Data-Driven Employer Branding Explained
How to measure and use data internally and externally for your employer branding work
In this article we will dive into the world of data-driven employer branding. We will look at topics such as the relevance & opportunities of data as well as types and sources of data.
The ideal basis for business-relevant decisions is data. Data can be used to support employer branding and to attract and retain talent – because deciding what, how and where to communicate is more difficult today than ever before. Having a solid foundation of information to support your employer branding decisions is the answer to this challenge.
Relevance and opportunities of data
To understand the importance of a data-driven decision-making approach, it is essential to first recognise the impact it has on your recruitment. Data has long played a crucial role in talent acquisition, for example by providing insights into target groups. Changes in the labour market, such as GEN Z, are making data-driven approaches even more relevant. New generations of workers place more value on the meaning of their work and are more digitally connected than any previous generation. This shift underscores the demand for innovative ways to retain and reach these people. Deep knowledge based on data makes it possible to tailor company communications to the needs and expectations of applicants and employees.
Opportunities of data to be mined
There are various sources of data for employer branding and other related topics, such as corporate culture and talent acquisition. These include the examples listed below.
Examples of internal data
Data from your internal company culture holds a wealth of insights that influence your employer brand. Using internal data sources such as surveys and focus groups will give you an overview of employees’ perceptions, aspirations and expectations.
- Employee and (manager) surveys: Surveys are structured tools that provide quantitative insights into the minds of employees. By analysing surveys, you gain a comprehensive understanding of what is important to employees.
- Focus groups: Focus groups can be used to look at and understand employees’ views in detail. One of the features of focus groups is a discussion where employees can share their thoughts, feelings and suggestions. Focus groups tend to provide qualitative insights on a particular topic.
- Employee engagement: Metrics such as productivity, project completion rates and customer satisfaction, as well as turnover rates and sickness figures, provide quantitative indicators of employee engagement and identification with the company’s values. High-performing teams, for example, can be an indication of a positive employer brand and show that employees are motivated and committed to the tasks at hand. Evaluating employee turnover rates and reasons for leaving can provide indications of potential problems with job satisfaction and lack of professional development opportunities.
Examples of external data
External data can be obtained in a variety of ways. Here are some possibilities.
- Social media: Track activity on platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram to track and evaluate reach, comments and likes.
- Employer review portals: On platforms like Kununu or Glassdoor, you can find employee-generated reviews that give an unfiltered insight into workplace culture.
- Analyse competitors: Evaluate your competitors’ employer branding strategies to gain insight into industry trends and other measures. Compare the brand messages with your own to identify areas of differentiation and improvement.
- Labour market analysis / target group analysis: External data sources can reveal trends in the behaviour and preferences of job applicants. For example, use surveys from universities or Universum.
- Media mentions and press coverage: Track media coverage of your company to understand how your brand is portrayed to the public.
KPIs for recruiting
Recruiting, which is closely related to employer branding, can also draw on data and KPIs that, when properly linked, can provide helpful information. Possible data can be:
- Application rate / conversion rate: The ratio of visitors to the career site or job advertisement in relation to applicants is the conversion rate. It provides information about how well your job ad is performing.
- OAR (Offer Acceptance Rate): This shows how many candidates actually accept the contract offer. It is also important to determine why candidates do not accept the offer. A high acceptance rate indicates that your value proposition as an employer is convincing and meets the aspirations of the applicants.
- Time-To-Hire: A shorter time-to-hire indicates an efficient recruiting process that minimises wait times and improves the candidate experience.
Insights from career sites
Data from career sites can provide insights about external presentation. These include, for example:
- Website visits: Track the number of visitors to your careers website to see if your employer branding efforts to date are showing results.
- Page views per visit: Determine the average number of pages viewed by each site visitor.
- Time on Page: Record the average time visitors spend on each page of your career website.
- Most Visited Pages: Identify the most visited pages on your career website.
- Job Listings: Review the performance of your job listings, including the number of views, click-through rates and application rates for each position.
Examples of use & implementation of insights
Data about your business can be useful for many purposes. In addition to developing your employer brand, there are other ways to profitably use the insights you gain. By acting on these requests, you not only enrich the experience of your employees, but also additionally strengthen your employer brand.
- Communication: With the information gained, you can tailor your internal communications to address employee issues and values, and to receive positive feedback. You can also improve your communication on social media, career pages and the like.
- Improve working conditions: Use the insights from surveys to improve your benefits and fringe benefits. If flexible working arrangements are a priority for your employees, expand remote working options or offer flexible working hours.
- Leadership development: If your employees express a desire for professional growth and development opportunities, direct your efforts towards leadership training programmes, mentoring initiatives and skills workshops, and ultimately towards employee development.
- Bonuses & Rewards: Performance data can highlight teams and individuals that are performing particularly well. You can use this information to recognise and reward outstanding contributions, demonstrating your commitment to valuing and recognising your employees.
- Diverse storytelling: User the power of storytelling – Share your employees’ successes, engagement and more to showcase the positive impact of your organisation.
The impact of data-driven employer branding
Data is one of the most powerful tools for making decisions, so it’s no surprise that it also has fundamental implications for employer branding initiatives. I will limit myself here to 4 specific impacts that I believe are most important:
- Increased employee engagement: A data-driven approach to employer branding promotes a workplace culture that aligns with what employees want. When employee experiences align with external messages, engagement increases, leading to higher job satisfaction and engagement.
- Lower turnover: Seamless integration of internal and external insights reduces the likelihood of disappointment among new hires. When the expectations set through external messaging match the reality of employees, turnover rates decrease.
- Higher reputation as an employer: Eliminating misconceptions and refining your branding will improve your company’s reputation. A positive external perception attracts not only top candidates, but also clients, partners and stakeholders who are drawn to your values-driven culture.
- Data-driven agility: A data-driven strategy gives your organisation the flexibility to adapt to changing market dynamics and candidate preferences. Based on internal and external insights, you can proactively shape your brand to remain competitive and attractive. (Insights-Driven Organization explained)
Practical tip: If you want to do data-based employer branding, start by researching data sources in the area of talent acquisition and retention or company culture. Select the relevant data and then look at how you can acquire it.
Although data provides valuable guidance, the human element remains at the heart of effective employer branding. Metrics provide direction, but the real goal is to foster a culture that aligns with people’s values and goals. Numbers alone cannot fully capture the story of a company and its employees. Data-driven insights must be paired with real stories that convey the human impact of an employer’s work. Qualitative insights from employees and applicants are just as important as quantitative analysis.
Ultimately, employer branding is about more than statistics – it’s about people. Data leads the way, but culture and shared goals are what truly attract and retain talent. With care and balance, data-driven decision making can drive companies to become employers that fulfill their employees both professionally and personally. Don’t let the human element get lost in the numbers. By leveraging data while staying true to corporate values, companies can foster a workplace culture in which both the company and its employees thrive.