As Recruitment Marketing practitioners, we often focus on producing a high volume of employee stories to raise employer brand awareness, communicate our company culture, and encourage candidates to be a part of our mission.
However, there is another type of content that can help you achieve these same objectives — without having to create a ton of new content yourself.
That content type is customer stories. At Asana, we’ve been including this type of content throughout our employer brand for a long time because it aligns with our company mission, to help humanity thrive by enabling the world’s teams to work together effortlessly.
As our customers work to accomplish their most ambitious goals with the help of Asana, we are inspired to put them at the heart of our product and culture. We want to attract candidates who feel similarly. As a result, we share customer stories on our Employer Brand channels to inspire candidates about our mission and inform them about the work that we do and how it impacts the work of teams everywhere.
This content has been well received by candidates historically. Let me explain why and the ways we leverage customer stories to attract talent.
Rally note: If you want to hear more from Ashley, join us at RallyFwd Virtual Conference: Lead With Employer Brand on May 6. Read more about Ashley’s session and register to attend here.
Why customer stories are effective employer brand content
Customer stories are an effective content type for us at Asana because we thrive on empowering our customers. We’re focused on improving the way teams work together through our leading work management platform. Our employees feel the impact of their work through the success of our customers, and are motivated by hearing about the incredible things our customers accomplish with Asana.
For instance, our engineering team is excited when they read a story about a customer who is finding value in a new feature or functionality that the team built. That really gets our team going!
Here is an example of this in action from a post featuring our customer, Figma, who is using Asana to develop projects that help advance accessibility in design.
This type of storytelling motivates people because when our team is excited about the impact their work is having, they want to talk about it. We’ve seen strong reception from an employee advocacy standpoint because people want to talk about the work that they are helping to facilitate. They are also excited to share when a brand they admire uses Asana, and they like to tell people about it.
This goes a long way from a sales perspective, of course, but also from a talent acquisition perspective. We are able to attract candidates who align with our mission and values, and who are excited to work on a product that’s helping amazing companies execute meaningful work.
Building global community during a time of change
During this time of uncertainty and change, maintaining human connection is all the more important. I think our customer stories are even more important now because they help us foster a more connected global community that bridges our employee base and our customer base. Our latest employer brand posts on how our global team is staying connected and motivated through the transition to remote work highlights the importance of keeping our customers top of mind. Our global team is motivated by the positive impact they can make for teams everywhere.
We are sharing our own best practices along with those of our customers to show our support for one another. Our product is helping companies manage the transition to a remote work environment, helping them stay organized and connected from anywhere. We’ve published blog posts on Asana that feature tips directly from our customers on how they’re using Asana to manage this transition now that everyone at their company is remote:
Our nonprofit customers inspire us every day, and we built a new program to help them accelerate their work with free Asana licenses for front line efforts to fight COVID-19. We’ve also seen many customers from other industries pivot their business focus to address the needs of the global community. This includes shifting from manufacturing their typical products to now producing items that are desperately needed, like hand sanitizer or face masks. These stories remind us what it’s all about and grounds us in our purpose, particularly in the face of uncertainty.
Here is an example of a social post we created that celebrates our customers for their efforts to give back, which connects employees and candidates to our mission:
How we share our customer stories for recruiting
We take this angle because the employee voice is our most authentic and influential voice. Candidates (and customers!) trust what our people have to say more than they trust the content coming from a corporate account.
You can learn more about the employee voice and experience by reading Tress Sloane Richards blog, How to Show Your Authentic Employee Experience.
Luckily for us, our employees are happy to share this content. We use employee advocacy software to make it easy for them to see and share all recent content, and let them see the outcomes of their sharing, like how many careers site visitors and applications they’re driving.
We also use customer stories as recruiter enablement pieces. I value the close partnership I have with our Customer Marketing team, and they include me in updates when they have new publicly referenceable customer stories to share. My team takes those customer stories and reframes them to speak more directly to a candidate, then we distribute them to our recruiters for conversations with candidates. This typically means we strip down some of the product details to make the stories more concise and mission-focused. This practice gives our recruiters a ton of valuable content to bring credibility to our brand, make our mission come to life, and showcase the wide-reaching impact of the work we do every day.
How you can tap into your company’s customer stories for Recruitment Marketing
If you’re feeling inspired to tap into your company’s customer stories a bit more now, the first step is to track down the team or person responsible for creating this content. In other words, partnering with marketing is the best way to gain access and context on this type of content.
My employer brand team actually sits in marketing, so we have a bit of a leg up when it comes to this marketing partnership. However, if your team sits in talent acquisition, your best bet is to find the right person and just book some time with them. Explain to them how powerful customer stories are to your employees, and how that translates into inspiring and attracting candidates. Then show them the ways you’d like to repurpose their content.
During this meeting, you’ll want to make it clear that you won’t be giving them any extra work! In fact, you’ll also be providing them with another distribution channel to have your customer stories celebrated and shared. On an ongoing basis, you’ll want to show them that you are a trusted partner so that they’re motivated to continue allowing you to use their content. You can do this by checking in regularly to make sure you can still tell certain customer stories in specific ways.
For example, if you notice marketing is no longer talking about customer X regularly, but you still have a story about them posted on your careers site, check in to make sure that’s okay. Managing customer relationships and getting the legal rights to share these stories can be tricky, and preserving customer relationships is essential, so you want to show your marketing team that you’re respectful of that process and will help to protect your brand and customer relationships.
If you’d like to learn more about how to build strong relationships with marketing, you can also tune in to my talk at RallyFwd Virtual Conference on May 6. My session, “One Brand and One Voice Moving Forward Together,” will cover how to work closely with marketing (particularly during the COVID-19 crisis) to stay aligned in your brand delivery across the board. I’ll also share how we’ve adjusted our content strategy and social approach since the crisis started. Hope to see you there!
And until then, best of luck as you continue to lead with your employer brand and do great work during this challenging time. I am sending love and light out to each and every one of you!