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Post by Rich Moy on Oct 16, 2017 12:00:00 PM

Developers have made it clear that employer branding matters to them. In turn, employers have started thinking more like marketers to make themselves stand out from the competition. But even if you’re pouring your effort and creativity into your employer branding content, there’s one question you need to be able to answer: Is your employer branding strategy working?

That question might lead you to ask how to measure employer branding. If you commit to tracking the following metrics, you’ll put yourself in a stronger position to hit your recruiting goals this year and beyond.

Developer Retention Rate

Think back to when you were recruiting your current developers. You probably told them about your unique work environment, your engineering culture, and the benefits you offer. If so, that was a good place to start—and clearly, it played a part in convincing them to join your team.

But it’s important to remember that your employer brand should be much more than a recruitment pitch. It’s a promise that you make to potential and current employees. If you’re not living up to that promise, you’ll struggle to attract and retain tech talent. In fact, declining retention rates could be a sign that your employer brand doesn’t align with your developers’ experience at your company.

Not sure if your employer brand is living up to developers’ expectations? Start by calculating your average turnover rate all-time. Then, compare it to the last 6-12 months. If recent trends are higher than your all-time average, ask your developers for feedback on how you can improve their experience at work.

Employee Engagement

Not too long ago, Josh Bersin said that employee engagement is fundamental to your employer brand. “People go home each night, talk to their spouse friends and family, and spread the word about your company,” he added. “If they're not happy, word gets around.”

Of course, that means if your developers are happy, those positive feelings will improve your reputation in the developer community. Just as you’d measure important business KPIs, you should also be able to measure and manage your team’s level of engagement.

How can you measure your tech team’s engagement? Ask them! You could send out a team-wide survey, but if you have the bandwidth, meet with them one-on-one. Regardless of what you choose, here are a few questions to ask them based on what we learned in the 2017 Developer Hiring Survey to help you get started:

  • Do you feel you have opportunities for professional growth and development?
  • Do you feel that you’re compensated fairly for your work?
  • How do you feel about the way projects are managed by the team?
  • Has your experience lined up with your initial impression of the role?


In 2012, The Society of Human Resource Management and the American National Standards Institute created the following formula to calculate cost-per-hire:

Cost-Per-Hire = (Internal Recruiting Costs + External Recruiting Costs) / Total Number of Hires

On the surface, this looks pretty straightforward. But to better understand how it’s affecting your employer branding strategy for developers, take a closer look at your external recruiting costs. How much do you typically spend on job listings before making a hire? How many events do you attend on a yearly basis? How much does it cost you to advertise your employer brands on the platforms you’re currently utilizing?

If the total dollar amount you spent on external recruiting costs this year seems high, take a closer look at where you’re using those resources. If you’re not focusing on platforms that developers actually use, you're probably wasting money on platforms that aren’t benefitting your employer brand.

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