and Retained Executive Search Firm of Alec Broadfoot and Adam McCampbell. For more news and updates, follow the conversation at @Hire4Impact or like us on Facebook.


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