In January this year, we wrote an article that was very thoughtful about the top recruitment marketing opportunities for 2020.
Looking back, it might as well have been written in January 1995, considering what has followed.
But, we weren’t all wrong. In fact, some of the things we thought were important then have become critical.
For example, employee stories that show specifically how your company is creating and fostering an inclusive culture are very important to create this year (and forever).
But, with the continued trauma Black Americans experience caused by racial injustice and systemic racism, and the call for companies to back up their claims of supporting people of color at work, how you tell employee stories is very different right now.
The way you tell stories is just as important as the story itself
It’s about amplifying the voices of your Black employees, which is not a trend or opportunity for talent marketers, but an organizational necessity that should be sustained over time.
In addition to amplifying the voices of Black employees by sharing their stories on your channels with your networks, you need to tell a larger organizational story. What is your company doing that will really make a difference?
You need to prove it. Back up your statements of support with real commitments and progress toward an inclusive culture (hiring stats, increased D&I budgets, corporate giving and activity).
Even if you’re a small company, there are ways you can deepen your commitment to organizational diversity and racial justice. For instance, at Stories Inc., we consider ourselves constant students. While we uncover stories of inclusion for our clients every day, internally we also seek to improve. Steps we have taken and are taking in 2020 include:
- Engaging diversity and inclusion experts for team trainings.
- Adjusting our processes to better include underrepresented voices from our clients.
- Introducing a new way to remove geographic barriers through virtual storytelling in order to source even more diverse stories and experiences from employees.
- Evaluating our hiring practices and working to attract more Black and BIPOC candidates to our open positions.
- Amplifying Black and BIPOC leaders’ voices on the platforms we have built.
No matter where your company is in its inclusion, diversity, and belonging journey, showing what you’re doing to actually put your plans into action is important to back up your statements of support.
When it’s possible, pair your statements and commitments with stories from employees that show specifically how you’ve supported them. This is the ultimate proof that you are who you say you are.
Your audience is bigger
Throughout the pandemic, employers have made decisions that ultimately impacted their employees’ physical safety, emotional wellness and financial wellbeing. The world has taken a special interest in your people decisions. Yes, you’re hoping to reach candidates, who will use the stories about what you did for employees during these crises as the ultimate opt in or out info.
But, your audience is also much wider. The public at large is holding companies accountable for how they’re treating their most vulnerable employees.
For example, Starbucks customers and anti-racism voices expressed strong opinions on the company’s initial decision to not allow employees to wear Black Lives Matter attire while working. Starbucks listened, reevaluated its stance and began production of officially-branded Black Lives Matter shirts for employees.
Clearly, there are now more stakeholders in and around your company who will care about your employee experiences. They can help you create and amplify your content. Their audiences need employee story content too.
Employee experience in real time
A lot of companies are not talking. It’s hard to know what to say or what’s coming next. But the Black Lives Matter movement has equated silence with being complicit. And your employees are going to share whether you’re ready or not. So, choose to support them by helping them share their experiences in ways that will gain exposure and support.
- Help them focus their personal story in a way that will get their message across.
- Honor their story by caring about the quality of audio and video.
- Support their story with compelling visuals, photos, and b-roll.
Ultimately talent marketers want to serve their organization and their candidates. Today, you need to take special care of serving your storytellers, especially those who are people of color. Realize your audience will extend to the general public, not just candidates. Be really thoughtful about how you can best help create an inclusive culture and amplify stories that need telling right now.
Want to learn more?
A great way to show your company is truly including all groups of people in your culture is to layer and weave employee stories together.
Company culture videos that feature multiple employee perspectives are a versatile video style that can be personalized for your teams, talent groups, or illustrate universal company values and themes.
Stories Inc. has created hundreds of such compilation videos, and we are happy to share our insights with you. Get inspired for your next content project!