Storytelling is becoming the crux of employers’ brand strategy. Because it works.Storytelling has been a part of the human experience for 30,000 years – or longer, if we assume that people were telling stories before the advent of writing. From ancient mythology to the latest Netflix original, the draw of storytelling is so powerful that it cuts across age, gender, race, culture, and all other demographics. Brain scans show that stories activate important social and emotional processing centers in our brains. Marketers and advertisers know that storytelling is the key to connecting with consumers. It works for connecting companies with candidates, too. Here are 5 effective strategies to strengthen your employer brand and attract more candidates:
1. Be authentic.It may be tempting to paint the perfect picture of your company, but be careful not to oversell it. Your brand is how people build trust with you, and with sites like Glassdoor, the truth will quickly come out. The best way to present an authentic brand is by showcasing your employees. Use short videos as a way for employees to talk about their experiences and explain why they like working with your company. Then you’ll have compelling stories to share, and by listening to employees, you’ll also understand your brand’s strongest selling points.
2. Provide details.People are inundated with messages every day, so speaking in generalities – like, “This company is a great place to work!” – is nothing more than background noise. Instead, craft stories around a single element of your brand. Dollar General, for example, tells stories of career growth, showing how employees can move from sales associate to store manager and beyond. Your story might be about work-life balance, community involvement, mentorship programs, or something else. Whatever it is that makes your company interesting or unique, that’s the story you should tell.
3. Create a narrative.The narrative arc is what makes a story a story. While you’re not writing a screenplay or a novel, your employer brand story should still have a beginning, middle, and end. Your company’s history is a story. There was a time before your company, then something that brought your company into existence (an idea, a discovery, a merger). You might chronicle the events that shaped your company into what it is today. Or, you might give the backstory of your company’s mission with give examples of how it’s fulfilling its purpose.
4. Make experiences easy and enjoyable.Candidates will be more receptive to your company’s stories when they’re simple, stay on point, and easy to navigate through. The best experiences are those that follow a logical path or journey. You might have great employer brand stories, but are they easy to find? At the end of a story, which might be page on your career site or company culture video, is there a call to action showing the candidate where to go next? Think about how your stories fit together, and how candidates might consume those stories throughout the recruitment and hiring process.
5. Give a taste of what’s to come.Employer brand stories will feature your employees, your culture, your benefits. You’ll have to find ways to help candidates see where they fit in, and how they can contribute to the story if hired. This starts by showing candidates how your company can help push them to the next level in their career. Through your stories, represent your brand as the bridge that gets them to where they want to be. You can do this by demonstrating your company’s growth, as well as the growth of employees within your company.