Passive candidates don’t care about your job posting. If they’re good, recruiters are already inundating them with opportunities. And if anything, they’re not interested in another job – they want a career. More importantly, in an uncertain economy, they want to have faith in the possibility that a prospective employer can provide the career they’ve been imagining. How do you give them that? Through employer stories.
Faith and Possibility via Employer Stories
Employer stories build faith and create possibility. They give meaning to dry data, boring statistics and layers of information. Employer stories make ordinary job postings and recruitment marketing messages real, and they help job seekers reach the same positive conclusions you have about your employment brand on their own because it becomes personally meaningful.
Bottom line: Stories influence action.
But before employers can influence passive job seekers, they must establish enough trust to connect with them. This trust is built through five types of stories every employer must tell:
1. Who We Are Stories
Visit the careers page for most companies, and it will be filled with the usual pitch about teamwork, community involvement and commitment to excellence. These words may explain what the company is about, but it doesn’t demonstrate it, making it less believable. A more influential approach is sharing stories that demonstrate those corporate values.
2. Vision Stories
People are motivated by possibility. A vision story paints a picture of what is possible for a job seeker if they were to work for your company. It takes them out of their current role and places them in the center of a fresh, new and interesting possibility with another employer (you).
3. Teaching Stories
Teaching stories educate and offer clarity to job seekers in a personal way. Instead of outlining the recruitment process on company careers page – “first, submit your application, then…” – an alternative is to build a story that describes your best applicants and what made them stand out among thousands of others vying for the same open position.
4. Values in Action Stories
The company website reads, “We value our customers,” a true – but meaningless – statement. Instead, tell a story about how the company demonstrated the value in action in a tangible way to earn the interest and respect of the job seeker.
5. I Know What You’re Thinking Stories
You don’t need a crystal ball to figure out what job seekers want, but you do need to do some digging. Spend time getting into the minds of job seekers by considering their ambitions, fears, aspirations and goals. These kinds of employer stories help dispel fears a passive job seeker might have about moving to a new position or organization. Let the job seeker know you’re on the same page.
These five types of employer stories can be told in a variety of ways: in the initial job posting, through social media, during a face-to-face interview with a candidate or otherwise. Regardless of the delivery, your employment brand story must create a meaningful connection with job seekers. It’s in that connection that they begin to have faith in your brand and become open to exploring the possibility of working for you.
Image: Jill Clardy/Flickr