How Storytelling Can Enhance Your Employer Brand During Recruitment
We all want an irresistible employer brand - but, are you missing out on opportunities to share your story?
Recruitment campaigns have long been an underutilised strategy to enhance your brand and lay the foundations for high employee engagement post appointment. Because, recruitment grants you access to an engaged audience eager to join you - So, why not impress candidates with an exceptional recruitment experience and start nurturing strong, long-term relationships with your brand. Take them on a journey through your employer story. Here's how it works.
Set the Scene
Just like they do in fairy-tales, you need to set the scene.
A few weeks ago, I embarked on a tiresome journey to the faraway land of Goldus Coastus to be interviewed for a volunteering role at the Queen’s Commonwealth Games. When I arrived at the Colosseum-of-Death, the guards greeted me with a warm, friendly smile and sense of preparedness that oozed cool, casual, come-hang-with-the-gang type feels.
So, I did. I hung with my gang and I waited for show time. The waiting area was an open tribute to Commonwealth Games history. A complete medal tally was splayed across two large panels, and details of the countries, their flags and populations surrounded it. I don’t mean to brag (yes, I do), but I was proud to see Australia on top – bagging more medals than the motherland in the Games’ 84-year history. It filled me with pride and enthusiasm that this was my chance to be part of a magical event with a rich history. And, it didn’t end there.
Seduce Candidates with an Enchanting Story
The whole 90-minute assessment was designed to tell a story. A story about the Games. A story about volunteer charm and community spirit. The aim was to inspire, excite, and emotionally connect each volunteer candidate with magic of this historic event.
It was a slow build from scene setting, character introduction (ID photos), emotional connection to the hero’s journey, through to our happy (literally) ever after (creating our own #GC2018 GIF).
- an emotional and spiritual connection; each volunteer candidate is asked to add their thumb print to replica indigenous art paintings that will be hung in the athletes’ village
- GC Games ambassador support; sporting greats, like Anna Meares, were seen on TV screens sharing their love and passion for the Games and volunteer community
- photo opportunities; we were encouraged to take selfies and hashtag the shiz out of them on social media
- digital storytelling; a 10 minute emotionally-charged video captured the magical enchantment of the volunteer community
- meet'n'greets with our volunteer coordinators; coordinators provided a brief info session on the ins and outs, expectations, and logistics, and then charged us up for a woop woop moment right at the end before sending us into our one-on-one interview.
We were made to feel loved, respected, and honoured to be considered for this gig. It was incredibly reassuring.
The Benefits of Storytelling in Recruitment
Now, I understand that not every campaign has this magnitude, op support, and budget, but it's worth exploring which elements you can use to share your story so you can still reap these two powerful benefits:
1. You weed out the wrong fits
In sharing your history, passion, and expectations – recruiters can successfully weed out the people who don’t share your culture and values.
Who wasn’t playing along? Who wasn’t enjoying the experience? Who wasn’t connecting to the story?
2. You engage the top talent
You build desire and give your talent a taste of the things to come. Organisers could have told me on the day I wasn’t successful – and I would have cried because I want to be part of it so bad. We were handled with such love and appreciation, and our spirits have been weaved into the Commonwealth Games tapestry regardless of the outcome of our application. Imagine how rewarding it will feel as an official volunteer.
As employers, isn’t this the dream? Wouldn’t you love to put on such an awesome show that all your candidates walked away feeling inspired and determined to play a role in your organisation, no matter what the outcome?
Providing a happier, more positive experience helps build a pipeline of engaged, high-potential candidates the next time you need to recruit. Because, they’ve already had a taste of life in your organisation and they want more – and, they’ll be less likely to quit in three months because you weren’t all you cracked up to be. Storytelling allows you to be honest. Raw. Genuine.
Storytelling is more than just an assessment centre or meet and greet with the manager and the team. It’s about capturing the essence of your people, your culture, your mission, and the value you place in your employees and weaving a magical thread throughout the entire experience - from your campaign communication (emails and calls), welcome and sign in, interview, and your happily ever after.
You’ll hire better quality candidates – and you’ll keep them too.
I’d love to hear your experiences. How do you share your employer story during recruitment? What story elements can you add to enhance your candidate experience?
Kelly is a writer, copywriter, blogger, and business brand enthusiast with major heart for words. Her life's mission is to light up corporate communications and bring life to the way businesses speak with their customers and employees. Favourite hashtags - #stopboring #coffee #words.