According to Careerbuilder.com 2 in 3 (67 percent) say they’d accept a lower salary if the employer created a great impression through the hiring process. The inherent challenge is that 29 percent of job seekers don’t think employers do a good job of reinforcing why their companies are a good place to work.

Companies have been talking about employer brand for years. As early as 2013, surveys showed 41% of companies have developed an employer brand strategy, but how do you measure the effectiveness of your employment branding investments?

Your leadership team will want to see a plan to measure ROI to talent acquisition before approving budget to find your employment branding investments.

Start with Strategy

There is no doubt that employer branding has become a staple in our HR departments. In fact, there has been a reported 10% growth in employer brand manager job listings in the past two years. However, many of these efforts fail due to a lack of clearly defined strategy.

An EBI study found that only 14% of companies have a clearly developed strategy for their employer brand, while 84% of respondents from that same study believed that a clearly defined strategy is the key to achieving employer branding objectives. The point here is, you have to know what you’re measuring  before you can measure it.

Align Metrics with Talent Acquisition Goals

According to a great article from Exaqueo, there are several different possible metrics to use when considering your ROI of employer branding:

These statistics were found in 2011 EBI study.

Now that that’s covered, which one do you use? Well, it’s pretty common sense, which one of these metrics fits your objectives? If your business is filling top executive positions, the number of applicants might not fit your particular business objective. If you are filling positions for an industry with a traditionally high turn over rate, you might want to focus on cost per hire.

Allocate Budget Based on Past Successful Hires

Mine the data you have about your employee base to discover trends that match up with your selected metrics. If you find that most of your long-standing employees are coming from your local University, perhaps you will see a significant increase in retention rate if you advertise around campus. If an employee referral bonus is pushing your cost per hire above target with little difference in the quality of hire, perhaps you should consider relocating those funds.

Look beyond sourcing channels, too. For example, your highest employee engagement rates may come from those who experienced highly employer-branded interviews and thus had a head start in onboarding compared to employees hired through less differentiated interviews. Similarly, many WePow customers report a hire quality of hire due to better screening decisions based on video interviews.

Measure, Report, and Retune at Regular Intervals

According to Employer Branding Online, companies who invest in developing their employer brand can expect an increase in employee engagement and ease in attracting candidates. Additionally, these two areas were rated as the main benefits of their employer branding by 38% of companies implementing it.

Now that you have the skills to report back, don’t be afraid to report the failures along with the successes. The whole point of gathering and studying this information is to improve. If all you have to report is that everything is going splendidly time after time, you aren’t creating any room for improvement. The whole idea is to grow your employer brand by using these measurements to shape it.

If you are already an employer branding pro, check out Universum’s research on what the future of employer branding might look like in 2020.