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Hero’s Journey in Employer Branding: Finding the Right Story for Every Stage of the Recruiting Journey
Campfire – Employer Branding Tools 11 March 2024

Hero’s Journey in Employer Branding: Finding the Right Story for Every Stage of the Recruiting Journey

Hero's Journey in Employer Branding

In addition to our model of the employer branding funnel, the recruiting journey of talents can also be depicted in a circle. The stages of the classic hero’s journey help employers identify relevant milestones along which they can align their storytelling for successful recruiting and sustainable employee retention.

Leaving the ordinary world behind: employer branding for recruiting must focus on reach, relevance, and good arguments

Employer Branding for Recruiting

Between the first stage of the hero’s journey (Ordinary World), the current job or completed studies, and the application to a new company (First Threshold), there are also some hurdles for employers to overcome. When it comes to motivating candidates to reorient themselves, we rarely have any influence on the push factors, e.g. working conditions, low salary, bore-out, etc. Instead, we have to create a “pull” at several points of contact and with persistence.

The problem: Despite the desire for change, talents also carry critical rejections (refusal) with them, e.g. reservations about certain industries and professions or negative voices that they hear from their environment or on glassdoor / kununu. There may also be concerns about the working environment or promotion opportunities. There are many reasons for doubt and skepticism. Employer branding is therefore not about promising the golden job as an omnipresent barker.

Instead, companies should activate their role as mentors with brand storytelling. You need to get to know and understand the true needs and values of the candidates. Only when you know what motivates them, what puts them off, and what inspires them can you develop the right content and stories. In their role as mentors, employers also convey an understanding of the company’s values, the culture, and how it is practiced.

Storytelling and storylistening as constant companions: Employer branding for retention starts with the first contact

Employer Branding for Retention

The wording and design of the job advertisement, how the application is received and the company’s response to it are all decisive factors for the success of the recruitment process on both sides. These and many other points reveal the values and corporate culture we live by. With storytelling and storylistening, i.e. the targeted teasing out of stories from candidates, the entire application process can be given the special touch of the employer brand.

And then onboarding comes into play – the decisive step in successfully integrating new employees into the company. It’s not just about giving them all the tools and knowledge they need, but also about welcoming them from the outset and making them feel part of a team. Only then will it finally become clear whether the chemistry is right on both sides. (Tests and Allies)

Through a wide variety of storytelling and storylistening formats in internal communication, companies can create repeated occasions throughout an employment relationship to express appreciation, impart knowledge, and weld teams together. Employer branding works both internally and externally. Pride in the company, which can be fostered with stories – as well as with benefits – makes a decisive contribution to employee retention.

The team as a multiplier: Employee storytelling delivers the most convincing arguments

Corporate Influencers for Employer Branding

Returning does not mean that employees physically return to their old world, but that the adventure has become routine, that they have arrived. At the same time, this threshold can also mean a new beginning as a mentor. Having been successfully integrated into the company themselves, they now take on the responsibility of showing others the way. It’s not just about passing on specialist knowledge, but also about being a multiplier as part of the employer brand. Who better to report on the benefits of an employer than someone who has benefited from them themselves? Through their personal stories, corporate influencers can address potential applicants from the outside and give them an authentic insight into the corporate culture.

The role of mentor is not only of great importance for the company but also for the personal development of the individuals concerned. It offers them the opportunity to strengthen their leadership and communication skills and establish themselves as a valuable member of the company. This is how yesterday’s hero or heroine becomes tomorrow’s mentor. With their elixir of knowledge and motivation, they help to entice future generations of talent out of their ordinary world.

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