How to Boost Staffing Your Brand Home (Part 2)


According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average cost of a bad hire is up to 30% of the employee’s first-year earnings, related to hiring, retention, and pay. It’s no secret that an open vacancy bleeds money in various ways, and the longer it takes to find the right people to staff your brand home, the more it costs, and the more frustrating the entire hiring process can become.


In part one of our two-part interview series with Nicole Khazanedar, AnyRoad’s Head of Talent, we explored some of the challenges employers face hiring in today’s market and offered insights for brands trying to remain competitive and adapt to this new reality. 

Luckily, there are many proven ways you can hire faster and still make the right decisions. In this second part of our interview with Nicole, we offer some tactical tips, tricks, and strategies to help you boost staffing your brand home.

Q: Nicole, for starters, what is the best way for a brand to determine how many employees a brand home needs? 

Modern companies always talk about being very data-driven organizations, using metrics and reporting to reach decisions. I think having proper forecasting at play when building out different teams is essential. Forecasted headcount planning is essential all across the board; it’s a very refined art. A company needs to be able to look at past data and use it to influence future hiring decisions.

There are several different metrics that brands can use to assess the health of their pipeline, and you want to make sure that you attract the right people at the very start of the process that then as candidates are moving through your funnel quickly. You want to ensure that there’s no drop-off and that you’re evaluating each candidate effectively.

Some typical metrics that brands can use to assess the health of their pipeline are things like offer acceptance rate, time-to-fill, and then just pass-through rates as candidates move through the hiring process. 

When it comes to experiential brand homes, you can also watch for indicators that the efficiency and quality of your team’s work may be impacted by inadequate staffing. These indicators could be low NPS post-experience, negative brand conversion rates, low return visitor rates, and a decreased average revenue per guest. Some of the brands working with AnyRoad use our Feedback Analysis capabilities to identify the most prominent themes within their customer feedback and measure the impact on their Net Promoter Score (NPS).

Q: What’s the most common reason employers miss out on great candidates?

What we’re seeing right now is this war for talent. The talent market is moving very fast, and companies are moving candidates quickly through the hiring process. 

It all comes back to being calibrated on the position you are looking to hire, showing upward job mobility, and opportunities to grow within the company from the get-go. These could influence hiring decisions from a candidate’s perspective. 

Q: How effective are referral programs at boosting hiring?

Referrals are crucial. Ideally, a brand would like to see approximately 30% of new hires coming from referrals. Good people know other good people.

A good practice for brands, even as early as a new employee starts, is to have somebody from the talent team comb through their network and connections to identify suitable candidates for future jobs that you might be looking to fill. 

There’s a lot of potential in referral programs, and there are a lot of tools available that talent teams can implement to encourage and incentivize employees to think about who they might know that would be a good fit. Having a strong company culture and prioritizing your people is an excellent start in sparking word-of-mouth.

It’s also important to remember that sometimes employees might not necessarily be incentivized by just cash bonuses. Brands could also experiment with experiences, like overnight trips to wine country, baseball tickets, or fancy dinner reservations. 

People will always like to see a cash option. Still, as we are moving away from a things economy to an experience economy, we see companies also moving toward rewarding employees who refer candidates with experiences that create memories that can be equally valuable.

Q: Do you think hosting an open day holds any advantages? 

Yes, definitely. Any event that can attract people and raise awareness about who you are and your company values can be beneficial. 

Once, I worked for a company where we hosted speakers every month within different communities and opened up our offices for an evening after-work networking event. And it wasn’t necessarily a recruiting or hiring event, but it was a place for people to gather. People would come in, get to know the current employees, and attend a talk from someone relevant within the industry. And that worked out great for our recruiting efforts. 

Depending on your hiring goals and how many positions you are looking to hire, you could host an open day yearly, quarterly, or even monthly. If a brand is trying to build community, twice quarterly or quarterly is a good start. This recurring nature gives people something to look forward to. I would also recommend having a clear purpose behind what the event is trying to accomplish.

Q: Can you recommend any resources, technologies, or tools to make hiring easier?

There are so many tools out there today, from sourcing and email scraping to applicant tracking systems, which is terrific. It’s never too early for a brand to implement these technologies to increase the top of their funnel and ensure that they are identifying and attracting the right talent. 

A lot of what we do in recruiting is now automated, from sourcing candidates to coming up with messaging that will resonate with them, and naturally, there are a lot of tools that will help with automation. Ensuring that you’re able to move candidates quickly through your hiring process and that your brand offers a great candidate experience and can effectively secure new hires is critical. 

There are even augmented writing platforms that can read the text within a job description or candidate outreach and offer improvement suggestions to ensure that the language used is inclusive and not biased. These tools offer great opportunities for brands to understand how the language used in a job posting will impact a reader.

But first, it’s best to clearly define the main goals of your talent team and then work backward to implement technologies that will help you achieve these goals. 

Q: And last but not least, how relevant are review sites and platforms like Glassdoor and LinkedIn for brands seeking to fill roles in their brand homes and visitor centers?

As much as people like to say that it’s not practical to recruit off LinkedIn, at the end of the day, most recruiters still use it daily. People still utilize the platform as it relates to their professional world.

So I think LinkedIn is a great place to not only find talent but also promote your company brand. Having a good Careers and a good Company page that highlights your company culture, benefits, perks, well-being programs, and life outside the office on LinkedIn is also quite impactful. 

To summarize part two of our interview with Nicole, we collected 5 key takeaways to help you boost staffing your brand home and getting the most out of your hiring process: 

  1. Brands working with AnyRoad use Feedback Analysis to identify the most prominent themes within their customer feedback and measure the impact on their Net Promoter Score.
  2. Speed, remaining competitive, setting clear objectives for the roles you’re hiring, and having plenty of candidates at the top of the funnel are critical.
  3. As we move away to an experience economy, we see companies rewarding employees who refer candidates with experiences that create memories.
  4. Any event that can attract people and raise awareness about who you are and your company values can be beneficial.
  5. Clearly define the main goals of your talent team and then work backward to implement technologies that will help you achieve these goals. 

If you’re interested in reading a rundown of both parts of this interview, check Tips to Boost Staffing Your Brand Home.