Some companies are finally getting the idea that you have to do more than say “We’re hiring” to attract the attention of job candidates. It’s evident that they’re starting to understand the importance of showing that they are a company made up of real people, so they’re featuring employees in stories and social posts. Unfortunately, what hasn’t sunk in yet is the fact that there’s a certain kind of content that will actually do the job of nurturing relationships and influencing candidate decisions, and then there’s another kind that won’t help at all.
Everybody’s hiring right now and doing what you’ve always done with recruiting is just not getting the results that you need. Part of the problem is the employment landscape and the economy as we come out of a pandemic, but for some industries the low labor supply was already anticipated before the pandemic. Whatever the reason for the current situation, competition for talent is fierce and it’s putting stress on businesses, making it difficult if not downright impossible for them to meet their goals
How many “We’re hiring” messages are you seeing in a day right now? A lot, no doubt. If you need to hire, you’re probably trying to get the word out in as many places as possible. However, if you’re always leading with “We’re hiring,” your message is blending in with every other company with the very same message. What you need to do, is to stand out and be memorable in the minds of your candidates and referral community. The way to do that is with employee testimonials.
Would you ever buy a house without walking through it first? Do you think you could make a confident purchase if you weren’t even allowed to peek through the windows? Probably not. Yet that’s what you might be asking your job candidates to do if you don’t use employee testimonials in your recruitment marketing. Employee testimonials give your candidates a window to peek through to see if your company is a good place to work, and if the job you want to fill is right for them.
The Olympics are over but the images from the games are lingering in my mind. I watched a little bit of everything -- from water polo and climbing, to track and swimming, to bike racing and gymnastics. The picture that takes up the most my 2020 Olympics memory, however, isn’t anything that happened at one of the events. It’s a picture of Suni Lee’s front yard where the homemade balance beam that she practiced on as a child could be found.
When you’ve decided that you’re going to be intentional about communicating your employer brand through employee experience stories, the next step is to decide who will be featured in your first story. Remember that the objective of employee storytelling is to answer the “Why should I work for you?” question and the answer to that question is different for different people. That means that you have to go for diversity, but to get your first story all you need to do is pinpoint one person.
Employee experience stories are huge trust builders in your recruiting process. When your employees talk about the value that your company brings to their professional and personal lives through their real life stories, you’re able to engage job candidates while providing them with answers to their “Why should I work for you?” questions. Because stories stimulate empathy, using them in a proactive recruiting process will build relationships with potential candidates, and stir up feelings of good will within your company.
You know a stock photo when you see one, don’t you? Authentic photos of a business and its people are much more effective at nurturing trust and building relationships with potential job candidates and prospects than a generic stock photo. Getting great employee photos, however, takes a lot more effort than just browsing through a library of stock images, and you need to take care to make sure that using real photos of your people will be a good experience for employees and that you’re not violating privacy concerns.
Technology has made us predictable. We use the same behaviors to explore, discover and research job opportunities that we use when we’re shopping for the products and services we need for our personal and professional lives. We seek out answers to our own questions and by the time we’re ready to contact a business or walk through their door, we have a pretty good idea of what direction we want to go. Asking and finding answers to questions helps us develop confidence that we’re making a good decision.
Once you decide to start a storytelling initiative, it’s time to rally support within your company and get people excited to participate. You’ve already got buy-in from leadership, because they understand how the right talent enables their business strategy. Now you need to get everyone else in the company onboard. This is critical, because you can’t tell employee stories with your employees!.