Lori's Blog

Useful vs. Useless Employee Stories

employee storytelling

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.

How do you know if the content that you’re creating for recruiting is doing its job? Ask yourself –

•    Can the content build relationships between your employer brand and the audience?
•    Does the content answer “Why should I work for you?” questions?

Once you know the difference, you won’t waste time and resources making do-nothing recruitment marketing content, and the content that you do create will do what it’s supposed to do – promote your company as a good employer.

First, let’s define Employer Brand. Your employer brand is simply your reputation as an employer. In other words, it’s what your employees, past employees and community think of and say about you as an employer.

Related: What’s the difference between recruitment marketing and employer branding?

How Does Marketing Content Build Relationships?

The job of marketing is to enable a person to get to know your company and what you offer so that they trust that you are authentic. As they engage with you through blog posts and web content, social posts and emails, they’re warming up to you. They’re getting to know you and what you’re like so they can be confident that they’re making the right decision, and envision a successful outcome.

That successful outcome for job candidates is envisioning becoming one of you and feeling good about going to work each day.

Stories are the best kind of content to do this.

Stories that enable people to build relationships with your employer brand need to actually speak about what it’s like to work for you. That’s why they’re called Employee Experience Stories. So if you’re publishing stories that are solely about the personal life of employees, then you’re missing the mark. I see this kind of story promoted on social media from time to time and I give them marks for trying but… these stories don’t do a thing to support recruiting.

I think the disconnect here is that the publisher doesn’t know how to dig for and gather the type of information that has the power to influence employment decisions. It all starts with the interview and using techniques that pull out the most interesting nuggets of the employee’s story. It’s through stories that you can answer job candidate questions.

How Stories Answer Candidate Questions

There’s one main question that you have to answer for job candidates and that’s – Why should I work for you? The answer to that question doesn’t just revolve around acceptable pay and benefits. In fact, sometimes the answers to the other questions that candidates have can be more important. These are questions like:

    How will you support my professional development?
    What does teamwork look like?
    Will I have opportunities to advance my career?
    What will happen if I make a mistake?
    Am I going to be bored?
    How are you going to react if I have a family emergency?
    How flexible will you be with work hours?
    How transparent is your leadership and management?
    Will you value my input and contributions?
    How will you treat me when…?

That last question is at the heart of what candidates want to know -- How do you treat your employees?

Don’t Be Shallow, Dig Deeper

Can you see now how descriptions of employees’ hobbies and personal life fall short when it comes to influencing candidate decisions? You have to dig deeper.?

You can learn how to create recruiting messages that answer candidate questions and stimulate action when you take my online course, Better Message. Better Talent Pool.

What's Recruitment Marketing?

Learn why your talent attraction process doesn't work like it used to, and discover what you should be doing instead in my 20-minute on-demand webinar.

Watch the Webinar