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It’s About the People! How Storytelling Enhances Recruitment Marketing

A winning recruitment strategy is a consistent part of your overall branding. It captures who you are as a company in creative, thoughtful ways that resonate with the people you want to add to your team.

Meredith Cunningham Published: October 19, 2017
It’s About the People! How Storytelling Enhances Recruitment Marketing image

When it comes to finding the right talent and fit for your company, it takes more than posting a job listing at the moment you need to fill a position. It would be best if you strived to have a pipeline of good candidates at all times, and keeping that full requires keeping your company top of mind and standing out from other opportunities.

A winning recruitment strategy is a consistent part of your overall branding. It captures who you are as a company in creative, thoughtful ways that resonate with the people you want to add to your team.

Today’s post shares what job seekers are really looking for, and how to improve your recruitment marketing by finding and telling your brand story.

What Job Seekers Want

Most job candidates are looking for much more than a position. They’re also looking for a fulfilling experience that can propel their career, an atmosphere they can thrive, and a business that sees them as more than just a cog in the proverbial corporate wheel. The industry and job position will define most of a candidate’s expectations. Still, they’ll often be looking for an employer that aligns with their values and wants to help them grow through mentorship and training.

In short, a job listing lets candidates know what they need to do for you, but your recruitment efforts show potential hires what you can do for them.

Pictures of a modern office with open layouts, fun break rooms, and statements about being able to bring their dog to work are great extras—but they don’t capture everything candidates really want to know about your company. Highlighting perks is important, but any business can have a trendy office. You need to tell your story to differentiate your company in a meaningful (and memorable way).

4 Ways to Use Storytelling to Enhance Your Recruitment Marketing

1. Share Your Values

Job seekers want to know more than what a company does—they want to know what it stands for. Why employees come to work every day. What their mission statement is (and that should feel like more than just a line in the employee handbook).

In fact, a company’s “vision, mission, and values” together make up one of the top five pieces of information job seekers want employers to provide during their research on LinkedInCareerBuilder, Indeed and other popular job listing sites. According to Glassdoor, roughly a third of job seekers consider brand reputation important to their job consideration. Similarly, slightly fewer feel strongly about the company’s cause.

As part of developing your recruitment marketing, understand what your potential employees value and actively address them. Just be sure to do so authentically. For instance, 32% of job seekers see diversity in the workplace as very important. However, if your company isn’t very diverse right now, building a story around how you offer a diverse workplace could backfire quickly.

2. Get Personal

Remember, recruitment marketing is still marketing. Be sure to leverage audience segmentation and targeting to serve the best possible messages. Different positions require different skill sets, and not every job seeker will have the same list of questions. Each will want to join your company for their own reasons, and some will have different concerns about your brand to overcome in your recruitment efforts.

All of this means you should have a variety of stories that express an assortment of experiences to share in your recruitment campaigns. Filling your sales manager position will come with different expectations and challenges than finding an entry-level employee, so they need different stories. Make sure you’ve found your story for the many parts of your brand. They should always be complementary but with the right nuances to connect with your specific audience.

3. Use Credible Voices

Job seekers want to see (not hear) why your business is a better workplace. Testimonials from clients about what it’s like to work with your business can be an extension of your brand story, but you can’t depend on that for recruitment. It speaks to what your company is like to work with and not what it’s like to work for.

For potential hires, the top three most trusted voices about a company are its current employees, other job seekers and former employees. Showcase the people working for you right now, and allow them to tell their story naturally and genuinely. Present opportunities for candidates to see people they can relate to. And know that your former employees and people who interview with you but don’t get the job are voices for your brand, too. Keep close tabs on reviews on sites like Glassdoor, and be sure you’re fully engaged with reputation management for your customers and recruitment.

4. Capture Your Culture

You might think a big part of showing off your culture is about sharing that your company is a cool place to work but consider that only 17% of candidates reported that a “fun company culture” was most attractive when looking for a job. Other top choices included an emphasis on work-life balance (38%), a collaborative environment (29%), an organization’s ethics (25%), and a sense of camaraderie (10%).

What does this mean for your marketing? Don’t stress if your ads don’t feature ping-pong tables or a futuristic nap lounge. When it comes down to it, people don’t take jobs for the bells and whistles. Focus on capturing the real feeling behind what it’s like to work there. That’s part of what makes employee stories so powerful. Provide snapshots of what it’s like when your employees interact with each other, perhaps at an event or a meeting.

What is your recruitment marketing saying about your company? Please don’t wait until you need to fill a position to step up your recruitment game or tell people what you think they want to hear. Your story should be your story, so the people you attract to work for you are a good match.

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