These Eight Employer Branding Strategies Use Storytelling to Inspire and Engage
Boost your hiring and retention outcomes with an employer brand strategy that follows the golden rule of great storytelling, “Show, don’t tell.”
By: Anne Shaw
Is your employer branding strategy stuck in the “occasional-blog-post-if-someone-has-time” rut? If so, it’s time to get on board the fast-moving employer branding train.
Many companies have discovered the benefits of investing in their employer branding story. In fact recent Monster research conducted with Human Capital Media Research and Advisory Group found that nearly 50 percent of surveyed companies plan to increase overall spending for employer branding in the coming year.
So how do you get started? We’ve compiled a list of eight companies that created stellar employer brand content in 2017 to inspire you. These examples demonstrate how storytelling can be used to inspire and engage job candidates as part of your employer branding.
By featuring real employees with real-life messages, these companies enable job seekers to imagine themselves in the role. And by taking advantage of social media, they effectively increase their brand’s reach and drive engagement.
These inspiring ideas and techniques can help you formulate an employer brand strategy that will resonate with job seekers, employees and consumers.
1. General Electric’s Video “What If Millie Dresselhaus, Female Scientist, Was Treated Like A Celebrity”
GE made a splash this year when it released a video depicting a world in which great female scientists are treated like celebrities. The video announced GE’s goal of employing 20,000 women in technical roles by 2020. After first airing during the 2017 Oscars, the video was quickly followed by Internet applause for its message and now has nearly one million views.
Key takeaways: Creativity, transparency and a high level of investment by decision makers have been the hallmarks of GE's widely touted rebranding efforts. In 2016, the company began calling itself a "124-year-old startup."
The values a potential employer demonstrates are often a critical factor in deciding whether or not to accept an offer, especially for Millennial job seekers. GE has made excellent use of employer branding content to convey their values in a smart, engaging way.
2. Accenture’s #InclusionStartsWithI Campaign
Accenture went a long way toward demonstrating transparency by helping its own employees share their diversity-related struggles in this highly shareable video. They also created a hashtag that employees have been quick to rally around.
As a result, both Diversity Inc. and Fortune covered this campaign positively, furthering the company’s reputation as a great employer. Another plus—Accenture readily shares its diversity numbers, allowing the general public and any potential candidates to track how they’re doing against their diversity goals.
Key takeaways: Transparency, honesty and savvy use of both employee-generated content and social media make Accenture’s approach a valuable example for brands to follow. And since Millennials prioritize diversity, doubling down on the topic is especially smart from a talent acquisition standpoint.
Millennial talent wants to be engaged with your brand. Monster Employer Branding Solutions can help you reach young talent where they hang out online.
3. Booking.com’s One Mission Project
Booking.com challenged its thousands of employees to document their own trips and vacations with a company-provided GoPro. The project led to an inspiring video that aligns employees with Booking.com’s mission: “To empower people to experience the world.”
The true-to-culture campaign not only yielded an impressive video with more than 5.5 million views and also created a rallying point for employees as well as spin-off advertisements for further recruitment marketing. That’s a strong way to attract like-minded, adventure-seeking job candidates.
Key takeaways: Leveraging employees to humanize your employer brand and its values with video storytelling can be a smart and cost-effective method for creating authentic, effective content. Booking.com’s done it very smartly here. If your company lacks dedicated filming resources, Monster Video Profiles make it easy to tell your brand story.
Microsoft is a longstanding brand in the ever-evolving tech industry. This can make it tough for the company to compete for talent with newer—and sometimes trendier—companies.
This year, though, Microsoft made progress in repositioning its legacy brand by showcasing its inclusive, hip and inspiring culture through its “Microsoft Life” blog and Instagram account. The blog is largely written by employees and features stories about the company’s truly unique working spaces. It even delves into a company-wide networking group for cat lovers dubbed Cats at Microsoft, or Mcats (we promise—we’re not making this up!).
The Microsoft Life Instagram, which boasts nearly 100,000 followers, offers an inside look at employees’ day-to-day work by featuring pics of projects, cool conferences and even the microgreen gardens in their cafes.
Key takeaways: Microsoft faces a problem common to large, established companies: attracting younger talent that wants to work for “cool” companies. This campaign addressed this perception head on via employee-generated content and effective use of social media. Other big companies should take note.
5. #Salesforce Ohana
Salesforce is all about its Ohana, the Hawaiian word for “family.” And like any proud parent, the company loves to share photos of family members—in this case, happy employees—doing cool, fun and interesting things via its Instagram account.
But the real story here isn’t about how and what Salesforce shares on its Instagram, it’s about demonstrated employee engagement. Salesforce’s employees have jumped into the role of brand ambassadors, readily sharing why they love working for the company with their own social accounts, using #SalesforceOhana across social platforms—which is a great way to expand your reach organically.
Key takeaways: Salesforce empowered its employees to be brand ambassadors, and that’s a great lesson for companies who put their values front-and-center.
Monster helps candidates understand your company values through company profile pages and branded job ads. Learn more about Monster Employer Branding solutions.
6. Etsy’s Parental Leave Video
Good recruitment content does more than just tell—it demonstrates a company’s values in action. That includes showing the impact of benefits on the lives of real employees. That’s exactly what Etsy’s video about its parental leave policy does.
After the company announced it would offer employees six-and-a-half-months’ paid parental leave in 2016, Etsy recruited its own employees to share their stories and explain the difference it made in their personal lives and at work. Fair warning: watch with tissues handy.
Key takeaways: This is a perfect example of the power of highlighting unique company benefits and how to do it right. Real people. Real impact. Real good!
7. Twitter’s Career Site
Today’s professionals want to know how they will fit into your organization. Why? They want to better understand the impact they could make.
Twitter has organized its career site accordingly. As users scroll through Twitter’s teams to find open jobs that fit their experience, they won’t see typical department headers like “Marketing,” “Human Resources” or “Product Development.” Instead, they’ll read the function and impact of each team: “Promote the Business,” “Keep Us Running” and “Build the Product.”
Key takeaways: Twitter turns the stale careers page idea on its head through transparent content that anticipates job seekers’ questions. It demystifies the company's structure and provides clear, accessible information about their goals, vision and values.
This type of transparency is likely to appeal to busy job seekers looking to quickly assess culture and job opportunities. Hopefully, Twitter will share some data about how this approach has impacted their hiring and retention efforts in 2018!
8. Johnson & Johnson’s Career Stories and General Motors’ Employee Stories
Like GE, Johnson & Johnson and General Motors both understand that stories shared by real employees can be some of the most compelling reasons to join a company.
Johnson & Johnson's website not only highlights employees’ career paths, but does so in a visually interesting and easily digestible way.
In similar fashion, General Motors humanizes its brand and relates to candidates by highlighting real employees using video to increase engagement. In its video series, GM’s people share their day-to-day tasks, discuss their professional growth and explain their work—a great way to help candidates imagine themselves working there.
Key takeaways: Like Microsoft and GE, Johnson & Johnson and GM are established companies that have learned to compete with the Snapchats of the world. These stories are a great way of showing off their people and what they’ve accomplished. Plus, these stories give interested candidates a taste of what they could accomplish on the job.
Beyond the powerful storytelling in these examples, note the use of content formats beyond just blog posts, such as infographics, videos and long-form features. Consider using a variety of formats as you create your recruitment content.