Listening to Corporate Stories: Audio Storytelling in Recruiting
When we talk about storytelling in recruiting, we also have to talk about audio storytelling. The podcast hype has now also arrived in employer branding and – used correctly – can ensure new talent and satisfied employees.
In the following, I will show how audio formats can be successfully used for recruiting with the help of storytelling, using a few selected examples.
PwC – Honest stories
Do employee stories always have to be told in video form in order to captivate their audience? No! In the corporate podcast „Versprochen“ for example, PwC colleagues talk about their day-to-day work. On the one hand, they provide exciting insights into the company, but they also reveal honest stories about themselves.
Senior Partner Petra reviews her 30 years with the company and compares her career leaps to a jacket that was too big and that she had to grow into. Globetrotter and manager Christopher, on the other hand, talks about how his sabbatical changed his view of people and how inclusive digitization succeeds. Once a month, PwC employee Anne interviews her team mates from various areas of consulting, providing new and exciting insights into the company for both existing employees and potential applicants.
OTTO – Audible company values
OTTO also has a podcast. Within two years, the Hamburg-based company has released over 100 episodes of its corporate podcast O-TON, i.e. one episode per week. In this way, the mail order company wants to make its corporate values tangible and audible. They talk about internal offerings, such as mentoring, company sports or sustainability days, but also general overarching topics, such as “Is fashion going out of fashion?” or “Do all children have to learn how to code?”
OTTO sees the podcast as an independent channel, but at the same time also as one that is interwoven with all other channels of corporate communication. That is, with social media, with external communication in the direction of the press, via the newsroom channels, and so on. Transmedia storytelling, i.e. thinking across channels, is a big issue here. And in the end, it pays off in terms of employer branding and recruiting.
If you would like to learn more about the OTTO podcast, we recommend the corresponding episode of our Praxis-Talk Brand Storytelling. In this episode, press officer Ingo Bertram talks to Miriam about how storytelling can be used to give employees a voice and why audio formats can be used to create closeness and personality.
Mashup Communications – Real insights into our agency
Do you already know our corporate series „Agency Stories“? Here, our Managing Director Miriam interviews the Mashies on a wide range of topics related to our agency. For example, team leader Lisa shares her experience about her IHK exam to become a trainer. Our consultant Mona looks back on her part-time traineeship (Traineeship in Teilzeit). Or senior consultant Christina tells us what’s important in our own PR for Mashup Communications. The conversation is always recorded in a LinkedIn Live format. Later, we convert it for secondary use for our podcast and as a blog post as well as the external newsletter. This gives interested parties – both internal and external – up-close insights into our projects and processes as an agency.
Job ads with a twist – Audio storytelling in recruiting
But how can I use storytelling specifically in recruiting? Here, too, I have found two unusual examples.
Parship – In love with job stories
The job ad from Parship doesn’t necessarily look unusual at first glance. But if you take a closer look, you’ll discover an audio file entitled „Jobstories“ in the top right-hand corner. The people responsible at Parship have also recognized that they need to find new ways to recruit skilled workers and have therefore launched a recruiting podcast in addition to the usual advertisements, in which existing employees talk about their work at the dating portal. In this way, applicants can learn more about the job and their future colleagues in a much more authentic way than by simply reading an advertisement.
If you press the play button, you will hear a short interview with the respective team members about their daily tasks and working together with their colleagues, who also reveal some surprising facts. The reason for the recruiting podcast was – as so often – the Corona pandemic. Parship was looking for alternatives to the outdoor advertising of job ads, as people were less likely to encounter the campaigns there due to the consequences of the lockdown.
It is important to the HR team that they really create added value with the audio format. When recording, they always ask themselves: What are the applicants really interested in? And what content complements the written advertisement? Then they look for participants from the respective departments who feel comfortable in front of the microphone and can convey the content clearly and, above all, authentically.
Reformierte Kirche Langenthal – Job advertisement as homestory
Imagine bells ringing. Then a male voice that begins in Schwyzerdütsch: “It’s a sunny morning in Langenthal.” The voice belongs to podcaster Marc Jäggi, who is meeting with the parish’s pastor that morning to look over his shoulder as he prepares for the upcoming church service.
The reason for the visit: the small parish needed a new community manager, aka priest. And the Swiss were looking for this person not in their local church bulletin but, in true storytelling style, on Spotify. Here, the future owner not only learned how a sermon is created, but also learned more about his or her new family home.
Why the council chose Spotify for its application, in addition to LinkedIn and Instagram? They said the podcast was a great way to introduce the position with a good story. They also wanted a pastor who was open to trying new things. Apparently, the strategy worked out well, as another youth worker position was also posted through this channel.
The church doesn’t always serve as a role model. But in this case, companies can take a leaf out of their book when it comes to creativity. Even though podcasts have become mainstream, they are still a rarity in recruiting. Yet audio formats offer such great potential for stories.
Want to learn more about storytelling in podcasts? Then I recommend our own podcast episode with radio legend Rob Szymoniak.
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