How to Sell the Need For Employer Branding

You already know employer branding is a must in today’s competitive market for top talent, but if you’re struggling to get your executive team on board it’s difficult to know where to start.

The overall goal is to prove the return on investment employer branding has for your company, but how exactly can you do that? It’s simple enough if you know exactly what to measure and what data will most resonate with your leadership team.

The majority (68%) of the “World’s Most Attractive Employers have employer branding strategies in place as of 2017 as we discovered in our recently completed Employer Branding Now survey.  (The report will be released in August.) Of those who don’t, 76% plan to develop employer branding strategies.

The most attractive employers have clearly invested in employer branding campaigns, and their counterparts are following in their footsteps. Yet only 37% of small businesses have employer branding plans, medium companies come in at 49% and large ones at 61%.

Where does your company stand? Have you already established employer branding initiatives and need to ask for more investment or have you been struggling to get even the tiniest budget?

Here are some suggestions to move forward:

1. Know your competition

Run a competitive audit of other companies in your industry with whom you’re competing for talent.

Don’t be afraid to make educated estimates of what they’re investing. Is their career page captivating and career focused social media accounts thriving? Estimate how much they’re putting into that considering their workforce compensation structure. Are they running Google Ads for open positions? Plop their website into SEMrush.com and take a look at their estimated ads spend.

Pull together your findings in a brief or chart your place in the mix. Giving leadership visuals is the best way to paint the picture of why this investment is so crucial. You’ve got to spend money to make money, and you’ve got to invest in employer branding to remain competitive.

2. Define effective employer branding metrics

Many companies turn to their employee retention rate (38%), quality of hire (29%), cost of hire (27%), and number of applicants (26%) to measure their employer branding effectiveness, but this isn’t to say the same metrics work for everyone.

Our 2017 Employer Branding Now survey found these measures used by companies to assess effectiveness:

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  • Ranking/Relative preference vs. talent competitors
  • Brand awareness
  • Consideration (% of target audience who would consider you as a potential employer)
  • Engagement with content posted in social/professional media (likes, comments, shares etc.)
  • Employer brand image

We also looked at what companies use to measure the quality of employer brand experience:

  • Employee engagement
  • Candidate satisfaction
  • New hire satisfaction
  • Employee turnover
  • Employer brand attribute scores (employer brand promises vs. experience)
  • Employee advocacy (e.g. net promoter score)

3. Align your metrics with your talent acquisition goals

Your leadership team won’t see the value in employer branding if you frame your case around something like the number of applicants you receive if their largest goal is to recruit top execs. They will, however, respond to employee retention rate and quality of hire metrics if your industry is traditionally high turnover.

In the end, the most attractive employers base their decisions on the data. Knowing where to start, what to prove and what to present is the first step to getting budget, which if results in talent acquisition success, gives your department a bigger seat at the table!

Jonna Sjövall

Jonna Sjövall is the senior vice president of talent strategy and employer branding at Universum and managing director of Americas.

With 7 years of experience in employer branding and talent strategy as well as a background in management consulting, Jonna advises leading organizations and fast-growing companies across the world on how to maximize and leverage their strengths as employers for successful employer branding strategies. She works with American and multinational organizations both locally, regionally and globally not only to develop or redefine their global employer branding strategies, but also helps organizations maximize and leverage their strengths as employers to help future-proof their businesses and lay the foundation for successful development of employer branding strategies.

Contact Jonna via email: jonna.sjovall@universumglobal.com