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.
What if you were interested in employment opportunities at a company but when you went to their career page, all you found was a list of open job positions? Job candidates have more questions than what can be answered in a job description. They want to know -- What’s it like to work here? Will I fit in? Who are these people? Why should I work here?
When it comes to communicating that you can do what you say you can do, your customers’ words carry a lot more weight than yours do. When you talk about yourself, it’s a platitude. When your customers talk about you, it’s credibility. That’s why it’s important to gather and use testimonials throughout all of your sales and marketing messages so that you can build trust with every interaction.
Customer success stories should be in your content marketing mix if you want to set yourself apart from your competition. When you tell the stories that only you can tell, you give prospects a tag to remember you by. If you take the reader up and over the dramatic arc with your story, an empathetic response is stimulated that can lead to action. This isn’t going to happen, however, if you don’t get your stories in front of your prospects.
There are a whole lot of employer brand stories in the making right now as companies are figuring out how they will respond to the continuing COVID-19 public health crisis. We’re hearing some of these stories already. Some companies are finding ways to enable employees so that they can work from home. Others have had to temporarily shut down. Still others are operating at a reduced level. Many are stepping up to help their communities at the same time that they’re creating their own coping strategy.
Sarah Olson joins her mom, Lori Creighton, as a writer at Homestead Media, helping companies communicate their reputation as a good employer through employee experience storytelling.
“Organizing a person’s thoughts and feelings into a story helps them find their voice,” said Sarah. “Writing isn’t something that everyone feels comfortable doing. It takes skill and practice. I love taking on the challenge to find the right words while I get a glimpse into what their life is like.”
When you hear the word “branding” your mind might think of logos, colors and design. While a consistent visual presence certainly plays a part in creating a positive impression to the job candidates that you want to attract, employer branding encompasses a whole lot more than your graphic style. It’s your reputation.
Your employer brand is your reputation as a good employer and companies that actively manage their employer brand are using marketing tactics to help job seekers find the information they're looking for to make confident career decisions. The result is that they’re able to nurture relationships with candidates and develop their credibility as a good employer. They’re also seeing their efforts translate into cost and time savings for their businesses.
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.