SmartRecruiters Blog

Storytelling Attracts Passive Candidates

One of the most challenging aspects of a recruiter’s job today is getting the attention of passive candidates. These are the high-performing professionals your company wants to hire. But unfortunately, they’re working full-time for another employer and not actively looking for a job. As a result, they tend not to invest time and energy into things like their LinkedIn profile. This makes it very hard to locate, let alone assess and connect with the kind of talent that is best suited for your open positions.

But, What If You Could Make Them Come To You?

Actually, you can.

And it starts with a little storytelling…

Once upon a time there was a company with a great corporate culture. It was growing fast and the management team needed to find more talented people to join their ranks so they could continue on their mission of providing outstanding services to their clients in a cutting-edge fashion (sound familiar?). The company decided the only way to get the attention of the talent they so desperately needed was to find a way to share with them just how great the company was. So, the team got together and brainstormed a list of:

  • All the things that made the company a cool place to work.
  • The values and beliefs that drove company decisions.
  • Key examples of times where the company demonstrated how it was different/better than its competitors.


When They Were Done, The List Was Long

Next, they reviewed the list and asked themselves, “If I were a talented person who wasn’t actively looking for a job, which of the five things on this list would most likely get my attention about a company?”

Soon after, they had chosen the five things on the list and proceeded to work with their management team, marketing department, and HR staff to create articles. The articles were designed to share their stories in a way that would help the right talent to identify a feeling of connection to their company. When the articles were done, the company posted them as guest posts on websites and promoted them on social media.


Suddenly, The Company’s Email Inbox Was Full Of New Applicants


At the bottom of every article, they put, “If the company in this story sounds like an interesting place to work, click this link, fill out a quick 2-minute form, submit your information confidentially, and we’ll be in touch within two business days.”

The link took the reader to a simple online application where he/she could answer a few questions and put in his/her LinkedIn profile URL. The process took just a few minutes, making it easy for anyone to apply in the moment (namely, passive candidates who may not have time later).


The Best Part? The Company Got A “Two-For”

What’s a “two-for,” you ask? It’s short for two-for-the-price-of-one. In this case, the articles they published not only attracted talent, but they also acted as general PR for the company online, helping to raise their visibility on the Internet. It provided them with more credibility and increased overall traffic to their corporate website. In short, they got PR and talent out of each post.


Why Isn’t Your Company Using This Strategy?

The fact is, while most companies are finally integrating content marketing into their business efforts, they haven’t realized the same technique could be applied to Employment Branding – and they are missing out on a great way to get more mileage out of their marketing and HR budgets.


Next Steps: Share This Story With Your Management Team

The sooner you help management understand what Employment Branding is and how content marketing can help them find top talent AND give them great PR, the sooner they’ll invest.

Your ideal passive candidates aren’t looking at your job postings, but they are reading timely, professional articles on the web. It’s time to start writing content they’ll read so you can snag them before some other company does!

J.T. O'Donnell

18+ years of experience in the development of professional HR tools and resources. Have delivered 200+ presentations to more than 10,000 professionals on a wide variety of career topics. Managed teams of 50+ with budgets of $35M+. Launched, which is now a top 3 career blog with 2,000,000+ monthly pagviews, 500,000+ social media followers, and 99,000+ daily email subscribers.