The Art of Storytelling as a Recruiting Strategy

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Stories connect us, inspire us and teach us. Stories tie us to our past and help us imagine our future.

We respond to stories, we relate to them, engage with them and most importantly, we remember them. Stories make us more empathetic, more amenable, and more open. Marketing execs have been using this powerful tool for decades by telling a good story and weaving a persuasive narrative.  Recruiting is now getting in on the fun.

If you think about it, recruiting is the perfect arena for storytelling. Candidates bond with companies more deeply through stories that conjure a genuine understanding of the work environment and their role.  Candidates will truly listen for how they relate and fit into an organization. Through story telling, a great recruiter creates a deep connection based on mutual experiences and shared values. Of course, this connection doesn’t just happen, it takes a master storyteller to get this right. Here are a few tricks of the trade.

Grab them early.

Have you read the first page of a book and not wanted to put it down after?  In a sea of unlimited job postings frantically trying to get attention, your job posts should look to grab your reader early. This doesn’t mean you have to be shocking or salacious, but with only seconds to captivate your audience, your opening must be enticing enough to draw them in, keep them in and provoke the powerful sense of purpose behind your brand. Instead of listing infinite bullet points of job duties and requirements, build an emotional connection for candidates who identify with and relate to your story.

Showcase your EVP through a story.

A compelling Employee Value Proposition tells the story of who you are as a company, what you value, what you prioritize. By sharing this you provide a genuine perspective of the candidate’s future work life.  Use the story to demonstrate your company’s success, teamwork, integrity, innovation, and sense of purpose.

Cast the hero in the entire employee lifecycle.

Don’t stop with the EVP – build storytelling into each stage of your Employee Lifecycle. As a reminder, the stages are: Attraction, Recruitment, Onboarding, Development, Retention, and Separation. Each one offers storytelling opportunities.  Cast your candidate in the “hero” role of your company’s journey. Show that the candidate will transform by joining the team AND how the company itself will grow because of their heroics. Laying out this win-win gives the candidate a sense of value and belonging, knowing their actions will have direct impact on the story of the company. 

Don’t gloss over the conflict.

Impactful stories, that you hope will be remembered, are driven by conflict.  In your story this could take the form of an emergence of a new competitor or the torrid integration of a recent acquisition. Paint the picture of the other heroes in the company overcoming conflict and remaining committed to the journey as they move on to the next “battle”.

Keep it short, sweet, and authentic.

A story doesn’t need to be long to be effective. Simple metaphors can easily communicate plot points and invoke emotion in an audience. It’s much more important to convey an authentic story, than a long, overly complicated one. For example, telling a candidate that you have a great team is very different from letting them experience the greatness for themselves. So, consider inviting candidates behind the curtain for a team meeting or town hall.

End Big!

Candidates will remember you by how you left them, how you finished your story, the last impression you made. So, make it impactful!  

Storytelling helps you connect deeply with your candidates.  Employers need to stand out from the crowd as much as candidates do, especially now when competition for game changing talent is fierce.  Call E78 and benefit from our experience and expertise so you can be remembered for your unique story.

At E78, we find Accounting & Finance Game Changers.

E78 Partners is your trusted resource for interim, project and direct-hire game changers that maximize the capabilities and capacity of your accounting and finance department through challenges and change. 

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