Employer branding & the art of storytelling
As human beings, we’re automatically drawn to stories. The way an incredible film can move you to tears, the way a TED Talk can inspire you, or the way a friend can have you laughing so hard your stomach starts to hurt.
Great storytelling facilitates deep connections, makes us want to stand up and take action, persuades us to make a decision. It affects us on an emotional level. And boy, is that powerful.
When you apply storytelling to organisations, it is the most authentic way for business leaders to communicate who they are, what they do and what they stand for.
Right now, that’s extremely important. Because COVID or not, we’re still experiencing a war for talent. Highly skilled employees are rare and they are valuable. And they have choices. Candidates want a clear picture of what life is like at a company before taking a job. They want to know what to expect. Giving them a job spec and telling them about your perks and benefits isn’t cutting it anymore.
Talent should be aspirationally driven.
What do we mean by that? Well, it’s all about developing an employer brand and building a positive company culture that tells the right story - one that candidates feel emotionally connected to.
Storytelling is a huge part of employer branding that can often be thrown by the wayside. But what’s the point of knowing where your audience lives if you don’t have anything substantial to offer them when you get there?
A strong employer brand gives candidates the chance to feel and experience what it’s like at your organisation. It communicates your mission, purpose and values in such a way that they agree with what you’re doing, and feel inspired by it. It shows them the value of being a part of your organisation.
And further down the line, a great employer brand ensures a motivated, committed worker with a meaningful and fulfilling job. Employees who have connected with your employer brand on an emotional level before they even accept the job, they are the ones who’ll become your best advocates. They can even become introducers of new talent. It’s a win-win.
So what makes a good story?
In the context of employer branding, a good story is a true story. Authentic, personal, specific and unique. And you don’t need to look very far, because good stories will already exist within your company, among your employees.
If the purpose of your employer brand is to show candidates what it’s really like to work at your organisation, then all you need to do is ask your employees about the things they experience every day. What inspires them? What do they love about their jobs? What do they love about thor team?
I’m telling you now, you’ve got some amazing stories hidden within your company. Find them and share them. Shout about them from the rooftops. Shout about them at every stage of the recruitment lifecycle - job adverts, social media posts, training sessions, social events. These are all prime opportunities to communicate, communicate, communicate. To capture the attention of candidates and employees and reinforce that emotional connection.
In the context of employer branding, a good story is a true story.