TOTM – Character

You Need a Better Story!

Why is it so difficult for recruiting teams to attract qualified candidates for their open roles? The reasons range from inefficient recruiting processes to highly competitive markets with companies looking for similar top talent.
While your particular recruiting function may need refinement in a number of areas, a big reason why you are not winning the war for talent is that you are not communicating your "story" in a unique and compelling way. You most likely have the necessary attributes to tell an exciting story but haven’t figured out the best way of packaging that messaging.
There is no denying the powerful emotional effect that effective storytelling can have on a buyer, consumer or candidate.
Donald Miller, who wrote Building a StoryBrand, offers this framework for creating a compelling story:
story brand 2
There are other frameworks similar to the above but the main elements of effective story telling include the following: identify your main Character, identify the Problem that needs to be solved, provide a Plan or solution to help solve the problem, and help the character achieve Success.
Think about how effective your business is today in selling your product or services to your customers. Your sales and marketing teams are well trained in understanding that your client is the main character and your product or offerings are helping to solve a problem for them. You are probably great story tellers when dealing with clients as the focus is on them, and not you.
But recruiting seems to follow a completely different script. For many organizations, their recruiting messages fall flat because they have identified the wrong main character and have built an uninspiring story around that character.  Specifically, the error is identifying the company as the main character and not the candidate. Let's cover a few examples that highlight this point.
Example 1 - If a recruiter's phone screen, career section of the website, and/or candidate hand-out materials focus on items such as bios of the original founders and key dates/events in the company's history, then the main character of the story is the company. Why? Because candidates really don't care about this information.  If you are questioning if this is accurate, ask yourself how important that information was in your decision to join your current company.
Example 2 - If a job description is centered around a laundry list of skill and competency requirements, then the main character is the company. Why? Because the description addresses what's in it for the company and not for the candidate.
The point here is that the recruiting function needs to steal a page from their sales and marketing counterparts and start and end the story with the right audience in mind.
While the process of re-crafting a story can be complex and time consuming, a good starting point is simply to get all stakeholders to agree on "Who is our main character?"