Why You Should Share Employee Stories Right Now
Talking to candidates about what’s happening at your company right now (in the midst of the pandemic, as everything changes rapidly) is challenging. Being empathetic and transparent when giving clarity on tough topics is an obvious start.
But, adding employee stories gives your underlying message emotional and substantive heft. And it’s just what candidates want and need to hear right now.
Here’s why you need employee stories in your candidate-facing content right now.
Your audience wants to know how you’re treating your employees
According to a LinkedIn study on employer brand during COVID-19, coronavirus-related posts are getting more engagement than other posts. Especially those focusing on how companies are helping.
A major employer brand recently told us that their COVID-related recruitment marketing content is performing 40 percent higher than other types of content. Their candidate audience really wants to know what it’s like to work through the crisis at their company.
And, candidates aren’t the only audience searching for this content. A recent survey conducted by People Magazine found that more than 89 percent of respondents are monitoring the treatment of employees by the companies they work for during the crisis. The general public is paying close attention to who is laying off workers, offering paid sick days, giving back to the communities, and more.
As always, and especially now, how companies treat their employees form a public opinion of the company’s leadership and employer brand.
Using your employee stories to build trust with candidates is always important, but especially in an uncertain world where every corporate action says something about your workplace culture.
Your culture has just been defined for you
Who are you? If you didn’t know how to define and describe your organization’s culture before the crisis, you know now.
Employee safety considerations, converting to a virtual workplace, maintaining employee engagement through Zoom, declining revenues, increased collective emotional stress … a swirl of circumstances has forced your company to make a variety of people decisions. And, most of these decisions showed your real values.
For some companies, the pandemic has just reinforced who you are. For others, it has completely reinvented you.
Connect employee experiences to the larger story you’re already telling through your corporate actions. Emphasize impact. Candidates are already making assumptions about your culture based on what they’re hearing from your employees, but they need you to connect the dots.
We did this with our messaging. Stories Inc. co-founder Scott Thompson publicly stated that he defines good leadership as doing everything to avoid layoffs.
Then, one of our teammates shared her personal story about working at Stories during the crisis, and how that leadership action impacted her experience.
Paired with Jessica’s perspective, Scott’s words and actions are more meaningful to an external audience because it shows the impact of leadership actions on a team member’s life. Connect corporate actions, their impact on the employee experience, and context to give candidates the ultimate insight into your culture.
Employees want to share
Your team members have just been through a lot. They want to talk about their lives now, and how they’ve been supported at work (or not). You still want to vet employee stories to ensure they’re helpful to candidates. But, there is likely a plethora to choose from right now.
According to Nielsen, “During crisis events — snowstorms, hurricanes, or a global pandemic — media users ramp up their media consumption to stay informed, kill time, find solace and stay in touch with others. This bleeds into work life as well.
Also, according to a study conducted by the New York Times about why people share content on social media, 84 percent of respondents said they want to spread the word about something they believe in. Your company’s actions have impacted your employees’ emotional, financial, and physical wellbeing.
You’ve likely given them a reason to share.
Use employee stories
As you think through how to best communicate what’s happening at your company to candidates, remember to add employee stories. Use employee experiences that show the real, human impact of your company’s decisions on its people.
Specific employee stories further reinforce and define who you are an employer, and that’s exactly what the world wants to know right now.
Lauryn Sargent is a cofounder at Stories Inc., a recruitment marketing content agency that’s been fortunate enough to work with some of the world’s most admired employer brands. Stories Inc. is celebrated for uncovering compelling employee stories that communicate culture and creating content libraries optimized for every candidate-facing channel. Prior to starting Stories, Lauryn was an agency recruiter and corporate talent acquisition manager.
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