Insights on Marketing & Technology

How to Use Storytelling for Finding the Right People

With an ever-increasing number of platforms and channels for companies to showcase and demonstrate their achievements, the need for a clear and concise storytelling strategy is absolutely crucial if you want your audience to stick around.

  • By: Nanna Christine Worsaae
  • Published: 01-08-2014
“People don’t have 30 seconds to be interrupted, but they always have 30 minutes to hear a great story.” - Jon Thomas, Communications Director, Story Worldwide.

What’s your story? 

Storytelling as a concept is wide and very much open for interpretation. While this will challenge any communications and marketing officer on creativity, it also presents an enormous challenge, as any story told needs to fit into a corporate set of rules and guidelines, and most importantly, the story needs to serve a purpose. Anyone can brag about results and achievements, but what’s the point if your target audience is not interested? 
While I’m certain that most corporate communicators have bought into the idea of storytelling, one question remains: are you telling your stories at eye level? If you ask the CEO of your company to tell a story about his business, you will most likely end up with something that looks like the start of your latest annual report. Impressive? Hopefully. Interesting? Most likely. 
However, there is nothing new to the fact that we do not choose our next workplace based on its latest financial results. Nor do we apply because the company won an award recently. We have an emotive response to stories, so if you are looking to attract candidates to your company, you need to facilitate an equal dialogue. Stories help people bring situations into life, facts don’t.  
In our case, the story we needed to tell was pretty clear: Maersk Drilling is a great place to work. We started our social media recruitment efforts from scratch with nothing but the idea of attracting the right candidates in an, at the time, untraditional way. Now, many companies have started to use or are using social media channels as a recruitment tool.

According to 2013 figures from the recruiting system Jobvite, anyone not leveraging social referrals is behind the curve:

- 94% of recruiters use or plan to use social media in their recruitment efforts.
- 78% of recruiters have made a hire through social media.
- 42% have reconsidered a candidate based on content viewed in a social profile, leading to both positive and negative reassessments.

Results, please!

How we all wish we had great, tangible results to present to get the internal buy-in one needs before initiating a new way of communicating. Unfortunately, most of us will struggle on this front. 
When Maersk Drilling decided to use social media as a recruitment tool, it wasn’t an overnight decision. We developed a clear strategy from the onset, before we even decided which channels to use, and, most importantly, before we joined any of them. Each channel can serve a different purpose and, in our case, attract different profiles for different roles. 
Despite being a relatively small team, we prioritised keeping ourselves as flexible and agile as possible, a set-up which allows for trying out new things constantly. Have we made mistakes in the process? Oh yes. Have people questioned our strategy? Indeed. But if your social media efforts become too easy to execute, you are neither challenging yourself nor your audience. Your audience will eventually get bored and your purpose redundant.

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