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February 18, 2014

Get to the point:
A short story is worth several thousand words in employer branding

EMPLOYER-BRAND-STORY-TELLING-TREE.pngWhich type of TV advert do you suppose leaves the deepest impression? There’s the one where a professional voiceover informs you with some authority that a particular soap powder removes even the most stubborn stains because it now contains “Formula X”. Then there is the one where someone just like you relates his or her experience of using the product on their own laundry and achieving a totally stain free result. Nine times out of ten you are most likely to take notice of what your peer has to say rather than absorb what sounds like a corporate mantra.

The reason why this is important to companies looking to attract talented new staff who will fit in with the culture of their business is that storytelling can play a vital role in employer branding. Rather than using images and bland content to convey what working for your company is like, it is far better to get an existing employee to tell his or her story ideally on a video or in an interview. This can provide a really effective insight into your working environment and what it is like to be one of your employees.

The advantages of attracting applicants who are not only qualified to fill your vacancies but are also compatible with your company’s ethos are obvious. It will go a long way towards avoiding disappointment and unpleasant surprises in the future. A high level of staff churn is not only expensive and time consuming but it can sap the morale of employees who stay behind.

For storytelling by existing employees to work effectively, you need to use members of staff who will be on the same level as your target audience. It is not much use using a senior manager to talk about their working day to trainees. It should ideally be a peer to peer communication talking about everything from what it’s like on the first day to how the company seeks to achieve a healthy work-life balance.

It goes without saying that employees talking about their workplace and their role in it will be much more natural and effective if they come up with the storyline themselves rather than if they work to a script prepared by someone else. That’s not to say that they mustn’t be prompted to focus on certain aspects of the company, its culture and physical working conditions. It may well be that a company suffers from certain misconceptions about things like its office location or its involvement with the local community. Assuming that the company has already done what it can to dispel any genuine reasons for these misconceptions, it is essential that your storyteller alludes to the subject matter and conveys an impression that gives a fairer reflection of reality.

At all times, remember that audiences tend to be much more responsive to stories than they are to content.

For more information on how 360 Degrees can help you with your employer branding please click here.