In order to win a man to your cause, you must first reach his heart, the great highroad to his reason” - Abraham Lincoln.
Who are we? Why do we do what we do?
Let’s forget about the business, complicated spreadsheets and the revenue charts around which our life revolves everyday. Let’s forget about the paycheck we get at the end of every month. Just for a while, shoot all of them out of your mind.
What gives you the power to wake up every morning, dress up and head out to office every day? While you are in the metro or driving your car, what do you think as you look forward to your day? Is it, “Hell, yeah. I have that presentation with the clients which I am going to rock and show them the awesome work that my team had been doing?” or is it “Oh, no. I have that presentation in an hour, the clients are so choosy, I don’t even know if they will like it!”
If it’s the second one, we have been doing something wrong, both as an individual or as an organization.
There have been thousands of research on the work pool which will be dominating the industries in the coming years. They are the millennials. All of them seem to agree on one point. millennials do not work for the end result, they work for the journey. They are in it not for the money, but for the reason.
In this widely changing scenario, where the entire workplace culture is going through a paradigm shift, we cannot expect to stick to the age-old methods of recruiting and expect to have really passionate people in our team.
Again, now, we don’t hire people. We build a team!!
Now, how do you make awesome people join your team?
An anonymous company in their about us page tells,
“ We are a group of 8 kickass developers and 5 genius marketers who are trying to create a world where talent and businesses no longer need to hunt for each other. We want every company to have the team they deserve and every individual, the job they would love.
We were born about a year back, and we have already got 50+ companies the people they had long been waiting for. We are looking to expand the family(I think we’re ready for that :)) and we want you to join us. Passion, commitment, and strong belief define all of us and we truly believe that along with you, we can make it there.
Apart from the supercool office, team outings, a fridge which is mostly full, and flexible working hours, we won’t decide the perks for you, you decide the rest after you’re a part of the family.
Soooo….what do you think? Life is short, work somewhere awesome!! Wink :-p”
Did it almost speak to you? Could you almost visualize the person while reading this?
This, my friends, is the power of storytelling.
Great leaders like Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, billionaire John Paul DeJoria, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, all have one thing in common. They use the power of storytelling effectively to enrich their businesses and touch the lives of thousands of people.
When it comes to recruiting, storytelling not only helps to capture a candidate’s attention but also creates an emotional engagement in the candidates.
So, how should we use the power of storytelling in recruitment?
DO NOT absolutely do these things
No talking about your revenues
We have seen tons of recruiters starting their JD with “ We are an XYZ company, located in X, Y, Z cities, and have made a revenue of $XYZ in the previous year. Join us.”
Let me tell you one thing, People don’t care!
Same thing, if done by the marketing team, won’t lead to any leads; and it won’t work for your recruitment as well.
I was talking to one of my friend, a senior software developer in a leading startup, and this is what he had to say, “ Yes, company profile is a factor, but it’s not the only factor. Having 2-3 offices shows that the company is stable, but besides this information, I will like to know more about the team I will be working with and the kind of culture they have.”
People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. In the same way, people join you not just for your name, but for who you are.
No long “Bcc’d” emails.
Sometimes, I just cannot help but wonder, “What the hell is wrong with some recruiters?” Some of them still send you emails, where you are in “bcc”, not mentioned by your name, and for some reason the font of the email is totally weird.
Isn’t it totally evident that the same email has been sent to maybe a zillion people and I am just one amongst them! The company has probably no idea of who I am, or why should they even spend time going through my screening process. Well, in that case, I shouldn’t even be thinking about joining them.
And it’s not always the fault of the people who are actually working with the company, sometimes the company has outsourced the whole sourcing business to a recruitment agency, and it’s them who are actually doing the emails.
You will get candidates in this way, but no the ones, who want to work with(not for) you, or who believe in your mission.
If you really want people who you deserve, take some time out. Go through their social media profiles, get a sense of who they really are, and compose a brief personalized email instead. Mention and appreciate them about their works, express your views if possible, and tell them explicitly why you are reaching out to them.
Make them feel that they’re not an average Joe, and maybe they won’t take you for one.
Absolutely DO these things
Use your website to narrate your brand story
Your organizational culture is very much the foundation of your brand story, and candidates definitely check your home page before applying to a job. Your culture should be very much vivid on your website, you can make it more powerful by adding employee images or quotes.
Before even jumping off to the careers page, you get a clear visualization about the people who are working in the company. After all, the name of the organization is just a term, it’s the people, who “are” the company. It’s like we give you a glimpse of the life in the company, and if it suits you, you’re welcome to join too.
It’s not just about the career page, but what you showcase right from your homepage.
Customize your email pitches
It’s true what they say, content is the KING now! No matter if you are a recruiter, CEO/CTO or a hiring manager, if you have picked out few great guys, please please please do not send them the same generalized emails.
Specially the part where people tell you that they have come across your profile and that they might have an interesting opportunity for you. But, interestingly, there is not a single line which talks about at least one of your personal achievements!
The best guys are not even in the job market, they are happily working at a place which they love. If you are pitching these guys, your email content should be highly personalized.
You can start with who you are and which company you are from. Keep the introduction short, preferably not more than 2-3 lines. After that, do not jump to your company details. Talk about them, be it their GitHub/StackOverflow; Behance; Blog etc, anything interesting fact that made you approach them in the first place.
This can be followed by something interesting about the team that they would be working with, mention some perks you think they would be interested in; and end the email requesting for a short call or maybe a quick cup of coffee(if you think the guy is really really good)!
Make sure, all the stages should be well-connected with each other and don’t make it about you, make it about them.
Narrate the story of your John or Jessica in social media
Yes, its John or Jacob or Susan, or anyone, they’re real people. Please refer to them as one, instead of “employees”. In the age of social recruiting, it’s very important how you share your stories in your company twitter handle or facebook page.
This can include anything, the time when your team went out for lunch together. Or when “Richa from accounting” contributed to a social cause, or the way Yamini and Vidya took over all the responsibilities for the Diwali decoration or how Saurabh was taking an evening nap after a very hefty bug-day and his dear colleagues took this opportunity to take some pretty cool snaps of him :-p
Tell people how Ramesh was awarded free movie tickets for being the best employee of the month, or Uma got her favorite headphone after cracking that long-expected deal.
Also let people know how Diya, the two-year-old daughter of Anmol loves to come to work with her mommy and has a very small chair of her own, right in her mommy’s cabin.
Your twitter handle can very well become a storybook. You can even create a separate twitter handle or a facebook page for sharing employee stories. This will not only impact your recruitment in a very very positive way but will also help you in building up a brand image.
Let people know more about you after all, Storytelling is not something we do; storytelling is who we are.