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Harnessing the Power of Storytelling to Hire the Best

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Harnessing the Power of Storytelling to Hire the Best
Orla Doyle
5 minute read
Recruitment Marketing

As a hiring manager, you’ve probably already realised that simply posting a job listing is not going to be enough to attract the best talent to your organisation.

Similarly, a careers web site full of photos of your games room, zen gardens and office dog, may look nice, but it won’t set you apart from all the other companies that are taking the exact same approach.

It’s a sad irony—if everyone is doing the same things in order to stand out, they all end up looking the same.

In the words of Seth Godin;

“In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is failing. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible.”
― Seth Godin, Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable

So, as an employer how do you stand out in a sea full of the same old, same old?

The answer is to tell your unique story, open up the conversation and connect with your potential employees on a more personal level in the recruitment process.

 

Storytelling as a Recruitment Tactic

It’s important to recognise that the best assets you could have in your company are the people who work with you. Knowing that, wouldn’t it be in your best interest to have only the best people on your team?

Our advice for hiring managers is for you to employ a means that projects your company values in a very appealing manner, not just for the company, but for the people in it.

You are probably thinking, “Obviously, all recruiters do this.”

But beyond throwing the word “value” around during your recruitment process, use engaging stories about your company to highlight these values.

It's not a new technique. The art of storytelling has been a tactic employed by advertising and marketing folks for decades to capture the interest of others and win them over to their side, so why not apply the same tactics in recruitment?

 

Why stories greatly help your chances of finding the right fit for your company

It's easy to focus the recruiting process entirely on the needs of the company. Unfortunately, that's only one side of the coin.

The best job seekers out there know their worth. They know better than to go for a job with vague ads, messaging and minimal incentive or non-existent emotional connection.

Storytelling appeals to people and opens up space for more. It will be to your advantage to implement this strategy in your hiring process.

However, this could be a bit of a slippery slope. The same stories that could help you could also just as easily make you come off as a bad fit for potential talent.

Which begs the question – How can you successfully integrate storytelling to enhance your company's brand and recruitment efforts?

This question has got a rather vast answer. To simplify it, we've got a great framework and template, Uncovering your EVP Story Template you can follow as your starting point in this process.

 

Here's how you can use storytelling to tip the scales in your favor

Before you launch into the juiciest story about a company retreat in Ibiza, slow down and think about it. This story has got to be true and resonate with your target audience. Inflating stories will only make your success fleeting.

The concept of creating “a company story” in itself, can be a little vague, and often leads people down a path of discussing their company culture or values, and they end up reciting the same or similar company mantras to the point of becoming cliché.

Clearly, it’s going to be difficult to tell a unique story if you attempt to create it without any framework. This is where our Uncovering your EVP Story Template comes in handy. From our framework, you can easily identify points to focus on to create your winning story.

This framework touches on the following –People, WOW-Factor, Learning & Development, Work Routines & Practices, Values, Social Vibe, Space & Location, as well as Perks & Compensation.

 

Creating a Killer Company Story & Brand Strategy

The basic point here is to catch people's interest and convince them that yours is a team worth joining.

It might seem like putting too much pressure on a story, but you can make it work.

Here's how –
#1  Be unique

Again, the WOW-Factor comes into play here. Don't go for the generic, old company tale everyone has. Look for that one thing that makes you stand out and use it.

#2 Let it be the star of the show

These people you are working to make part of your company did not experience your story with you. But you can make them see it through your eyes.

#3 No gimmicks

We all know how tiring and off-putting too much of a sales pitch can be. The same goes for you if you tell stories that are larger than life with no backup.

A simple fix for this would be to add a bit of credibility to your story. Perhaps let others support it by sharing testimonials.

#4 Make it a good one

If you're going to tell a story, you might as well make it one that piques people's interest. Think of what you would love to read about a company if you were about to join them and use that as a guide in telling yours.

 

Storytelling and your talent brand strategy

As an employer, it's your responsibility to communicate your goals and vision, as well as entertain and engage meaningfully with your potential employees. Now that you’ve got an idea of some of the key components of building your company’s unique story, you can start to think about how you’d like to incorporate storytelling into your hiring efforts. Since storytelling goes hand in hand with marketing, it’s a great idea to collaborate with your marketing department, if you have one, as you begin this process.

Putting the time and resources into developing an EVP and storytelling framework is an invaluable tool to have in your talent brand strategy. You can download our guide to Uncovering Your EVP Story Template here as your starting point and framework in this process.

After putting in the work during this foundation phase, you can build on it, honing in on specific elements and add stories to attract different types of candidates, depending on the role or department you’re recruiting for. Each step will get you closer to a unique employee value proposition and company story that ensures you’re standing out from the crowd as an employer of choice.

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What is Occupop?

Occupop is a beautifully simple recruitment software built for SMB's. More than an ATS, we help businesses be great at hiring through our suite of features – so you can hire the best people and build the best teams. See how it works here.

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Summary Points

Free template: How to Create Your Company Story

Here's how –
#1  Be unique
#2 Let it be the star of the show
#3 No gimmicks
#4 Make it a good one

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