Why Storytelling Matters in Talent Acquisition

In early 2015, I was a remote worker getting through my job every day with very little oversight, very few challenges – and very little inspiration. I easily completed my responsibilities every day by 2 PM, no questions asked. I had freedom and free time. I needed a change and a push, but I wasn’t seeking it. Who wants to give up pool time in the summer?

I was also preparing to send my now husband off to the Middle East for a four-month deployment. I wasn’t about to put myself through a second huge change.

But a recruiter found me on LinkedIn. She hooked me with “startup,” so I took a call. Then she hooked me with “opportunity” and “a chance to build something.” So I took an interview with the hiring manager, who happened to be SmashFly’s Chief Marketing Officer. And it was Lori who really spoke to me: about both strategy and tactics; about working at a fast pace, but finding a balance; about building something great and learning along the way; about making mistakes every day, but never making the same mistake the next day; about having a mentor, not just a manager.

I flew to Boston shortly after in February (yes, during one of their worst and snowiest winters ever). It was the first time I was interviewed by a CEO and a CMO (and it was totally awesome). I walked through an empty floor looking out on a river in an old mill building (that now is the work habitat to more than 30 SmashFly employees). I left the office being hugged by not only one, but two, SmashFly employees.

The week my husband left for the Middle East, I started working at SmashFly. And people cared. My teammates cared and they didn’t even know me yet. Throwing my time, energy and dedication into a new position, a new industry, a new team gave me a sense of purpose and control that I felt like I had just given up in my personal life. It was simply perfect timing in my life.

A job can be more than a job. It should be more than a job. It should be a part of your life – and mine gladly is.

This is not a lesson in responding to InMail from recruiters (although it could be!). This is hopefully a lesson in storytelling.

Stories come in all shapes and sizes and voices. A quote can initiate a story; an image can tell a story; a video can show a story; a job description can be a story. Each individual at your organization has their own personal career story: how they got to your organization, what inspired them to get into their line of work, what keeps them happy and motivated to stay, what pushes them to come to work every day.

  1. Find them. And if they aren’t on the surface, just ask.
  2. Share them in their realest form, in the real voice they came from.
  3. Let the stories—not a one-sentence EVP, a standard job description or an explainer video—work to influence candidates.

Your Employer Value Proposition doesn’t live in a paragraph on your career site. It doesn’t live in About Us copy on LinkedIn. It doesn’t live in Best Places to Work awards (although they are awesome). Your EVP lives in your employees and their stories.

Be a recruitment marketer and learn how to find those stories within your employees, share them across every recruiting channel you use and influence candidates with authentic messaging. For more ideas on how to become a better storyteller for your organization, read SmashFly’s 2016 Recruitment Marketing Ideabook.

Smashfly is a client of TalentCulture and has sponsored this post.


photo credit: Storytelling_Threesixty via photopin (license)