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Importance of Storytelling in Recruitment

January 11, 2019

Companies and leading brands have all used the power of storytelling in business to create high quality marketing efforts. Studies prove that stories always tend to have profound effect on us. They have the power to alter our brain chemistry and change the way we feel, making us more empathetic and co-operative. Marketers, long knowing this fact, have employed the power of storytelling to change behavior and act as a valuable tool in the process of recruiting transformational talent.

Today, stories can be used to engage and retain talents and hire candidates you desire in your company as it has now become one of the most authentic and relevant way to communicate who they are and what they are offering. Good storytelling gives recruiters an opportunity to catch the attention of candidates and sell opportunities they can offer to them. As a result, any great storytellers have an unfair advantage over the other as they are going to have a higher recruitment rate than others.

Listed below are few ways how storytelling has become a critical element during the process of talent acquisition and how it can become a powerful recruiting tool to attract talent.

  1. Re-Call
    1. Stories have always helped people to remember things more naturally. Thus, if you want potential candidates to retain as much information as possible, then a story is the best way to do it. Research shows that when asked to remember and recall information, a constructed story helps to remember six to seven times more.
    2. The best house recruiters know that telling stories about their team also portrays a human side of the company’s culture, making them more authentic and relatable to human experience.
  2. Personalization and emotional investment
    1. It is a known fact that people often tend to make connections between others based on what they hear in the story, causing the content that is delivered to them become a more personal experience which cannot be achieved through plain graphs and number.
    2. A good story also provokes a candidate’s thinking process, stirring their interest, making them care about what they hear. As a result, storytelling is the easiest tool to develop powerful new connections with people and attract them towards your company.
  3. Help candidates understand a company
    1. Employment stories are most often rooted in an organisation’s workplace culture. Therefore, these stories should support the philosophy and ethos of the company, giving candidates an immediate sense of how the organisation is as an employer so that they can determine if they would be a good fit.
    2. Storytelling in such cases also provide a more accurate and engaging window into an organisation’s culture, allowing the interested candidates to get a feel of what life at the company, potential colleagues and long-term development opportunities will be like. This provides job seekers to make more informed decisions keeping in mind the interest and aspirations of the company.

The concept of a ‘recruiting story’ can be confusing and vague especially when it comes to describing a company’s values and the culture. Most often, they end up sounding like the same exact story, repeating the same platitudes that despite sounding nice, have become a age-old clichés at this point.  This ends up making individual company mantras to sound like any other company’s mantra. Thus, it becomes imperative to make your story stand out in an attempt to create a unique story without any plagiarism. For this, it’s a good idea to have an overall sense of where your company stands in each component so that it becomes easy to highlight those points in your company’s story.

  1. People:
    • Any company’s story should include leadership as well as the people your candidates will come across at work. It is important to highlight why candidates would enjoy working with the people at work and how they can contribute to the growth of your existing team.
    • This refers to the first thing employees will share about the company to their friends, family and relatives. It could be the company’s exponential growth, well-known brand reputation or the company’s positive impact in the world.
  2. Learning, Development and Encouragement:
    • It is also important to mention how the company encourages and enables capable employee to learn and develop professionally and climb the career ladders on the company.  
  3. Work Practices and Routines:
    • In addition to this, a company story should describe the company’s approach to solving problems, it’s internal communication structure, meeting cadences and approval processes.
  4. Values:
    • Company values should be mentioned as they can change hearts and attract people.
  5. Social Vibe:
    • Pointing out how being part of the company can be fun and entertaining also helps when it comes to convincing candidates. Sharing fun company traditions through stories helps in getting the attention of the candidates.
  6. Space & Location
    1. Adding facts such as where the company was originally based, what are the aesthetics of the workplace and also the environment helps candidates to better understand the overall scenario of the workplace, allowing them to make better, informed decisions.
    2. Perks and Compensation
      • Any good company story should also include about the type of perks and compensation the company provides to its employees, otherwise, it will just sound like any other company and you’ll lose a valuable opportunity to differentiate your company from the rest.

Storytelling remains an art that is highly effective when it comes to communicating ideas and swaying minds thus, in order to be persuasive in your recruiting tactics, it is important to practice the art of effective storytelling. Today, technology exists for us to not just tell interactive stories with greater content but it also allows you to target these stories to particular candidates that match the job description. After having a basic idea of some of the key components of your company, building your company’s story around the framework and incorporating company values in the story will help you tell a more unique and compelling story for your candidates because recruiting, inherently, is a form of selling company positions to top talents by persuading them to join your organisation.


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