To build candidate funnels that drive results, we have to think about our candidate experience and our employer brand. How well does our brand perform and how does it support our recruiting team efforts to cultivate candidate relationships? If we have a perception problem with our brand, where does it impact our hiring? Metrics can give us those answers.
How to Measure Employer Branding Success and ROI with Metrics
Employer branding metrics give you a solid platform on which to present goals and KPIs to your company leadership to maintain current processes that directly impact your brand, as well as implement new programs to improve these metrics.
When you have an active candidate funnel, your candidates are moving from awareness to conversion, or from candidate to applicant. Using your employer brand to accomplish this means identifying any areas of weakness in your hiring process that may negatively impact candidate or employee experience. Here, we’ll go over the five most important metrics that talent acquisition leaders should understand in order to support recruiting teams.
Cost per hire. This is the sum of all recruiting costs divided by the number of hires in a specific time period. Knowing this number is important, but the cost metric isn’t exactly what we’re looking for here. If you drill down to cost per hire by source, that gives you a high-level snapshot of where your candidates are coming from – and allows you to determine if these are the quality candidates you want to bring in. While this is a cost metric, analyzing this data does not necessarily mean you’re cutting recruitment costs. Attracting quality candidates can be expensive and the sources that bring them in are worth the budget, considering how costly a poor hire can be. For example, the cost per hire metric may uncover that you are not spending enough to attract the right kind of candidates (which costs more in the long-run) or may identify the sources that work well and those that do not.
Time to fill. The longer a position goes unfilled, the more productivity will be disrupted, and the more the responsibilities of that job will be distributed to other staff members. By accurately measuring time to fill, you can evaluate the speed of your team’s recruitment processes and provide hiring managers with realistic time frames for filling their vacant positions. This metric is also a direct reflection of candidate experience, and therefore brand perception. Longer time to fill periods not only leads to higher cost per hire, but is also correlated to negative perception of your employer brand as candidates or applicants are left waiting at specific bottlenecks in your hiring process.
Impressions vs. engagement. Most talent acquisition leaders think about these metrics in relation to social media, but they apply to all channels, from your career website to landing pages to wherever your job posting is shown to candidates online. To attract and retain quality employees, you first must get your job posting in front of them. But the difference between “impressions,” or how many candidates see your post, versus “engagement,” how many candidates apply to your post, is vast. The wider the gap between the two, the lower the performance rank of your job posting. Break this down by media channel to further understand its effectiveness.
Candidate conversion ratio. Your candidate conversion rate is the percentage of candidates who move forward in each step of the hiring process. Because this metric reflects candidates who have moved through stages of your funnel within a specific time range, it can be a helpful measure of the health of your talent acquisition funnel. Each stage of the funnel will filter out a certain number of candidates, so that number will decrease the farther you get into your hiring funnel. This allows you to see a snapshot of where your candidates are abandoning the process, opting out, and identify areas for improvement.
Net promoter score (NPS). This is one of the most underutilized metrics for employer branding, but it gives quick insights directly from your applicant pool. For recruiting departments, the NPS is a single item that asks something along the lines of, “How likely would recommend applying to our company to a friend or colleague?” The scale goes from 0 to 10 with candidates who respond from 0 to 6 labeled as Detractors, 7 and 8 labeled Passives, and 9 or 10 labeled as Promoters. The Net Promoter Score is calculated by subtracting the percentage of customers who are Detractors from the percentage of customers who are Promoters. The big advantage of using a NPS for your candidate experience feedback is its simplicity. You can ask candidates to rate their experience within a couple seconds over text, email, or even over the phone.
Putting Your Employer Branding Metrics All Together
Each of these metrics allows you to fine tune your targeted branding efforts to reach the ideal candidate audience and move them into your talent acquisition funnel. Employer branding is an effective marketing and candidate funnel building strategy, but it takes effort and focus to tie your current activities to the larger success and impact for talent acquisition and how it supports the business overall.