The simplest of stories can elicit emotion in all of us. Take Tom’s shoes for example, their brand exploded onto the market and continues to grow today, all based on a simple story that we humans felt good being a part of and sharing with others. Their story? Buy a pair of their shoes, and they give a pair to a child in need. Simple. Heartwarming.
This is a classic example of how strategic storytelling can have a significant influence on human behavior. For recruiters, it can be a powerful tool in persuading top talent to join your organization.
Evolution has hard-wired our brains to convey emotion through narrative. In fact, storytelling among our social species predates even the written word. When we are engaged by an effective story, one that holds our attention, we want to participate in it. We feel as though we’re part of it already, and this empathy can move us to action. This is why the power of storytelling can and should be used when recruiting.
When including storytelling in your recruiting technique, be sure to include the following parts:
To effectively harness the power of storytelling in recruiting, begin by creating a vivid picture of the organization’s past. How and why it was founded, who the key people were, what the goal was in building it, etc. Be sure to include the values it was built upon and anything special or captivating about the early leadership.
Then bring them forward to the present. Be honest about the challenges it took to get where the organization is today and how those challenges were overcome. Highlight the strengths, core values and mission. But also be sure to include some of the current challenges and difficulties that it’s facing today. Showing vulnerability increases credibility and shows a human component. No company is perfect and everyone knows that.
While compensation, vacation days, titles and benefits are of course important to any potential candidate, what’s often overlooked is how deeply people want to be a part of something greater than themselves. To have a purpose. To do work that matters.
Once you’ve painted a picture of the past and brought them forward to the present, you’ll want to guide them to see a bright future as well. Use the future of the organization and where it’s going to present a story in which the candidate can actively participate in creating something good in the world. Showcase how their skills, talents and experience can be part of the progress toward a worthwhile mission.
Storytelling has and always will be an effective means of communicating and holding sway over others. If you want to be persuasive in your recruiting tactics, begin practicing the art of storytelling. It’s an incredible powerful tool to have in any HR toolbox. Because at the end of the day, recruiting is really a form of selling top talent on the idea of joining your organization, and storytelling is a fantastic way to do that.
Interested in learning more about identifying and retaining top talent to staff your organization? We can help. Contact us today!