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Tell the Company, People Story

Companies can no longer rely on a static “We’re Hiring” page to attract top talent, they have to tell their story.

story-302-202In a September 2016 Forbes article, contributor Lars Schmidt discussed why companies are increasingly turning to storytelling to aid their recruitment strategies.

Companies like Deloitte, Nurse Next Door, and KPMG as well as Sodexo, Amtrak and Hyatt are just a few of the businesses embracing the power of storytelling to strengthen their talent brands and show prospective employees what they are all about and what they have to offer.

“These narratives are revealing a more human side of the business,” Schmidt wrote. “They often go beyond ‘This is what I do here,’ instead illuminating ‘This is why I do what I do — here.’ ”

Scott Thompson, partner at Stories Incorporated, told Schmidt that HR professionals — learning leaders included — don’t need to be trained marketers to deftly share stories about their companies, but it would behoove them to think like marketers.

How do candidates know what a company values? What will show them what it’s like to work there? What makes the company a unique and attractive place to work and to build a career?

The stories answering these types of questions likely already exist; it’s just a matter of uncovering and sharing them to create a connection between a candidate and the organization, and “Authentic stories create that connection,” Thompson told Schmidt.

A glance at career sites for IKEA, Workday, Southwest Airlines and SAS illustrate how some employers are bringing the experiences and voices of their employees to the fore to help prospective employees make more informed choices about whether the company is the right fit and whether filling out a job application for that organization should be their next step.

Learning plays a critical role in this recruitment approach. Learning leaders are knowledgeable about their company’s workforce, and they can help recruiters uncover authentic employee stories that speak to the company’s employer brand. They also can advocate for learning’s story — it’s impact — as development opportunities increasingly act as an attractant for prospective employees.

Bravetta Hassell is a Chief Learning Officer associate editor. Comment below or email editor@CLOmedia.com.