Measuring the ROI of your EB activations
Your all-new employer branding initiative has just gone live. So what happens next?
Read on for our essential tips on measuring early stage performance - and for ensuring that any campaign-related “teething troubles” are spotted and dealt with.
Employer brand activation: what are you trying to achieve?
While all great employer brands are unique, it’s also the case that employers tend to want the same things. Companies who excel at employer branding tend to benefit from a satisfied and productive team, along with a healthy talent pool to dip into when it’s time to recruit.
Ultimately, if your branding strategy has worked, you’ll be able to see the difference it has made in a whole range of areas, from retention rates through to hiring manager satisfaction (tip: our earlier article, 7 employer branding metrics you should be using provides the full lowdown on what to measure).
But let’s just rewind a little. Even with the best employer branding strategy in the world, you are probably not going to turn into the next Patagonia or PWC overnight.
The vast majority (84%) of jobseekers rank reputation as important when deciding which employers to approach. But of course, a reputation takes time to develop; your intended audience has to get to know you before they start to hold you in high regard.
With this in mind, employer brand activation is about building early-stage awareness: showcasing to new recruits (and to existing employees) what you have to offer.
Using proven employer brand activation tactics as examples, here are some suggested ways to check that your activation strategy is on track – ensuring that your budget is delivering optimum results.
Internal participation rates
For brand activation, bland, corporate messaging just doesn’t cut it. Employees are trusted three times more than employers as sources of reliable information on an employer.
From building a ‘culture book’ (giving employees and would-be recruits a feel of what it’s like to work for you), through to employee stories, your strategy is likely to work better if you can convince staff to get involved in the branding process.
So one of the first measures of brand activation success is to check internal participation rates. Have staff responded to requests to get involved? If you have asked for feedback on ideas, is it positive? If your initiatives manage to capture the imagination of staff from the get-go, it’s a sign that you are hitting the right tone.
Follow-ups to launches/live events
‘Meet and greet’ events can be a great way to introduce your brand to a wider audience. As well as face-to-face events (e.g. careers fairs and exhibition fairs), this can also include online events (e.g. interactive Q&A sessions for graduates).
Beware though – as these can be expensive. As well as participation rates, for ROI assessment purposes, it’s also worth tracking follow-ups – e.g. post-event brochure downloads and newsletter sign-ups.
Views and shares
An effective brand activation will almost always have a strong visual element, featuring videos, stories and other content worthy of sharing. Strong view rates and social share rates can be useful early-stage indicators that your investment is paying off.
Open/speculative application rates
This is a very reassuring sign that your new strategy is starting to gain traction. It means that viewers like what they see – and they are starting to submit speculative job enquiries in ever-greater numbers.
Remember that this is just the beginning. As you move beyond activation and awareness, you should eventually start to reap the benefits in the form of lower cost-per-hire and increased employee retention.