Your employer brand is what people say about working for your company when the boss is not in the room. Notice that I didn’t just say employees? That’s because people like to share helpful and insightful information that they’ve heard from their friends or colleagues, whether they have worked for an organization or not.
According to a recent study by Edelman, the word of your peer is trusted over the word of your company’s executive officer. This means that somewhere among family reunions, taxi cab rides, PTA meetings, and frosted martini glasses, people are talking about what it’s like to work for your company.
Much of this happens face to face, but how do we track that engagement online?
There are several ways you can track this engagement. Surveying your employees — both by asking formal questions and observing them in the wild — is a step in the right direction to understand your culture and reveal your employer brand. It’s not always about fancy perks and freebies in the office. Culture is how people are treated before, during, and after they work for a company. How do your employees ask for directions, how are they recognized and supported?
Online company reviews are an important part of listening to your audience. In fact, 83 percent of people polled in a Redshift Research survey said that a company’s online reviews impacted their decision to apply to a job.
Another way to gather data about your employer brand is with the Candidate Experience Awards, which focus on the application and interview process and provide multiple data points, where a Net Promoter Score will yield a very simple endorsement metric.
Three Ways to Measure Your Employer Brand
If you’re using social media to amplify your employer brand and trying to track the return on your investment, here are three types of conversion that I’ve learned to measure over time. Don’t be confused by the overlap when measuring these, as you’ll discover the “assisted conversion.” Like television commercials and many other forms of advertising, multiple touch points are often involved in the decision-making process for a candidate and will help reinforce the message.
Aided or unaided, it’s important for your audience to be familiar with your company as a place to work. The easiest trackable way to do this is through commonly held social media metrics. Most platforms now provide dashboards to indicate surface-level engagement numbers. Did they like or comment on a blog post or follow your careers handle on Twitter or Snapchat? Here are the three types of awareness engagement that I look for, in order of importance and impact:
- Like a post, tweet, or update: Not only does this reinforce awareness, but it shows their network that your brand is worth their time. At least a second or two of it, anyway. When you interact with a brand, people see it in your activity feed, in your timeline, and in your stream. Remember, there are lots of social lurkers.
- Comment or reply to a discussion post: This is your prospective hires joining the conversation. Are you asking the right questions to elicit an emotional or intelligent response?
- Retweet/share/repost: Despite many social media disclaimers, a retweet or share really does indicate endorsement at a certain level. Whatever you’re posting, it should to be helpful, have value, inform, or entertain to inspire others to share with their networks.
Are your prospects following your brand’s career profile on their favorite social network? Are you going beyond job sharing to speak to individual personas with relevant content? This is recruiting table stakes to establish a relationship online … particularly when networks throttle back the visibility of posts, even to a brand page’s fans.
Getting your prospects inside a walled digital garden, like a community, network or online event, is about trust. Have your people opted in to get communication from you about careers or employment? More importantly, are you rewarding them with exclusive or customized content? Driving and tracking talent network membership (even low barrier membership) can help predict your talent pipelines and interest in engaging with your recruiters.
Talk to any recruiter and you can guess which of these conversions is their favorite. But it’s not just the people who end up in the requisition that matter. Anyone who has clicked through 200+ resumes from mostly unqualified applicants understands the value of matching skills with interest. These are your applications from inbound recruiting, also known as talent branding activities. That means they’re more informed about the process, the role, the company, and what their future may look like as an employee. It’s the conversion right before the ultimate metric — the hire. Bonus points for tracking source of application all the way to source of hire, allowing your recruitment marketing dollars to be reinvested more wisely.
Having a deep understanding of your employer brand can make a huge difference in your recruiting efforts. Measuring your employer brand will give you the insights you need to engage with the right candidates.