Until fairly recently, salary was the key recruitment and employee retention factor. With millennials increasingly entering the workforce, this is no longer the case, especially when talking about skilled, tech-savvy employees.
Until a generation ago, organizations gave employer branding (EB) something between little and zero thought. Conventional hiring wisdom ruled, and it put a premium on salary and other financial considerations.
The entrance of millennials into the employment market has changed this. They have their own values, and do not play by the old rules that prioritized financial remuneration over all other workplace conditions.
This means that employer branding, which used to be at best an afterthought, is now assuming significant importance. Employers have been made increasingly aware that in today’s ever more flat and global world, talent has naturally high mobility. An organization that lacks strong and positive employer branding will have a hard time attracting the talent it wants and needs. Even worse, it is likely to find itself more at risk of losing what it already has.
The most effective way to verify the quality and effectiveness of organizational EB, and to identify its weak points so they can be rectified, is to treat it like any other major business function. This means measuring it by clearly defined KPIs.
This is where collaboration between HR and marketing comes into play. HR is more knowledgeable about HR related criteria that are the basis for defining EB relevant KPI's. They have the relevant information regarding the criteria that form the basis for EB KPI's such as:
Time required to fill position
Type and duration of position advertising and promotion campaign (including headhunters)
Percentage of positions filled via recommendations from employees without recourse to head hunters or external advertising
Ratio of relevant/irrelevant CVs received, and resulting screening process efficiency
Recruitment ration of 1st choice- 2nd choice candidates
The ratio of internal promotions vs. recruitment to fill vacant managerial and executive positions
High performer-deadwood ratio
Marketing people however have much more understanding of branding, and the experience and expertise that is required to turn the criteria into clearly defined KPI's, and how to effectively measure them.
Marketing people also have a major role to play regarding the second part of EB KPI's, which includes running effective employer branding campaigns, highlighting the KPI's at which organization scores high marks, and ongoing monitoring of those campaigns to ensure optimal utilization of employee feedback.
Since social media plays a key role in such campaigns, effective EB campaigns requires well developed tech savvy digital marketing capabilities. Organizations which may lack such skills in their marketing arsenal should consider hiring a consultant with specific employer branding digital marketing experience.
Optimal collaboration in which the skills set of both marketing and HR are well utilized, is critical to ensuring an organization’s ability to effectively measure and monitor its employee branding and compare it with appropriate industry norms. In addition, it is also vital in providing information an organization requires to identify the KPI's where its EB falls short, the know-how necessary for a quick fix, and to get the word about the organization’s good employer branding out via effective social media-based campaigns, and competently monitor them.
This combination of KPI-based measurements of employer branding, and effective management and monitoring of EB campaigns is critical to developing, nurturing and maintaining competitive employee branding, a vital element in optimizing an organization’s attractiveness to both candidates it is interested in recruiting, and employees it is interested in keeping on board.