In many ways, our roles in Recruitment Marketing and employer branding are more imperative than ever before. There is so much visibility around how employers are responding to the COVID-19 crisis, and we need to help manage our company’s reputation and candidate experience so that we can thrive long term as employers and businesses.
After all, who else besides the talent acquisition team is going to track the changes happening in recruiting, report them to leadership and come up with strategies to solve our hiring needs? That’s our unique area of expertise.
At the same time, during an economic downturn, a lot of organizations are questioning what they should be investing in. This is where measurement comes into play. If you can pull your data into a simple dashboard that clearly communicates the value your team can bring to the table, you’ll be in great shape to continue to provide obvious strategic value to your business.
Now, what’s with my obsession with data and dashboards? Well, before this crisis happened, measurement was top of mind and super important to me and my team at Appian.
I’m fixated on reports and numbers because I come from a digital marketing background and only just transitioned over to Recruitment Marketing in January 2020. One of the top reasons that my manager, Tricia Goose, asked me to join Appian’s growing team is because of my data-driven background.
So, if you’re looking to get more numbers focused in the upcoming months, here are a few pointers plus a template that might help you as a starting point.
How to start measuring your employer brand
To start out, you’ll need to pull all of your data from every relevant channel that you can, such as:
- Social channels – content performance, engagement, follower growth
- Employer review sites, like Glassdoor, kununu, etc. – rating trends over time
- Your careers site – volume of site traffic, where it’s coming from, individual page performance
- Your talent network – community growth and engagement over time
- Email marketing – open rates and click-through rates on your emails
- Your applicant tracking system – how many applicants you’re getting, how many interviewees, how many hires (this is the information that will help you figure out your conversion rates throughout the recruiting funnel)
You can use this data to create a baseline of where things stand today, understand past performance, and see how your organization’s reputation and content performance is changing during these unprecedented times.
When I started at Appian in January 2020, I went back one year and pulled all the data from 2019 and conducted an analysis of what was working last year, before moving forward to tracking 2020 and ongoing performance. However, a different time frame might make more sense for your team based on how long you’ve been producing content and what kind of insights matter most to you.
No matter how far back you choose to go, here is a template you can use that will provide a simple birds-eye view of your performance and progress over time:
How to use this employer brand measurement template
First off, simply make a copy of the document in Google docs or download the file into Excel so you can start to edit.
From there, update the template with your own channels and data across all of the “tables” tabs. After that, the various dashboard tabs will be automatically updated to provide insights based on the data that you plug into the “tables” tabs.
The last few tabs are where you can store the raw data that you can pull from for the “tables” tabs, or dive deeper on later if you’re looking to find out more about a specific post or traffic spike, etc.
Keep in mind that you may wish to track extra data in the tables and dashboards or omit pieces of data that we’re currently tracking, depending on your goals, initiatives and priorities. But hopefully this template works as a great starting point for you to develop your own dashboard.
Tips to keep in mind when it comes to measuring employer brand performance
Once you have your dashboard ready to go, here are a few extra tips that will prove helpful on an ongoing basis as you continue to refine and improve your approach to measuring recruitment marketing and employer branding activities.
Tip #1 – Don’t be scared to look up and learn from marketing best practices
Recruitment marketers and “regular” marketers can learn a lot from each other! The way that our marketing peers track success can often translate over into recruitment marketing terms, if you simply sub out “customer” for “candidate.”
Attend webinars and read e-books on marketing best practices to continue to optimize and improve your tracking over time. A few sites to bookmark and subscribe to for great resources and continuous improvements include:
Tip #2 – Review your data regularly and make changes based on the insights
Things move quickly in marketing and Recruitment Marketing, so sometimes taking the time to actually do a deep dive on your measurements and dashboard can get swept under the rug.
However, there’s no point taking the time to track all of these data points if you’re not going to review and benefit from the insights.
Set a time in your team’s calendar to review as a group and discuss on a regular basis. I’d recommend doing so either monthly or quarterly, depending on the volume of content you’re reviewing (I’d recommend reviewing more often if you’re pushing out a higher volume of content). Right now, it may even be worth reviewing performance on a weekly basis to ensure content is hitting the mark and your reputation is still in good standing.
Look for patterns and make adjustments by tracking what’s working well and what isn’t resonating. Gradually eliminate the types of content pieces that are falling flat, and steer towards the content that is performing. Stay closely connected to your reputation on review sites and come up with strategies for monitoring and reviewing as necessary. Rally has a great blog on managing your Glassdoor reputation that might prove useful if you need help here.
Tip #3 – Make sure you’re telling the full story
So this tip is a work in progress for us still, but in Recruitment Marketing I think it can be easy to get our results mixed up sometimes with our recruiters’ efforts.
So, for instance, let’s say we launch a campaign to hire more salespeople, and at the same time, our sales recruiters go out on a concerted sourcing spree. We need to try to find ways to separate what traffic / applicants are coming in from sourcing efforts vs. recruitment marketing efforts. Consider ways that you can separate this information, such as by asking applicants or interviewees to self-report how they found out about the opportunity.
Tip #4 – Always be improving
There are so many ways that I think we can continue to optimize our approach to measuring performance at Appian. Things are always changing, and there are constantly opportunities to get more precise with the way we’re telling our data story.
For example, in the next year, we’d like to get more specific in separating sourcing efforts from recruitment marketing efforts, as mentioned, and we’d also like to start moving towards tracking RMQLs — recruitment marketing qualified leads.
RMQLs is borrowed from the marketing term MQLs (marketing qualified leads) and is a metric that helps to track the quality of leads that are being driven in by marketing. Likewise, we want to find a way to ensure that the applicant leads our team is providing to our recruiting team hits a certain quality bar.
We might do this by tagging the candidates that are coming in from our recruitment marketing efforts and seeing how far along they get in our hiring process. If candidates don’t make it past the phone screen stage on a regular basis, we have an issue and may need to adjust who we’re targeting with our campaigns!
We’re still working through exactly how we’re going to track this over time, but it’s an example of how we’re always looking to improve our measurements and glean more insights from the data we have access to.
I hope my insights as a marketer-turned-recruitment marketer prove helpful as you think about your own approach to measuring performance at your organization. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn and let me know ways that your organization is measuring results too. I think by sharing our approaches, we can all get stronger together and provide more value back to our organizations during a difficult time. Stay safe and healthy, everyone!