Employee Storytelling RallyFwd™

Using a Humanized Approach for Employee Stories to Engage Talent

Profile photo of Brandon Linn
Written by Brandon Linn
Using a Humanized Approach for Employee Stories to Engage Talent
5 (100%) 5 votes

We all know the adage, “Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes…” I believe it’s an important perspective we should use when creating Recruitment Marketing content. This approach promotes a more emotionally intelligent mindset to determine why, as well as how, you’re positioning employee stories because it showcases both personal and professional drivers to humanize the entire message. By taking this approach at Accolade, I’ve found that it achieves greater talent engagement results as it builds comfort around belonging as a humble introduction to who you may be working alongside. Let me explain why and also share some of our results.

Note: Brandon Linn will be highlighting more talent engagement tips at our free RallyFwd™ Virtual Conference on May 1, 2019. Grab a seat for his session and register today!  

Crafting Our Talent Engagement Message

At Accolade, our focus is to provide messaging that connects with candidates on more than: “Describe what it’s like to work for our company in one word.” We’ve found that candidates want to take an even deeper dive – they want more “humanized” insight from our employees from which to build connections.

This need for content that humanizes our company carries through the entire candidate experience and continues even after someone has been hired. If new hires don’t experience the same culture that we communicated to them during the recruitment process, then we risk slowly diluting trust.

To capture the human voice of our employees and go beyond the standard one-word descriptions of what it’s like to work at Accolade, we focus on 3 elements:

  1. Show more than tell: Our team is driven by a core mantra of being authentic in everything we create. We don’t want to be a “bait and switch” type of company, where candidates are told one thing during the recruiting process only to find it’s completely different once they are on board. In our content, we try to focus storylines on our employees’ inherent passions, skills, and career journey to paint a true picture of why they’re here, and both how they make an impact while our organization impacts them inside and outside of the office.
  2. Detail the challenge: We make it clear to candidates about the challenges that our employees and teams face. At the end of the day, we want job seekers to know we are hiring them to fill a need and help solve a specific challenge. Real companies showcase the “rough and tumble” of the work and how they need talent to help create solutions. Why else would we be sourcing for fresh talent if we had it all figured out? We never stop learning and evolving, and neither should our messages around the honest opportunities at play.
  3. Throw out the corporate jargon: We’ve realized that by getting rid of overly technical lingo in our content and job descriptions, we’re able to bring that humanization factor more to the forefront. The goal is to bring people to our website and stay there to learn about Accolade, so we make our language compelling, clear and concise. Otherwise, we might be creating a bias or filter against people who could be great for our company but don’t think they’re a fit because of a silly acronym or proprietary term. It’s important to understand the benefits of promoting a job advertisement as a first impression before a formal job description, second.

Showcasing Our Employee Experience

Here are 2 examples of our content that aim to humanize our employee stories:

Glenn Oczkowski, a member of the Behavioral Health Team, was featured in a Twitter post which linked to an article on the Accolade website about his background, how he came to work at Accolade and the challenges he’s faced in his role. He also talks about the value he finds in his work and how he helps support his team.

We’ve also partnered with The Muse to create employee stories. While these videos focus on the value that our employees find in working at Accolade, they also provide detail on the challenging work the employees have faced, as with Valerie, an Accolade Health Assistant. She explains that she had a difficult time emotionally when dealing with a client facing a life-threatening disease.

These human factors we include in our content helps make both our company and employees relatable to, and even trusted by, candidates. Because as employees, they’ll need to be trusted by their fellow teammates as well as by our customers in order to be successful here.

Seeing the Benefits of Humanized Stories

From a results standpoint, we’ve seen positive signs that candidates are engaging and connecting with our content. For example, our average time on site now stands at about 1 minute 50 seconds to 2 minutes, well above the industry benchmark of 1 minute. More qualitative results we’ve received are from our recruiters. They feel as though that they no longer have to educate talent on our company and who we are, as candidates read through our content and come to conversations with a better understanding of Accolade. Recruiters are able to then flex their coaching muscle to focus on learning more about candidates and helping them find the right fit.

To ensure we continue to provide an interconnected candidate-to-employee experience, we’ve created a unified Talent & Development team that generates feedback loops from candidates to new hires and beyond, so we can get a better understanding on whether we are providing that seamless thread of culture and experience throughout the entire lifecycle.

Giving your content a humanized focus not only enhances your employee stories, but also helps us realize much healthier and long-term talent engagement. Candidates want more relatable content and so we’ve realized long ago that in the “talent war,” your customer (talent/candidate) is usually right!


Note: To learn more about Brandon and his team’s approach to humanizing employee stories, join us for our free RallyFwd™ Virtual Conference on May 1, 2019. Register today!

Using a Humanized Approach for Employee Stories to Engage Talent
5 (100%) 5 votes

About the Author

Profile photo of Brandon Linn

Brandon Linn

Brandon Linn is the VP of Employer Brand & Recruitment Marketing and Social Media & Influencer Marketing at Freedom Mortgage. Brandon brings his creativity to developing and activating the employer brand and leading recruitment marketing as well as managing social media strategy + influencer marketing at Freedom Mortgage, the 5th largest U.S. home lender with a 30-year history of fostering homeownership.

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