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The Power of Storytelling in Recruitment Efforts

18 SEP 2023 | by julie jones
Here at Insight, we’ve been talking about recruitment a lot lately – that’s because our clients and our partners are talking about recruitment a lot lately. As are our friends, our family members, strangers on the street…

Let’s just say hiring is a hot topic right now.

Gone are the days when you simply had to put out a job ad, and flocks of qualified people would vie for the position, just hoping for a chance to work with you!

The tables have turned. It’s an employee’s market now, and competition for top talent is fierce.

Why this change?

Labour markets change for many reasons: domestic and international market dynamics, immigration factors, the age of the population, education levels, etc. But one of the biggest catalysts this time was the COVID-19 pandemic that resulted in job lay-offs and changes in workspaces. In the wake of the pandemic, workers have had the chance to reevaluate what they want from their employers, and many people have left their positions in search of new opportunities.

As a result, the pressure is on businesses to attract – and retain – more employees.
It’s crucial for employers to take a step back and assess what their current hiring process looks like and how to make it better at attracting top candidates- recognizing the need for recruitment strategies and understanding what worked before may not work now.

So you’re probably thinking, why is a marketing agency harping on about recruitment? Isn’t this a Human Resources Problem?

I’m so glad you asked.

Job seekers tend to search for career opportunities the same way consumers make purchases: by researching online sources. Therefore, it only makes sense to market your company the way you market your services or products- through branding and storytelling.

Recruitment marketing focuses on telling employer brand stories and sharing what makes your company stand out with applicants early on.

The art of storytelling, with its ability to weave narratives that resonate with human emotions and aspirations, has found its place at the heart of recruitment marketing strategies. By presenting information in a narrative format, companies can capture candidates’ attention, keep them engaged, and leave a lasting impression that hopefully leads to their next great hire.

Below, we’ve outlined six reasons why storytelling in recruitment efforts is so powerful and how it can transform the way organizations attract and engage candidates.

Let’s get started.

Storytelling fosters human connection

This one tops our list for good reason because human connection is the foundation of storytelling and marketing. You’re looking to hire a real person, after all, so why shouldn’t stories be at the foundation of recruitment initiatives, too?

Storytelling offers a unique opportunity to humanize companies and make them relatable to their candidates.

Behind every organization lies a journey, a set of values, and a group of individuals striving toward a common goal. Sharing these stories can create an emotional connection between candidates and the company.

When candidates see themselves as part of a narrative that aligns with their values and aspirations, they are more likely to feel a sense of belonging and engagement.

Storytelling showcases company culture

Company culture is a defining factor for many job seekers. While it can be challenging to convey culture through a traditional job posting, storytelling can illustrate the day-to-day experiences, interactions, and values that make up the company’s identity.

Through anecdotes and real-life examples for current staff, storytelling allows candidates to envision themselves thriving within the company’s environment, fostering a deeper understanding of what the company stands for beyond its products or services. Candidates can picture themselves working for you before they even apply, which means the applications you receive will be from people who really want to be there!

Stories about company culture can take various forms, centring around how your company encourages collaboration, innovation, and work-life balance.

team working together in an office

Storytelling promotes differentiation

In a sea of Help Wanted ads, companies often struggle to differentiate themselves. Storytelling offers a means to break away from the monotony of job descriptions and instead present a compelling narrative that leaves a lasting impact.

By highlighting unique challenges, innovative approaches, and the impact of the company’s work, organizations can create a distinct brand image that sets them apart in the minds of potential candidates.

Storytelling inspires

Great stories have the power to inspire and evoke emotions.

Consider sharing success stories of employees who have produced positive outcomes for your clients through their work, or examples of them exuding company values, or sharing examples of nurturing employee growth through professional development – all of this will go a very long way in igniting the aspirations of your top candidates to join your work culture.
These stories show that growth, development, and personal achievements are not just hypothetical concepts but attainable realities within the organization.

Storytelling makes you memorable

Traditional recruitment methods can often feel dry and uninspiring. It’s a known fact that stories are remembered up to 22 times more than facts alone. (The irony that we just provided a fact is not lost on us.)

Being able to paint a vivid picture of what a candidate can expect should they choose to join your team has a much greater chance of sticking with them in a positive way. Sure, dental coverage or company hierarchy is info that is needed, but likely not the “make or break ” offering that will determine whether or not they choose your organization.

The truth is creating a recruitment strategy requires multiple moving pieces and should be considered long before the job opening is listed. For more tips, check out our blog on How to Create a Recruitment Marketing Strategy, where we go a bit deeper on these topics to hopefully give you the edge you’ll need to secure the talent you’re looking for. As time moves on and technologies evolve, hiring practices change – one thing that will remain consistent: we are people, talking to people – and whether you are selling socks, services, or seats around your company’s table, storytelling is and will continue to be, the golden ticket to connecting with people.

Julie Jones

copywriter and brand manager

A creative, big-picture thinker, Julie loves to tell stories that make audiences feel things.
As Insight’s Copywriter and Brand Manager, she aims to create compelling content that influences, empowers, or engages readers, and hits the mark for our clients, every time.

Julie Jones

copywriter and brand manager

A creative, big-picture thinker, Julie loves to tell stories that make audiences feel things.
As Insight’s Copywriter and Brand Manager, she aims to create compelling content that influences, empowers, or engages readers, and hits the mark for our clients, every time.

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