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How and Why to Use Storytelling in Recruitment Marketing

Supercharge your recruitment marketing strategy with the power of storytelling. Here is all you need to know about how to tell compelling stories for recruiting,

Ed Stennett image

Written by Ed Stennett

18 Feb, 2022  –  5 min read

As a business you want to be able to attract top talent. You want to retain employees for the long term and position yourself as a brand that they would be excited to talk about. In today’s highly competitive and fast-paced world, you need to stand out in order to attract the best candidates. This year’s ‘Great Resignation’ has shown us that employees are no longer afraid to walk out of a job they’re unhappy with. And if you don’t want to be the employer that people walk out on, it’s time to take recruitment marketing seriously.

Fusing storytelling with recruitment marketing will help you shake things up and take it to the next level. You want to be trendy, relevant and in people’s minds. We’re all familiar with the age-old practice of storytelling, and you can easily adapt this to effectively communicate your company values to appeal to the best of the best. Let’s get started.

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Benefits of storytelling in recruitment

So, what makes a good story? One that we can see ourselves playing a part in of course. You want your brand to stand out from your competitors, from millions of job posts and from thousands of companies. And a great way to do that is to tell your brand’s story — a story that is captivating, relevant and unique only to you. Blend storytelling with recruitment because:

Stories are memorable.

Stories increase recall rates by 20%, ensuring that your brand stays with the jobseeker for much longer than they would following other forms of communication. Stories told through visual mediums like video are even more memorable, as the viewer is able to engage potential candidates in what they see and hear at the same time. 

Stories are more engaging.

A good story hooks the audience in and keeps them engaged. Storytelling makes use of a strong opening, a compelling context and a ‘light bulb’ element that stimulates curiosity to prompt an action or afterthought. Perfect for drawing in the top talent.

Stories capture emotions.

The human brain loves a good story. It is how we respond to what we’re consuming at a physiological level, making it more relatable. The emotions we showcase in a story resonate with the audience at a personal level and allow them to connect with it. This type of emotional connection is exactly what will make your business stand out from other workplaces.

Stories help you back yourself.

When you tell your brand’s story, you are manifesting a narrative about your brand that you have control of. Any claims you make can be backed up with a story that explains how, why and what you mean to portray to make it more believable.

Top tips for using storytelling for recruitment

Encourage leadership to share their stories

A company’s culture should trickle down from the top. Many leaders have an interesting story behind what drove them to success. Managers who share their personal journeys through anecdotes will be seen as accessible, human and engaging. It’s all about putting heart and soul to a name. 

According to Harvard Business Review, many leaders’ origin stories link their current leadership style to what shaped them to become leaders in the first place. Use this to show potential candidates the type of experience, culture and narrative they themselves might experience if they join your company. 

Foster employee stories to showcase motivation

What’s the first thing most of us do before we try a new product? We ask trusted others for their tried-and-tested feedback! The same applies to jobs and employment now. Today’s workforce is very selective and highly competitive. Use employee case studies as a storytelling tool to portray just how motivated, satisfied and happy your current employees are and they will be the ambassadors for your business.

Stories from real people make a corporation more credible and believable. Don’t forget to personalise each story for the role you are recruiting for. If you want to fill multiple roles in your finance department, use a story from someone working in finance. Your audience needs to relate to and engage with the story being told. 

Communicate social values & ethos

According to LinkedIn’s CHRO Pat Wadors, how she felt when being recruited by the company resonated with her a lot more than anything else about the company. As human beings, we constantly seek shared values and beliefs to fully trust in an entity. LinkedIn used the power of storytelling to establish an emotional connection with the candidate they wanted. 

Storytelling is a powerful method of effectively getting across your company’s mission, ethos and beliefs in a way that illustrates the potential candidate’s purpose within the company and beyond.

Highlight the social vibe

Struggling to think of content ideas for your company’s social media channel? Let a story do it for you. Stories are a great way to engage with your audience and churn out shareable content that people would happily tell their network about. Recruitment and social content get a boost — it’s a win-win for both. If you want a story to go viral or be shared across social media, try not to be too ‘salesy’. Instead of a standard ‘elevator pitch’, leverage a social, happy and encouraging vibe to get more likes, shares and views on social media. The right candidate will definitely keep an eye out for more. 

Choose the right medium: Videos!

Use the right medium, and the right platform to promote your story. Videos are the perfect way to truly immerse your audience because you are able to engage multiple senses at once to get your point across. From emotional music to a real voice narration, from visual effects to a moving soundtrack — the possibilities are endless. Instead of writing out what kind of work environment an applicant can expect, why not take them on a video journey through your offices, team events and coffee stations?

Explore how Seenit for recruitment marketing can help you tell the stories. With Seenit you can:

  • Create a story and invite your employees to take part from anywhere globally using a link or QR code
  • Store and manage your content from a cloud-based platform
  • Shortlist and edit from the same platform
  • Download the final video and share it across your channels

Revamp your recruitment marketing strategy using stories

We’re not saying storytelling is easy, but it can be done with a little time, effort and resources. Whatever story you choose to tell, make sure that all members of your workforce, from top to bottom, are aware of it. Those looking in as well as those working within your company should be able to connect with, share and tell the story confidently.

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