Data continues to show us why employee stories need to be a priority going forward in your Recruitment Marketing and employer branding strategy.
Despite employers posting 21% more content advertising their careers, open jobs, benefits and internships, data from Rally Inside found that engagement with this content is down 62% compared to the last 5 weeks of 2021. Content focusing on your employees, leadership, hiring managers and other people in your company, on the other hand, is receiving double the engagement it was in Q4 2021!
The takeaway? Candidates are tired of regular jobs content. They want content about your people and culture instead, and considering that so few employers are posting this kind of content right now (postings are down 40% compared to Q4 2021), now is the perfect time to give it to them!
To help you do that, we’re sharing 3 types of story-based content that are working with candidates right now, including compilation stories, standalone stories and team stories. These generously come from Jessica McFadden, Head of Marketing at Stories Incorporated, an authority in helping employers to uncover powerful stories from their team members about their employee experience.
Rally note: For even more insights into upping your talent game with employee stories, watch our full on-demand webinar with Jessica, Why Stories of Your People are Key to More Talent Engagement.
A compilation story is often what you’ll find in the classic company culture video. These stories feature multiple employees across a range of different roles, teams and seniority levels and help to reveal a company’s culture by showing the collective workforce rather than single in on an individual or specific team.
But just because they’re common doesn’t mean they’re any less effective, especially if the employees featured still come across as authentic, natural and not reading from a script. Production value can be high, scenes can be staged (i.e. an employee entering a room and posing) and it can still look like a corporate video, but candidates should still feel like they’re watching and listening to their future coworkers, not mouthpieces for your company.
A perfect example of an effective compilation story is Dell Technology’s “Life at Dell” video, which features employees from a wide array of different roles, backgrounds and global offices.
“Life at Dell’ video from Dell Technologies.
The video is polished and features employees in a professionally set-up interview setting but the stories themselves still come off as authentic and non-scripted. The stories also all touch on Dell’s different EVP pillars so as to be useful to candidates, such as diversity, social impact and volunteerism and working from home.
Rally note: Read about another compilation video created by Dell, Women at Dell, to support their goal of achieving 40% women leadership by 2030.
Watching a compilation video that switches from story to story, some candidates might have a harder time relating to what they’re seeing. This is why it’s important to also share standalone stories.
These stories, which go more in-depth on specific individuals, can make it easier for candidates to focus and relate, especially if the person telling the story shares traits with them (i.e. the same career path or background).
Consider the story of Erica, a mid-level manager at Phillips who, with the support of her company, overcame serious hardship related to Hurricane Maria.
The story of Erika Santiago from Phillips.
By focusing only on Erica, the story locks candidates into a narrative, complete with hardship, perseverance and payoff — a feat that is harder to pull off in a more busy compilation story.
The story also authentically shows how Phillips supports their employees, as told by a specific employee who received that support in a time of need. This helps candidates similar to Erika envision how they might be supported by Phillips themselves, whether in a natural disaster like her situation or something more pressing like challenges brought on by the pandemic.
Somewhere between compilation and standalone stories are team stories, which tell the stories of the various teams and departments within your organization.
These stories are particularly useful when used to support your individual job content, which our data suggests candidates are becoming saturated and disengaged with. Data from Rally Inside found that content at the team level engages talent much better than individual jobs, to the degree of receiving 70% more candidate engagement!
For example, Stories Incorporated developed a team story for AstraZeneca’s biopharmaceutical division (BPD) during a time when they needed to scale.
The story of AstraZeneca’s biopharmaceutical division (BPD).
The video shows employees doing their jobs in their actual workplace, features employees across various roles and seniority levels within the division and gives them the stage to talk about what they like about their area of the company.
Combined, these traits make it very easy for candidates to picture themselves working at AstraZeneca, whether they know the specific role they want to apply for yet or not.
Jessica’s pro tips
With the above story types in mind, here are Jessica’s parting tips to create and share them effectively:
- Repurpose all of the stories people have to share: In many cases, you’ll walk away after interviewing an employee with more stories than you came for. Don’t let them go to waste! Use the story you came for in its intended way but save the extras, organize them based on their topics (i.e. DEI or innovation) and look to see how you can put them to use elsewhere. Maybe they can fit in another place on your careers site or a campaign advertising a different EVP pillar.
- Facilitate the employee story creation process from start to finish: Don’t just ask an employee to record a story on their phone. Work with them to find their story and make sure the final product looks and sounds great. For example, when interviewing in person isn’t possible, Stories Incorporated sends their storytellers an “HD Pack”, which contains the technical equipment they need to pull off an amazing story and instructions for how to set it up in their homes.
- Think through how you’re going to activate your employee stories: Different stories will be more effective in different candidate touchpoints. For example, Dell uses their Life at Dell video as their first cultural touchpoint with candidates in a variety of different ways, using it as their featured life content on LinkedIn, their header video on Glassdoor and their auto-play intro video on YouTube. Teams stories, on the other hand, might work better as additions to specific job postings or function pages (i.e. engineering) within your careers site.
- Subtitles and captions: For the benefit of the visually impaired, candidates speaking different languages and those scrolling on social media without the sound turned on, subtitles and captions in your stories can play a major role in their effectiveness.
Going forward, employers who prioritize sharing stories of their people and culture will have a much easier time attracting top talent than those who don’t. Hopefully, seeing the tactics and examples above helps you understand how to create and share the right stories at your own organizations.
For more help with using stories to engage and attract talent, watch our free on-demand webinar, Why Stories of Your People are Key to More Talent Engagement.