The 4 Metrics You Need to Track to Improve Your Talent Brand

August 17, 2015

I bet you’re tired of hearing that talent brand matters. You know this. You know it intuitively, and every day as a talent professional you get the qualitative, anecdotal proof to back it up.

But it’s tough to take intuitive, qualitative, anecdotal proof to your boss, right? You need a way to prove it – to show them that a good talent brand is essential in your company’s ability to recruit business-critical talent.

Our new ebook, The Quest to Quantify: Measuring the Impact of Your Talent Brand, walks you through the 4 metrics you can start tracking now so that you can put data behind the impact of your talent brand. Here is a taste of what you will find in the ebook:

Metric 1: Social media follower quality

The operative word here is “quality.” We all love reporting that followers are rising quarter-over-quarter, since that means more people are aware of and engaging with your company. But, your goal (among many others) as a talent acquisition professional is to build company awareness and engagement with the talent you may want to hire. Simply more followers, or followers of people you would never dream of phone screening, won’t help you get there.

To really understand if your talent brand campaigns are building company awareness and relevancy with the right talent, you need to measure follower quality.

How to measure: Company Page follower quality on LinkedIn

Sure, quality. Makes sense. But how?

Glad you asked.

With your LinkedIn Company Page, you can (for free!) dive into detailed follower insights such as function, industry, seniority level, and more. Take a look at your current follower demographics, and ask yourself, “Does this look like the talent pool I want to hire from?”  If you’re building out a sales team in the next 3 months, yet 70% of your followers are engineers, the answer to the above question is unfortunately, no.


Set a goal for your follower demographic mix (based on your hiring needs), run talent brand campaigns to engage that talent on LinkedIn (be sure to tell them to ‘follow your Company Page!), and gauge your success over time using your Company Page follower demographics.

Metric 2: Talent response rate

The purpose of metric 1 (building quality followers on social media) is to drive metric 2—your response rate with quality talent. Just like you’d rather talk to friends than strangers at a party, your target talent would rather respond to a recruiter from a company they know (and love). If your talent brand is the life of the hypothetical party, people will want to talk to you.

Increase your chances of getting high response rates by reaching out to your LinkedIn followers first. After all, we know on average, people are 81% more likely to respond to a recruiter from a company they’re following.

How to measure: Plot your response rate with target talent

If you need to hire a sales team in the next 3 months, then your talent branding efforts should be very targeted to sales talent. Check if it’s paying off by graphing your response rate with sales talent. You can even compare your sales function response rate with your non-sales response rate to really highlight the impact of talent brand on your ability to start conversations with target talent.


Track your response rate over time to demonstrate how your talent brand impacts your ability to start conversations with the talent you care about most.

Metric 3: Applicant quality

If your talent brand is attracting and engaging higher quality talent, and helping you start more conversations with said talent, than you can expect higher applicant quality as a result. It’s kind of like dating—the more people who are familiar with you, the more responses you’ll get when reaching out to the cream of the crop, and the higher the odds you’ll end up with a quality Both.

How to measure: Know your ratio of quality to non-quality applicants  

This may feel a bit manual in the beginning, but it’ll tell volumes about the impact of your talent brand. Define “quality” applicant somehow (perhaps by whether this person is a good fit for your company, or someone you’d consider phone screening) and tag them as “quality” in your ATS or within LinkedIn Recruiter. Do the same for “non-quality” applicants.

As your talent brand continues to increase your relevancy among the talent you’re after, you should see quality applicants taking up a greater proportion of your overall applicant pool.


In the area chart above, the quality of applicants rose steadily over time, even though the overall number of applicants varied week by week.

If your hiring volume is too high to do something like this, consider taking a random sampling of applicants within a given function (i.e. sales or engineering) every month or so. Just be sure you’re measuring quality for a function that your talent brand is engaging.

Metric 4: Time to hire

By leveraging your talent brand to grow a solid talent pipeline, start more conversations with qualified talent, and convert more of this qualified talent into applicants, you’re setting yourself up for epic success when it comes to shortening your time to hire.

How to measure: Track your time to hire over time

You can simply track your overall time to hire over time, or, if your talent brand is targeting a specific talent pool (like millennials or engineering talent) consider comparing your overall average time to hire with your time to hire for that specific type of talent.


If your talent brand is targeting one type of talent (a certain function, seniority, or geography for instance) and you see a lower time to hire for that type—it’s pretty clear that your talent brand is making a difference!

Talent branding will always be part art and part science

Despite these metrics guiding the way, we still cannot in good faith claim causation between a talent brand campaign and a spike in qualified applicants, for instance. Human behavior is a funny thing. Candidates may form opinions about your company months, sometimes years, before they encounter a talent brand campaign, and we’re just going to have to accept this.

The artist in you knows, without any data to back it up, what resonates with your target audiences. Your quest to quantify your talent brand impact should never keep you from trusting, and defending, your gut.

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*Image by Irene Mei