Warby Parker, the uber-cool retailer of prescription glasses and sunglasses, had an insight: glasses are too expensive. The company used this premise to craft a story and build a brand.
Disney uses storytelling successfully, too, by helping families imagine the magical moments they will create at one of its entertainment parks.
Good stories evoke emotion and inspire action. Translated into business, a good story can also attract top talent and help existing staff understand, embrace, and put your company’s mission into practice.
So how can you create a compelling narrative that piques the interest of job candidates and gets them over the finish line to work for your company?
Here are five steps for incorporating storytelling into your recruitment efforts:
1. Take A Fresh Look At Your Company
When was the last time you took a 360-degree look at your company? No matter how long you have worked there, taking a step back and looking at your company through a fresh lens can benefit your recruitment efforts.
At Duffy Group, our storytelling process starts by completing a detailed intake form to learn as much as we can about our clients. This includes the company’s organizational structure and business goals, what distinguishes the firm from others in the industry, what the culture is like, and even what causes the company supports in the community. This is followed by an on-site visit to get a firsthand look at the business in action, see the company’s workspace, and meet the people who work there.
Consider doing the same. You’ll be surprised at what you learn.
2. Put Yourself In The Candidate’s Shoes
Why would a new hire want to work for your firm? What are the perks and what makes the work fulfilling? How do other team members feel about the company? What do they like best and what makes them stay?
Whether you work with a recruiter or handle recruitment internally, this process can be illuminating. You may take your company’s flex hours, remote workdays, or community giving for granted, but these benefits can be differentiating factors.
3. Use Your Company’s Mission As A Selling Point
Build your recruitment story around your company’s mission. That doesn’t mean slapping your company’s mission statement on your website. Instead, put the mission into context and bring it to life with data points and real-life examples of why customers flock to your company and why employees love working there.
Not long ago, our Duffy Group team helped a nonprofit serving special-needs children hire a new CEO. The board of directors preferred hiring someone with a special-needs child, a preference you would never include in a job description. In our story, we explained why this was important and then pitched it to our trusted network to find the ideal candidate for the job.
4. Find Your Voice
When telling your story, it is important to find your company’s unique voice. It must be authentic and reflect the core values of your company. It should reflect your brand and be consistent with the story you share with staff and your company’s external marketing. Most important, it must create a meaningful connection with candidates.
5. Customize The Story For Your Audience
Although the overall theme of your company’s recruitment story should never change, you can customize elements of the story to speak to different audiences.
To help a law firm client woo a highly prized senior tax accountant from a large public accounting firm, we wrote the firm’s story and the candidate’s story. The firm offered knowledge-based growth, potential career advancement, and a 45-hour workweek. The candidate wanted multi-focused learning opportunities in a new field with the potential to grow his career. It was a perfect match, made possible by knowing what each side valued most.
Some final thoughts: Remember that a good story is memorable, so use powerful words and examples that give candidates a clear and visual idea of the working environment, the job, and the contributions they will make to the company.
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