Anyone who has spent more than ten minutes with me in a room knows that I love a good story! Storytelling is such a powerful art. Not only does it help us engage with others, but it also helps create connection and trust. It's a quick way to build familiarity and to allow your audience to enter your story. Studies have shown that storytelling can increase audience retention rates by 25% - 30%.
In a tight talent market where keeping a candidate's attention is key, using every opportunity to showcase your Employer Value Proposition (EVP) has become increasingly important.
Each company will have their own unique and important story to tell. And while we often see these stories shared on job ads and career sites, they may not be repeated again until the candidate is scheduled for a face-to-face interview (which can be weeks after their first application). What this means is there are multiple touchpoints where companies are missing out on the opportunity to continue sharing their vision, values, and employer brand with potential employees. These touchpoints can include:
- Application forms
- Psychometric assessments
- Asynchronous video interviews
While the touchpoints I listed above are heavily "tech-touch" and often used to as information gathering and candidate prioritisation tools, they also provide an opportunity to re-engage and create the ever-important emotional connection with your candidates.
Below are the best ways I've seen companies leverage technology and automation to continue telling their stories during the early stages of a recruitment process.
1. Personalize invitation emails
So many organisations use psychometric assessments, video interviewing, coding tests, and other tools which send out automated invitation emails for candidates to complete the next step in the recruitment process. Often, I see organizations keep their invitation emails very task-focused. For example: You've been invited to complete an assessment. Click the link to begin.
While in practice there's nothing wrong with this, you should view this email as yet another touchpoint which can help get your candidate invested in your process.
Some of the best psychometric assessment invitation emails I've seen included elements like:
- Adding images of existing staff to your invitation email.
- Including an overview of the recruitment process (rather than just the immediate next step).
- Including an explanation of why the candidate is being asked to complete the psychometric assessment.
In adding these elements, the invitation emails feel less automated and significantly more personalised. You're not just asking a candidate to invest in your recruitment process, you're providing them with context as to why their time investment is important. Sharing the story of your recruitment process further shows your organization's transparency and can help get candidates invested in your process.
2. Make your completion emails a fun read
After the invitation email, the next important touchpoint is your completion email. Your candidates may have just invested between 30 and 60 minutes in completing assessments, interviews, and forms. Ensuring that they feel rewarded after your process is key to making them feel valued.
Check if your tools send out automated completion confirmation emails, and whether those emails are editable. If so, can you add in any of the following:
- A walkthrough of next steps in your recruitment process.
- More information about the role, the team, or a day in the life.
- Information about your company's values and/or benefits.
- Personalized candidate feedback and how to stay in touch (e.g. Company socials).
Criteria's platform provides editable completion emails, as well as detailed candidate feedback reports that focus on a candidate's key strengths and development areas.
This feedback report provides valuable insights, and on numerous occasions we've seen candidates publicly share their feedback reports on LinkedIn and tag both Criteria and their prospective employer. In doing so, the candidate is engaging with their potential employer rather than simply completing one step and waiting for the next step of the process to begin.
3. Add storytelling into your video interview
Every client I've worked with that uses video interviews loves having the ability to set up a handful of questions, invite candidates online, and then a week later have the ability to sit down with a big cup of coffee and spend an hour reviewing 6 candidates. It's a process that otherwise might take them half a day of chasing down phone interviews!
So how do we get candidates to love their experience and your recruitment process as much as you do? The answer is by ensuring that they don't feel like they're talking to a blank screen.
The best ways I've seen clients do this is by:
- Starting by sharing an EVP video.
- This might include a marketing developed video about your organisation, or a more personalised introduction by a leader in your business.
- Introducing the video interview process with a recording of an existing staff member, including one who can talk about your recruitment process.
- Connections are so easily built when you can share that you've gone through the same experience as your candidate.
- Having an "exit video" at the end of the video interview.
- Exit videos vary from one company to another, but humanising your brand further enables engagement with the rest of your recruitment process.
Video interviewing allows for such rich storytelling using more than just text - but your actual employees' voices and faces. The stories that organizations tell through video interviewing differ based on their brand and their desired outcomes. They can include a short explanation of recruitment next steps, an overview of the business and team, or an explanation of your company values, just to name a few. Some organizations might even choose to include a mini-blooper reel from their video interview recordings to show that there's no expectation for perfection in this process. To err is human, after all!
Whatever you choose to include in your video interview storytelling, it's yet another opportunity to show your organization's authenticity and highlight why you should be the candidate's employer of choice.
Why storytelling in recruitment matters
At the end of your recruitment process, ask yourself: "how did my candidate feel at each stage of this process?"
Did they feel like they were getting automated emails? Did they feel engaged with your brand? Did they have the opportunity to keep learning about you as you learned more about them?
As we operate in an increasingly candidate short market, and especially a market that is short on quality candidates, organizations need to take every opportunity to engage and re-engage their candidates. By adding storytelling to your tech-touch processes, you are both ensuring that your candidates are becoming active participants in a journey, rather than being passive actors completing disjointed steps.
We want to ensure your candidates are getting the best experience possible. Part of that is sharing your story and continually engaging with the candidates during each step of your recruitment process. So by the time they get an offer with your organization, they’re not only bought into your EVP, your values and your people, but they trust your processes as well.