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Industry Trends | 3 minute read

The art of storytelling: 3 Chapters to capture your candidates' story

November 4, 2015

The art of storytelling has recently come into the spotlight as an important tool used by marketing professionals to sell products. Research shows that people are generally more engaged by descriptive language and have a tendency to remember stories better than facts. When applied to recruiting, your candidate’s unique background becomes the story to tell and your hiring manager becomes the audience. Therefore the best recruiting tip for you to make a lasting impact on your hiring manager is to focus on going beyond the facts to tell the candidate’s story.

A candidate story can be told in three chapters.     

Get more recruiting tips from a WilsonHCG corporate recruiter [blog].

Chapter One - What they do

Delve deep into the industry, organization and job function to provide the answers to these questions: Is the candidate employed? If so, by whom? What industry are they in? What is the size of their organization? What does their typical work day look like? Who do they report to? Who reports to them? Do they worked collaboratively with any other teams or departments? How often do they make career changes and what were the reasons behind them? This will serve to check the boxes on the experience your hiring manager is looking for.

Chapter Two - How they do what they do

List what skills, education or tools the candidate uses to perform their job. Explain how their success is measured. Describe their biggest challenge professionally, or maybe a failure they experienced and what they learned from it. If the candidate has gaps in their career find out why. Discover whether they were a caretaker, homemaker or something else entirely and what that life experience taught them. Share with the hiring manager what makes this particular person great at their job and include specific examples that the candidate provided during the course of the initial screen.

Chapter Three - Why they do what they do

Explain why they are looking for a new opportunity and how long have they have been considering a career move. Note specifically why they are interested in this opportunity and share what is important to them when considering a new role in a new organization. Provide insight into where you think this person may add value back to the organization. Highlight their unique drivers and motivators. Focus on what fuels them as a professional.

Not only will these techniques help your candidate leap off the resume page, but they will also improve your ability to take a consultative approach to recruiting. While hiring managers know what technical skills they are looking for in a candidate, intangible characteristics are more difficult to identify until they are right in front of you. Telling a robust candidate story is a powerful way to communicate exactly who this candidate is and what they can bring to the table.


About Gillisa Pope

Gillisa Pope is a senior member of WilsonHCG’s innovation team. As director of sourcing strategy, she melds creative ideas, analytics and best practices to design and action impactful sourcing solutions. An expert in employment branding, Gillisa is also part of the team that produces WilsonHCG’s award-winning annual Fortune 500 employment brand report. She has over 15 years of experience in designing and building talent attraction strategies for some of the world’s most admired brands.