Have you tried storytelling in recruitment marketing?
I’m not talking about the tales you read to your kids but applying the science of story in your recruitment and employer brand marketing messages and the content you create on your recruitment campaign, career site and social media.
In a world where information is constantly bombarding us, winning the attention of our talent audience requires more than random campaigns and social media posts.
As an employer brand manager, HR professional, communicator, or talent marketer, understanding how to weave storytelling into your recruitment campaigns and employer brand content can transform how your audience recognises and perceives your company.
Understanding how to weave storytelling into your recruitment campaigns and employer brand content can transform how your audience recognises and perceives your company.Susanna Rantanen
And not just that, either; changing the way you internally message your employees can make wonders to getting the message across and remembered.
In this episode of the Building a Modern Employer Brand podcast, I’m bringing back storytelling as a topic and want to share with you the art of storytelling, why it is such a powerful science in communication and marketing and how you can use storytelling in recruitment marketing.
If you are new to this podcast, welcome my friend! My name is Susanna Rantanen.
As one of the top employer branding experts and influencers globally, this podcast is for those of you wanting to learn how to effectively use branding, marketing and communications for ultimate professional success.
Whether you are a marketing, communications, HR, talent acquisition or employer branding professional, with me, you’ll learn how to win sustainable attention in a world where attention is no longer a default.
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The Transformative Power of Storytelling
Real storytelling is an influential tool that can breathe life into your employer brand.
Unlike mere narratively written content, which often just presents information, storytelling involves characters, emotions, and both negative and positive experiences that resonate with the audience.
Storytelling creates an emotional connection that facts and figures alone cannot achieve.Susanna Rantanen
Storytelling creates an emotional connection that facts and figures alone cannot achieve.
Storytelling in recruitment marketing
For instance, consider a recruitment ad that simply lists job requirements and company benefits versus a story about an employee who found personal and professional growth within the company.
The latter not only communicates the job specifics but also humanises the brand and creates an emotional connection with potential candidates.
In Action: Storytelling in Recruitment Marketing and Employer Branding
In both internal and external communication, storytelling can be a game-changer.
Internally, it can boost employee engagement and create a sense of belonging.
When employees hear stories of their colleagues’ successes, challenges, and growth within the company, it fosters a stronger team spirit and aligns them with the company’s values and mission.
Externally, storytelling in recruitment marketing and employer branding makes your company more relatable and, therefore, attractive to your relevant candidates.
Externally, storytelling in recruitment marketing and employer branding makes your company more relatable and, therefore, attractive to your relevant candidates.Susanna Rantanen
For example, showcasing employee stories on your careers page or social media platforms gives candidates a glimpse into the company culture and what it’s like to work there.
But I’m not talking about the regular career stories you see everywhere. They are probably the least relatable and impactful employer branding content there is.
I’m talking about stories where a selected employee in your company positions as the hero, and the story takes the audience from the hero’s past with career struggles to their current life desired by your target audience.
I have designed a format for this we call the Hero’s Career Story™️ , and it’s part of the Magnetic Employer Branding Method™️ and The Candidate Journey of the Information Era™️ framework.
These stories are highly retable and loved by the readers because if their aspirations match with those portrayed in the hero’s career story, they can find a connection with what you offer as an employer and a workplace.
The Science of Story
Why are stories so powerful?
According to neuroscience, storytelling activates parts of the brain associated with emotional processing, making communication and messages told in a story format more memorable and impactful than straightforward facts.
Storytelling activates parts of the brain associated with emotional processing, making communication and messages told in a story format more memorable and impactful than straightforward facts.Susanna Rantanen
Stories also increase empathy, allowing listeners to see themselves in the narrative, which is crucial in employer branding.
You want your target audience to see themselves as part of your employer brand’s story instead of looking at it as an outsider with no connection whatsoever. This applies also when you are using storytelling in recruitment marketing.
Learning the Craft
To master the art of storytelling in employer branding, consider exploring resources that take you into the basics of effective storytelling.
Articles like “The Irresistible Power of Storytelling as a Strategic Business Tool” by Harvard Business Review also provide a deeper understanding of how stories can be strategically used in business.
Furthermore, the Magnetic Employer Branding Method™️ is based on storytelling and the science of persuasion. There are elements in this method that ‘automatically’ help you gear your employer branding towards storytelling even when you don’t yet know anything about this craft,
For example, Talent is the Hero -positioning, the Candidate Journey of the Information Era™️ framework forming the consistent communication process and the concept of “It’s not about you, it’s about them*.
These all support, remind and guide you to execute this method that takes you as close to storytelling as possible without knowing how to create story content.
Story vs. Non-Story: Comparing Job Posts
How do you know the difference between a story content and a non-story content?
Let’s compare job posts to see what storytelling in recruitment marketing could look like.
Imagine two pieces of content for a company’s recruitment campaign. I chose recruitment content as an example. Even though this is not employer branding content, I think it’s probably easier to understand the difference, and you probably have more opportunities to try this out in hiring.
The first is a traditional job posting listing responsibilities, qualifications, and benefits. It’s informative but forgettable.
The second is a narrative about an employee’s journey at the company, highlighting challenges, personal growth, and achievements. This story not only provides the necessary job information but also paints a vivid picture of the company’s culture and values.
The narrative format is more likely to engage and resonate with potential candidates, showcasing the impact of storytelling versus non-narrative content.
If you want to try storytelling in recruitment marketing, contact me on LinkedIn or via email at email@example.com and mention you heard this from the podcast. I make sure to give you a little discount as a listener!
Integrating storytelling in recruitment marketing, your employer branding strategy and communication from career site content to social media posts can significantly enhance how potential candidates and employees perceive your company.
By focusing on real, emotive stories rather than just presenting information, you can create a more compelling and memorable employer brand and a career offer that’s gonna be worth considering for your potential candidates!
Focusing on real, emotive stories rather than just presenting information, you can create a more compelling and memorable employer brand and a career offer that’s gonna be worth considering for your potential candidates!Susanna Rantanen
Remember, a good story is not just told; it’s experienced.
As employer branding experts here at Employer Branding Agency Emine, we encourage you to harness the power of storytelling to captivate, inspire, and attract the best talent to your organisation.
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My name is Susanna Rantanen!
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