‘Once upon a time…’ – this phrase makes our ears perk up, eyebrows raise, and eyes widen! We are curious to know what happened – Did the hero win? Was the villain defeated? Such is the power of a story! As you read on, you will learn:
- How the power of storytelling in recruitment can help in attracting and retaining employees
- It creates a unique brand that can connect to audiences and employees at various levels
- It flaunts the journey of the company along with its values and cultures
Have you wondered what Hans Christian Andersen or the Brothers Grimm were thinking when they wrote their tales? What was the purpose of these tales? Was it to take the reader to a new world full of mysticism and magic, or was it to scare them? There are surprises; there are sad moments and then moments of drama!
Whatever the reason, one thing is for sure. The power of storytelling is such that it opens your imagination. Now think of what storytelling can do in recruitment!
Much like a fairy tale, the creation of a company and its transformation into a brand is filled with twists and turns, challenges and victories, and sometimes even heart-wrenching emotions. All these events become inspirational when the brand becomes successful.
But when we are employed by an organization, how many of us are told about the company’s history, or how many of us find out its origins? Not surprisingly, a brand’s story is an indicator of several important aspects, such as its vision and mission, values, and culture. Knowing and communicating your organization’s story to prospective candidates can have amazing effects.
As the view of candidates (especially of the younger generation) is shifting from just choosing a ‘job that pays the rent’ to ‘am I a part of something significant,’ storytelling is the technique to be used in recruitment.
The Power of Storytelling in Recruitment
Some really ‘smart’ brands have put their story into the world and hooked us on them through advertisements, social media, and even movies. Storytelling engages all generations, especially the younger ones like the millennials and Gen Z.
Here are some reasons why you need to incorporate storytelling in your recruitment process:
#1 Storytelling can make your brand unique
Organizations that use storytelling stand out among the millions of brands trying to make their presence felt in their customers’ minds.
People are more likely to remember stories rather than statistics. It has been seen that brand stories can be up to 22 times more memorable than facts alone. The younger generations appreciate the organization’s flexibility and openness to new ideas and approaches.
#2 Stories soften your sales pitch
Every organization wants candidates to know them, like them, and associate with them. But to create a strong image without overselling shows the ingenuity of the brand, making the brand memorable. 92% of consumers want to see brand advertisements that feel more like a story.
Companies that aim to attract the younger generations understand that their buy-in into their brand is largely based on experiences.
#3 Storytelling builds a stronger connection with the brand
Storytelling includes not only the history and evolution of the company but also its values, causes, its contribution to society, and value proposition for people who wish to associate with the brand. These aspects not only help candidates feel a common (or stronger) connection with your brand but also build likeability and trust.
Younger generations who look out for value-based or purpose-based careers are more likely to believe in your brand through storytelling. Many organizations that tell a story about their values and causes build themselves a large fan club or a community of interested candidates.
How Can You Craft a Powerful Story for Recruitment?
As a recruiter narrating your company’s story to a candidate, the main premise is to be passionate. Enthusiasm and passion for storytelling are contagious. What will make the narration more special is when you believe and resonate with the values in the story.
That said, here are some important elements needed to create an impactful story about your brand as an employer:
#1 Reveal your brand’s journey
If your organization has a unique or interesting past, storytelling just becomes easier for you. Stories of social media giants like Google or Facebook are surreal and inspiring to many. Regardless, the story of every brand has a mission that the heroes (creators or employees) embark on, hurdles and obstacles (ups and downs in business), and even villains (competitors). Your happily-ever-after can be all your achievements – big and small – in all aspects of the business.
Your company’s story can also indicate how passionate the creators or owners must have been, which can be inspiring to the younger candidates.
#2 Flaunt your value proposition
A brand’s story need not always be about the company. It can show aspects of your company that may draw the attention of your talent pool. You can align your story to suit different target audiences – newbies and young or mature and experienced. Weaving your value proposition into your brand’s story will humanize your brand.
What can potential candidates look forward to? How is life at work? What do they stand to gain? Answers to these questions can help you tell a better story.
This is best done by showcasing employee and leadership stories. When your existing workforce endorses you, your story gains more credibility and interest. Remember that these testimonials and your value proposition must be authentic.
#3 Speak about your culture and values
Knowing how your teams collaborate, how managers and employees communicate, what keeps employees happy at work, how goals are achieved, and how challenges are overcome influences the candidate’s perspective.
If your stories show how everyday actions mirror the company values and culture, it is quite reassuring to candidates. Many organizations also choose to talk about their contribution to social causes that can be appealing to younger generations.
#4 Use different avenues to tell your story
When storytelling is mentioned, you possibly imagine the recruiter narrating the story to a candidate.
However, you can tell your brand’s story through various modes:
- Your company website/career page
- Social media
- Videos online or at the company premises
- Posters or merchandise (many companies hand out branded goodies to their employees)
Storytelling can be engaging for both recruiters and candidates. It allows organizations to break the rut of routine employer marketing strategies. A narrative makes your employer branding different and memorable for prospective candidates.
And like a wise person said, “There are two ways to share knowledge. You can push information out, or you can pull them in with a story.”
FAQs on Storytelling in Recruitment
Who is storytelling for?
Storytelling has a universal audience. However, younger generations may connect better with it due to its novelty, meaning, and emotion. To witness a journey of an organization, understand its culture, and imagine how their life would be, is a great experience for a candidate.
How can a recruiter include storytelling in personal interviews?
In a face-to-face interview, storytelling need not be a deliberate or rehearsed speech. You can weave in narratives between questions. For example, when you ask a candidate what they know about the role or the organization, you can introduce the history of the company. Similarly, the candidate’s expectations can be linked back to the value proposition, the culture, and employee testimonials.