Why the Key to Attracting Top Candidates is Storytelling

Why the Key to Attracting Top Candidates is Storytelling

According to the American author, Brandon Sanderson, “The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon.”

This very idea is what separates top HR and recruitment specialists from the also-rans.  

While posting a new opening may consist of writing a spec, finding a popular job board to advertise it on and carrying out any necessary correspondence, none of it is possible without getting the story right.

You see, candidates (particularly the passive ones), can’t always see how great an opportunity is without hearing the right detail.

Change is a scary concept to some and a major reason major reason why there are so many interview no-shows in the UK.

A business who doesn’t suffer from many no-shows or a lack of quality applications is one that’s getting these element right.

They are selling the vision in everything they do.

However, trying to turn yourself into the J.K. Rowling of the recruitment world does require a level of fresh thinking.

To help you grasp this idea of storytelling, here are a few key questions you should address first.

Why should a candidate work for you?

Before you type a single letter in your job spec or ad, you need to think about why a candidate would want to come and fulfil this position.

You need to highlight the perks of your business and illustrate these in a unique fashion.

  • Is it the company benefits?
  • Have you got a great pension plan?
  • Are you open to flexible or home-based working?
  • Are you conveniently located near public transport links?

All of these elements are fine examples of why a candidate might fancy a career swap. Therefore, it’s your job to really drill this point home in your job ad copy and any correspondence you have with them over email or phone.

Think of it this way, what would you probably do when you’re looking for car insurance?

I’d hazard a guess in saying that you’ll shop around or use a comparison website to find the best deal. In essence, recruiting is very similar.

Passive candidates are the biggest culprits here, as they don’t necessarily feel like they need to change jobs just yet.

As a result, they’ll shop around for an ideal job before taking the plunge.

Your solution here is to paint a positive image with engaging social posts showing the work environment, including 360-degree videos of your offices on your website and highlight the achievements of staff online too.

After all, every employee wants to feel valued.

Pro recruiter top tip

One of the most frustrating aspects of finding a new employee is when they accept a job and then turn around and decline it further down the line.

This can cost your business a lot of money and resource.

With this in mind, you should always be very clear and concise in the way that you communicate with candidates at every stage of the process.

The art of storytelling isn’t all about how many words you can cram into a job advert or the spiel you can rattle off over the phone, it’s about focusing on the important elements that will resonate with the candidate.

One of these is time. Always take the time to update candidates on the progress of their application and give them a closing deadline so they know what to expect.

If you decide to carry out a 2-month long recruitment process, the chances are that they’ll either change their mind or they’ll find a different role elsewhere.

You can read more about this in our previous blog: ‘5 Things to Watch Out For When a Candidate Accepts a Job’.

What are the common pain points of these candidates?

The answer to this question depends on the kind of industry that you’re recruiting for.

For instance, if you’re hiring someone in the care industry, they might have reservations about pay or working hours.

Or for a junior to mid-level marketing professional, they might be more concerned about career progression.

Once you’ve established these answers, you can address these common subjects to really help tick the boxes.

Get this right and it may help to reduce any extra time usually spent on the phone trying to reassure or sell a role to a candidate as well.

How would your candidates like to be spoken to?

Getting the tone right with candidates is arguably one of the most important factors.

Candidates don’t want to be scrutinised for the things they say when they’re being screened and don’t enjoy recruiters who are very vague with their answers.

Transparency and a colloquial, down to earth tone is usually the most effective.

Remember, these professionals are taking time out of their day to communicate with you, so you should value it by being open, honest and personable.

On the other hand, if you’re hiring for a senior role, you might want to skip the small talk as they could get the impression that your business isn’t very professional.

However, you shouldn’t be blunt and come across like a robot, as this could also make your business sound like a dull place to work.

It’s all about finding the right balance depending on the type of role you’re recruiting for and the industry you’re operating in.

Things to remember

Overall, the key to being a top storyteller is recognising your audience and the industry that they work in.

This will then enable you to tailor any conversations or content to really help sell a role to a candidate.

You should always be open and relatable too, as this will help candidates trust you and make them start to believe in the opportunity you are presenting.

Ultimately, have some fun with it and sound enthusiastic about what you’re selling.

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