Why Analytics Are Vital to the Growth of Employer Branding Initiatives

Why Analytics Are Vital to the Growth of Employer Branding Initiatives

Mike Roberts

Data is crucial for making better employer branding decisions—it’d be hard to find someone who disagrees with that notion. But tools for tracking and analyzing data have come a long way in recent years. Some companies have adopted solutions like recruiting analytics or other types of web analytics to better understand performance. Others are still using homegrown spreadsheets or, worse, nothing at all.

If you fall into the category of operating with outdated performance management systems, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Most likely, you’re making it harder to show any value in your employer branding efforts or get any budget to try out new and exciting things. We just released some new data that puts this into context.

Employer Branding Analytics and ROI

Over the summer, we surveyed almost 300 recruiting and marketing professionals on the topic of employer branding. A vast majority of participants were from North America, and 20% were from companies with more than $1 billion in revenue. If you’re interested in learning more about the study, you can get the whole eBook here.

In one question we asked if companies were able to prove a return on investment (ROI) for their employer branding efforts last year. Half of the respondents said no, while another 32% weren’t sure. Only 15% responded positively to this question.

employer branding roi and budget
Because the idea of employer branding is relatively new, this isn’t surprising at all. Lots of companies are simply experimenting with employer branding campaigns, or just trying to get the basics down. That said, it may be hard to show an actual return in the early phases of a company’s employer branding journey.

In another question, we asked whether or not companies were using analytics to measure the effectiveness of their employer branding efforts. 43% of survey-takers said yes.

These two data points alone are interesting, but lots of insights can be gathered from cross-analyzing them.

When we look at those companies who were able to prove an ROI on their employer branding efforts, 91% said they used analytics. This is a significant finding—there’s a strong connection between proving ROI and having the data to do so. Whether you’re just starting out on our employer branding journey or you’re well into it, it’s time to start leveraging analytics.

Employer Branding Analytics and Budget

In the survey, we asked a separate set of questions regarding budget. Looking at the aggregate data, 31% of companies said their employer branding budget increased compared to 2015. 1 in 3 respondents said it stayed the same, 30% were unsure and 6% said it got smaller.

Again, a different (better) story emerges for companies that supported their employer branding efforts with analytics. For companies that noted using analytics, 46% said their budget increased compared to last year. 30% said it stayed the same, and only 18% of respondents were unsure.

This data aligns with the ability to prove an ROI. If you can prove value, then it’s much easier to justify a request for budgetary increases. Those with the power to grant additional budget often need more than a gut feeling to pull the trigger. This can be true at both small and large companies.

Let Your Analytics Guide You

When we think about everything that goes into employer branding, measuring all the variables can easily start to feel overwhelming. As always, we suggest starting small, measuring what you can, and then growing from there. It’s that same continuous improvement process we’ve been talking about for years now.

Used right, data can truly guide your decision-making. And when additional budget is on the line, the benefits are even more pronounced. Instituting an analytics and metrics system for employer branding, supported by routine analysis and optimizations can have a significant impact over the long run.

Just think, not using the data that’s readily available today, in 2016, is like heading out on a long trip without using a GPS. Nobody would do that, and yet we still have 57% of companies using no analytics at all for employer branding purposes.

Like the topic of employer branding? Us too! Check out our new 2016 Employer Branding Handbook. It shares 7 employer branding strategies you should be employing right now.

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