I probably don’t need to tell you how competitive modern sales recruiting is. Companies are constantly jockeying for position to find top industry talent and maintain an edge over other brands. A big part of doing that successfully is staying creative with sales recruitment marketing, continually looking for new ways to appeal to high-level salespeople and motivate them to apply.
One trend that’s emerged as of late is employee stories, which is a simple yet potent strategy when executed correctly. In this post, I’ll explain what employee stories are and why they work. I’ll also include real-life examples to see what employee stories look like in action so you’ll know how to inject them into your sales recruitment marketing to win over top candidates.
Let’s jump right in.
What Exactly Are Employee Stories?
Simply put, they’re “digital stories narrated through videos and blogs about existing workers to instill an emotional connection with an organization.” In the context of sales recruiting, employee stories involve a current rep explaining what it’s like working for a company, what they enjoy about it, what the culture is like, and so on. The purpose is to give job seekers a quick overview of what a salesperson’s experience has been like and validate your company as being one they want to work for.
There are several directions you can take in terms of employee story types, but some common formats include:
What attracted an employee to your company and why they’ve chosen to stick with you
An overview of their role and responsibilities
A day in the life video
Career development that’s taken place with your company
There are two main reasons. First, they help give job seekers a clear idea of what it’s truly like to work for you. Research from LinkedIn found the biggest issue candidates have when searching for a job is “not knowing what it’s like to work at an organization.”
Sure they can get a basic idea from the job description, your website, social media, etc. But that doesn’t always paint the whole picture. Employee stories instantly connect the dots and give candidates an overarching perspective of what it would really be like to work for you because they’re hearing it straight from the horse’s mouth.
Second, employee stories are perfect for building trust. Brands obviously want to portray themselves in the best light, so of course they’re going to say their company is a great place to work and their culture is amazing. Not every candidate, however, is going to take it at face value. But using this type of medium can quickly bridge the trust gap. In fact, the same LinkedIn study found that candidates are 3x more likely to trust a company’s employees to provide accurate information than the company itself.
I like how Todd Kunsman, director of marketing at EveryoneSocial, frames it with this quote.
“Think of this way: the less conflict of interest there is (or the more personal risk there is), the more credible and authentic the story — hence the value of employee stories. Employees have their skin in the game, but a faceless brand name can promote itself devoid of risk.”
So by correctly using employee stories, you can quickly convey what it’s really like to work for your company and leverage actual employee testimonies to establish instant trust. And that can go a long way in gaining the edge in recruiting.
Two Real-Life Examples
To better help you see how today’s top brands are using employee stories, I’d like to share two real-life examples. The first is from Brandwatch, a SaaS analytics platform that focuses on digital consumer intelligence. On their “Careers” page, the first thing candidates see is this section, featuring a captivating employee story in the form of a video.
In it, one of their employees, Ben Ellis, talks about:
How long he’s been with Brandwatch
Why he loves working there, citing specific reasons
How the company has invested in his personal development
How he receives support from company leaders
How the company is very inclusive
It’s just under 2 ½ minutes long, but it includes everything candidates need to know to get a sense of what working for Brandwatch is like. You can see the entire video for yourself here.
The second example comes from Salesforce where they’ve gone so far as to create a dedicated employee stories page on their website called “Get to Know Us.”
Here candidates can find a ton of great information featuring current staff, including this long time employee Alan Weibel.
In it, Alan explains why he chose to join Salesforce, what his role is, his proudest moment at the company, and much more.
The post is a fun, personal way to get candidates up-to-speed and really injects Alan’s personality into it. And after reading it, especially this part about the amazing culture, I can only imagine that someone’s interest in working for Salesforce would skyrocket.
So looking at examples like these, it’s apparent how big of an impact employee stories can have.
Humanizing Your Brand with Employee Stories
Standing out is vital with modern sales recruiting. And this is one of the newer techniques that I personally love. By featuring actual employees and getting their personal accounts, you can swiftly articulate what it’s like working for your company and build that all important sense of trust.
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