Storytelling: HR’s Secret Weapon In Capturing Today’s Talent

Storytelling: HR’s Secret Weapon In Capturing Today’s Talent

It’s not the first method you’d associate with recruitment, but storytelling is fast establishing itself as the most important element in effective talent acquisition. Why? It’s all about communicating with a new generation that wants to be inspired and be part of something.

Attracting talented candidates to a job vacancy has never been easy, but modern HR thinking is retiring old-fashioned methods in favour of newer techniques to ‘speak’ to jobseekers.

Storytelling is already loved by consumers. Studies show that brand storytelling can increase the value of a service or product value by as much as 20 times, that messages delivered as stories are 22 times more memorable, and 92% of consumers react best to ads presented as stories.

And with such success in convincing people to buy, why shouldn’t the storytelling strategy convince people to join the ranks of an ambitious, progressive company and build a career in a flourishing professional environment?


Storytelling As A Recruitment Strategy

To those in the recruitment industry, the idea that different companies have unique characteristics is nothing strange. After all, is Google the same as Yahoo? Is Nike a carbon copy of Adidas? As brands, they each have something different about them, characteristics that attract us as consumers and, ultimately, build brand loyalty.

Through storytelling, companies have been able to sow a seed of inspiration, avoiding the old-fashioned strategy of providing bland facts that Millennials have turned against and instead providing the starting blocks towards building a relationship.

HR is humanizing the company brand, presenting its personality and identity through the company’s experiences since its foundation. As a result, candidates become familiar with their ‘journey’, sparking interested in the origin and (importantly) the direction the company is taking.

The connection struck between candidate and company empowers the talent you want to decide whether they ‘feel’ they can be part of the journey or not.


6 Tips To Developing Your Recruiting Story

    1. A story For Your Audience

The key to effective storytelling is understanding the audience and what will strike a chord with them. So, are you trying to attract a CEO? Then describe the company’s growth. Want a new team leader? Then why not collaboration, success and bright horizons?

    1. Three IS The Magic Number

Any good story includes 4 elements: the who, what, why and how. Successful recruitment storytelling strategies tend to be divided into 3, and in a slightly different order. Since the name of the company is known, you can drop the ‘who’, but use a framework of the ‘why’, ‘what’ and then ‘how’.

    1. Be Relevant

Connecting your story to current business issues lends it a lot of relevance. But HR has to choose the right issues too, accurately directing talented candidates to the path they can take in bringing the company forward.

    1. Be Detailed, Add Facts and Examples

A compelling story includes concrete facts, like statistics and figures. And besides, Gen Z candidates love authenticity. Examples work well too, personalizing the story through the eyes of an employee who has succeeded. Be careful though; too many facts are off-putting.

    1. Keep it Concise

Long meandering tales are the last thing anyone wants to read, so keep your storytelling structure short.

    1. Imagery? Some, But Not Much

Pictures and illustrations can be effective, but choose them carefully; an exterior shot of your office building will hardly be inspiring, while colleagues laughing together will have the inspiring impression you need. Videos are effective too, with some companies creating ‘Day In The Life’ videos for employees.

About the Author

AnnualLeave is a leading employee leave management tool on the market, lifting the HR headache by cutting request processing times, monitoring leave trends, and maintaining company compliance all with one user-friendly, affordable self-service app. For more information you can get in touch with one of our team via our online form or email at

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