Lori's Blog

The Burning Question Your Job Candidates Are Asking

employee storytelling
man at computer researching employers

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.

Making a job change is a big decision. The implications of a good or bad decision about a job can spill out into a person’s whole life, so answering your job candidates’ burning question helps them build the confidence they need to move forward.

Why Should I Work for You?

The burning question candidates are asking is this: ”Why should I work for you?”

The “Why should I work for you?” question is answered with a subset of questions that differ from individual to individual. The answer that candidates are looking for will reveal the value that they can expect to receive from you in addition to salary and benefits.

Here are some examples of questions:

  • What’s this job like?
  • What’s it like to work at your company?
  • Do you value what I value?
  • Does your idea of work-life balance match mine?
  • Will my personal career goals matter to you?
  • How will you help me in my professional development?
  • Are you generous?
  • How does your company impact your customers’ success?

There’s one more question that’s implied and lies within many of the other questions that job candidates have and it’s this:

“How are you going to treat me when…?”

The answer to this question is also very individual and personal. Just think of the answer you’d be looking for if you were considering a different job. Here are a few examples.

How are you going to treat me when…
… I want to get some training?
… I want to move to a different role in the company?
… I have feedback or input to share?
… I need to take care of a family member?
… I have a personal emergency?

How do you answer these questions?

Answer Candidate Questions with Employee Experience Stories

The best way to start answering the “Why should I work for you?” questions is to start sharing employee experience stories. Through storytelling, you’ll give people a way to frame the answers they need and at the same time develop their overall perception of your company. The products of storytelling are heightened understanding and increased memory, so not only will you be able to give candidates what they’re looking for, you’ll stand apart from the competition seeking the same talent.

How Employee Storytelling Addresses Questions

When your employees speak about how you have helped them in their professional development, that will tell candidates how you will help them in their career growth. When your employees speak of how their work is appreciated, that will tell candidates that their contributions will be recognized. When your employees speak about how they work together as a team, that will show candidates what collaboration looks like at your company.

As you gather and publish more stories, you gain the ability to address more questions. Themes emerge that thread through many of your stories, such as professional development or work environment, but the way that stories resonate with individuals differs, so your storytelling needs to be ongoing and consistent.

Stories Build Trust - Platitudes Don’t

You might think that you already have some answers to candidate questions on your Careers page but what you say doesn’t mean anything without trust. When you say, “We support our employees’ professional development”, it’s just a platitude. When you show how that plays out in real life, it gives you credibility.

Think about the digital behavior described at the beginning of this article. Answering our own questions helps us to gain confidence in our decision, but where does that confidence come from? Trust.

Trust that you are who you say you are. Trust that you’ll do what you say that you’ll do.

Do you read reviews, testimonials or success stories when you’re researching a new product or service? Learning about the experiences of others builds trust, giving you assurance that a company will live up to their promises. The search for trust translates over to the candidate journey as well and the result can not only be a good-fit hire, but improved employee retention.

Get Started with Employee Experience Storytelling

It’s often best to get outside help to facilitate employee storytelling. Employees tend to be more open in their conversation with someone who isn’t internal to their organization. You also need to have a skilled interviewer who can ask the kind of questions that lead to stories that illustrate the value you offer employees, and at the same time attract the kind of people you want.

Contact me to get acquainted and learn how I can help you gain a competitive advantage in recruiting with employee experience storytelling.

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