As children, stories were used to capture our attention and spark our imagination because narratives engage young readers (and listeners) in a way that informational text cannot. And while we’ve long since passed those days of early childhood, incorporating stories into your recruitment marketing material can be used to attract and engage job seekers in a way that statements and stats simply do not.
Most company careers pages state facts in the hopes of influencing active and passive job seekers to apply for open positions:
“We are committed to our people and their talent, drive and enthusiasm.”
“We are the leading provider of cloud-based computing solutions, serving 3 million customers every day.”
“Our organization values doing what’s right, what is best and what is innovative. This has been our belief for 160 years.”
But facts alone don’t influence, nor do they “speak for themselves.” Instead, job seekers interpret facts based on their beliefs, values and past experiences. A candidate who has experienced the pain of being laid off from a company after a decade of employment may believe, “All big companies are greedy and self-serving.” Reading facts on your careers page about your commitment to people has little impact.
Turn those facts into stories and candidates begin to see what those facts mean to them. Stories give life to one-dimensional bits of information. They stimulate an experience that changes beliefs and persuades candidates to take a closer look at career opportunities.
Weaving Stories Into Your Careers Page
- Video: American Express beautifully tells the story of Ruthy through a video vignette that is genuine and compelling.
- Blogging: Sodexo maintains a careers blog that features a variety of useful resources for prospective employees. The blog also features guest contributors who share their real-life stories about working at Sodexo.
- Social media: Henkel North America maintains a robust and active Facebook page that expresses its brand value to consumers and employees. With updates ranging from product information to photos of community service events, job seekers get a sense of the Henkel story, and this brings the facts about the company to life.
Stories are particularly effective in attracting passive job seekers who spend more time thoughtfully considering their next career move. The facts about a job – the impressive job title and generous salary – provide useful information that may pique their interest, but they’ll act upon those facts when you share a story. For example, a story about a real employee who successfully advanced to an executive position within five years of joining your company is likely to drive action from job seekers looking for growth opportunity.
Remember, facts are inert, flat and one-dimensional. A story has life, gives context and provides meaning. And when you’re in the business of attracting talented people to your organization, you want job seekers to “see” your value through stories they find personally meaningful.
Wondering what stories to tell? Check out these five employer stories you shouldn’t forget.
Image: San Jose Library/Flickr