Companies with a strong employer brand stand to enjoy a number of business benefits, such as lower hiring costs and greater employee engagement that leads to higher productivity. However, HR leaders often encounter corporate inertia whenever they ask for budgets to strengthen and sustain the corporate employer brand.
Some of the key employer branding challenges HR leaders are facing include:
- failure to demonstrate a business case
- unclear ownership of the employer brand
- lack of interest expressed by executive decision makers
Most companies we spoke with are challenged by these issues one way or another. Most organisations have yet to thoroughly consider all the benefits they stand to gain from a strong employer brand. As a result, companies are unable to justify dedicating resources to build and enhance its employer brand.
While many executive leaders understand the importance of employer branding, it is usually low on their priority list of investments, until a problem occurs. These issues could be a bad online review from a disgruntled employee, frustratingly long hiring processes or even losing some customers because of problems with employee engagement.
One bright spot is that today’s highly competitive market for talent is leading more companies to proactively re-assess their employer branding efforts. Executives are worried about their ability to acquire talent who are equipped with the skills needed to remain competitive and grow with the global economic expansion.
establish clear goals with quantifiable measurements
How can HR leaders capitalise on prevailing sentiments and win over greater C-suite support to strengthen their employer brand?
The first step is to develop a clear business case. When HR leaders show that a small budget increase can lead to significant improvements to the value of the employer brand and its impact to the company’s overall growth strategy, they are more likely to get the resources they need.
Building the business case starts with establishing clear goals you want to achieve, such as increasing the sharing of job vacancies through social media or curating new and relevant content to engage job seekers. Whatever the goal is, ensure that it is measurable and has a demonstrated value to your organisation and employer brand. The goal also needs to be connected to a business impact, such as filling roles more quickly or attracting more qualified job applications - which can lead to reduced hiring costs.
metrics to track when you build a business case on employer branding
1. cost per hire
Instead of looking at revenue or profit, employers should consider the amount of resources saved to determine the real return on investment of an employer brand. For instance, a weak employer brand may face challenges such as an insufficient number of applicants or a larger advertising spend.
However, operating costs such as subscription to a recruiting marketing platform is a standard cost of talent acquisition and should not be included in your calculation.
2. time to fill a position
A critical component of the business case is to reduce the time spent on the recruitment process. Typically, this is determined by counting the days from when a requisition is submitted to when a prospective is hired for the role. However, there are some administrative steps that the employer brand has no influence on, such as the candidate’s notice period. Focus your efforts on the metrics that can be improved.
3. quality of candidates
A strong employer brand will help you attract more high-quality candidates, which will ultimately result in improved organisational performance. If your hiring managers are dissatisfied with the candidates presented to them and are requesting for more applications, your brand may be failing to resonate with the talent the business is looking for.
4. employee retention
An employer’s brand does not just affect the attraction of candidates but also the retention of employees. A strong brand can help reduce turnover, which in turn reduces recruitment costs.
No matter what you hope to achieve in your branding efforts, make sure you can correlate the outcome to investments. When you have a clear goal and quantifiable targets, you can create a compelling story for continuous investments in your company’s employer brand.
The process of building a strong and relevant employer brand is a long one, and we are here to support you in your journey.
This comprehensive handbook on employer branding will guide you through building a business case for getting C-level executives buy-in, developing, implementing and sustaining your employer brand as well as to create a memorable candidate experience.