E-reputation has become an essential factor for a company’s image. Whether small or big, a strategy for employer branding is now a crucial part of the process. But, what are the costs of implementing employer branding? How can you measure the return on investment?
As a graduate of Grenoble Ecole de Management (2000), Sophie-Antoine Dautremant has worked since 2003 as a consultant for sourcing, employer brand strategy, social networks, mobile applications and internet solutions for major companies, SMEs and startups. She also contributed to the HR ROI white paper, published at the beginning of the year by GEM alumni.
"83% of candidates search for a company online before applying for a job. The results they find through search engines such as Google (69%) greatly influence their application (81%). In fact, 63% of survey respondents reported having already dropped a job application following information they found online. On the other hand, 76% also report having decided to apply because of information they found online! This really underlines the importance of employer branding." (source: RégionsJob de 2017 - survey.)
Mastering your employer brand
"A strategy for employer branding means applying techniques that draw upon brand or HR management. In concrete terms, this refers to managing everything that impacts a company's image as an employer, both in terms of current employees and potential recruits," explains Sophie-Antoine in the introduction to the HR ROI white paper.
Nowadays, employer branding is not only about recruitment. It has become a crucial factor in a company's overall attractiveness. The development of web communications has led to a variety of parties being able to voice their opinion of the company. Through social networks or dedicated platforms, everyone from employees to partners, clients or suppliers can share their point of view. "Employer branding has to become a real tool for company communications that can be implemented by the company or its employees/recruits," adds Sophie-Antoine.
What's the cost of ignoring your employer branding?
Ignoring employer branding can have noticeable costs: "A negative reputation as an employer can have a real impact on a brand's overall reputation and sales," says Sophie-Antoine. According to a LinkedIn study (Winning Talents 2015), a company that doesn't have a clearly set employer brand strategy could suffer from a 5% increase in recruitment costs. Companies that: "don't invest in their reputation can pay up to 3,500 euros more salary per employee per year as compared to companies with solid reputations." As a result, for a company with 10,000 employees, a bad reputation could cost five million euros per year.
Performance indicators for employer branding
"Employer branding covers three majors stakes: sourcing, image and engagement," says Sophie-Antoine. Measuring ROI can be achieved by looking at various indicators that can be selected according to their usefulness for a particular company. Examples include:
Recruitment: Cost per recruitment/length of time for a recruitment/number of applications per recruitment/number of spontaneous applications/number of recruitments via networking
Employee retention and mobility: Employee turnover rate/turnover rate for high potential talent/turnover rate for new recruits
Social networks and web site: Number of visitors on the careers page/number of visitors on social network career pages/ number of viewers for videos/number of employees present on social networks/number of employer relations present on social networks/number of articles shared.
Key tips to increase ROI for employer branding
1 - Listen to employees and candidates, then mobilize internal resources.
2 - Identify at least one (three maximum) strong point to highlight and communicate on it.
3 - Target your audience gradually from the individual level to mass communications.
4 - Observe and analyze performance indicators.