Storytelling Techniques & Employer Branding | Gattaca Solutions

In our recent ED&I client events, our Employer Branding and Recruitment Marketing consultant Jake Chambers ran sessions on storytelling and employer branding.

Since the sessions we've had lots of questions from clients on things like 'what storytelling techniques should we be using?' and 'how do you inspire employee advocacy?' and 'what are some common misconceptions when organisations first approach employer branding?'.

In the coming weeks we'll be sitting down with Jake to answer all of these questions and more! This week we're talking about engaging new candidates through the story of your brand. In this article Jake Chambers (JC) is interviewed by Gattaca Solutions Brand Manager, Rae Dixon (RD).

The last time we sat down we discussed employer brand reputation and perception, and how critical they are when it comes to hiring.

As employers we talk about ‘shortages’ but when we reframe the conversation to the jobseeker’s point of view, the people with those in demand technical skills will actually feel spoilt for choice; everyone wants them, they’re in high demand. They have direct comparisons because they’re contacted by new recruiters every day, can take as many interviews as they like, and know what the job is going to look like at company A vs. company B.

If you’re not telling your employer brand story, then how can you be a viable competitor in the market? If you’re not consciously telling your story yet, that’s a huge opportunity for you to develop your employer brand into something that engages your target audience.

How do storytelling techniques play into employer branding and that emotional connection with candidates?

JC: I love this question! Generally when we talk about recruitment marketing, it’s really easy to mistakenly think of it as “a tap” -  we’re switching on new channels, posting jobs, and now we’ve turned the tap on we wait for the volumes to come in.

What we're simplifying down here are the big life decisions we know that people are making around their next job, their next career move. This is something that is going to be a huge part of their life!

If your recruitment marketing activity is only focused on telling people “this is the job, this is what you'll be doing, this is what we need from you”, you’ll be informing but not exciting the reader. You won’t be telling them why they should be interested, or speaking to them on a personal level.

The idea of connecting with people is really what we want to be focusing on, rather than simply advertising or posting – thinking of marketing less as a “tap”, and more like matchmaking.

It's about building connections, helping people to identify with you to as an employer through understanding who you are and what you're about.

Ultimately what we want to do is show people why they should come join you, why they should pick you over another organisation.

When someone can read about your company, understand your values and where you’re going, see what your culture and people are like, they’re far more likely to get excited about the prospect of working with you as an employer, and visualise what life would be like working with your company.

That's the key to engaging new candidates through employer branding - telling those great stories about your organisation that people will want to share with their family and friends when they get home - “look at this organisation I saw today and the great things they're doing, I'd love to work for them.”

That's where we want to be as employers – building connections with people.

RD: And when we pull it to its core, as people, we’re made-up of our best moments. When you think about the best thing that happened to you last year, it's probably not going be the every-day stuff, it's going to be the stuff that stands out, that surprised you or made you feel something.

I really like the emphasis around connecting; a company is basically defined as a ‘group of people’ without that an organisation is just a building. We have to consider that element where we’re talking about employer brand.

JC: I think in many cases, people hear “employer brand engagement” and assume that means big expensive, challenging campaign. For me, the things that resonate with people most are often the simple things that are probably going on in most organisations already – it doesn’t have to be big and flashy.

There's so many things that happen that you could be sharing the story of - how does your company authentically say thank you to colleagues? Do you hold charity bake sales? Do some of your teams have a tradition for birthdays? Do you run events or activities during the year? People buy into these stories far more than a stock photo on a big billboard somewhere!

To summarise:

  • Remember that candidates are individuals - they’re applying not just for a role but for the next chapter of their lives, for the people they’ll spend their time with, for the opportunities and benefits above and beyond the day to day role – this is what we should be speaking to.
  • Move beyond bullet point lists of job responsibilities and start asking why should this candidate work for you? Why should they choose you over a competitor?
  • Tell the stories that are already happening in your organisation – talk about charity work, talk about team celebrations, talk about the office dog – share what it’s really like to be a part of your team and people will resonate with that.

So, if you would like to chat about your employer brand and your workforce strategy, grab sometime with Solutions today.

We’ll be back soon with more from Jake Chambers on Employee Advocacy & Employer Branding.

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