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How to Engage a Team that Needs Branding

Reading Time: 7 minutes

This post is part of our series on team storytelling. Job candidates care an awful lot about their possible future team. But even within the same organization, teams vary (sometimes widely) from one to the next. The most effective talent branding efforts use team member stories to showcase the value proposition that the specific hiring team provides a candidate.

We worked with a team of scientists at AstraZeneca who photoshopped their faces onto a mock landing page to see what marketing their team would be like. They were really excited to get branding! That’s the type of joyful motivation you want from your storytellers when embarking on a team recruitment marketing project.

So, how do you tap into a team’s excitement for a branding project?

Teach the team basic employer branding concepts

Tell them the truth: they are the stars

Candidates want to hear from team members most of all. One of the top concerns for candidates considering something new is, “Will I fit in with my team?” The daily work, the team culture, and how they connect to the organization’s purpose, is very important to candidates. Your storytellers are experts in those exact subjects! Your storytellers are the stars of the project.


Tap into their vested interest

Team members will talk directly to their potential future teammates. What they say will convince talent to apply or not. This ultimately impacts candidate quality and culture fit.

Remind your storytellers that the branding project will directly impact who will join their team in the future. And, an accurate picture of team life at a company impacts retention. The employee experience must match the marketing if you want your new team members to stay.

Show the team what’s possible

The team of scientists in the Biopharmaceutical Division (BPD) at AstraZeneca approached their recruitment marketing expert, Shavonne Thomas, with a few ideas. They originally wanted a testimonial video.

Shavonne realized this team had a unique culture that also reflected AstraZeneca’s underlying values as a whole. By uncovering and sharing their real experiences, instead of relying on standard corporate culture speak, BPD could show candidates what was truly special about their team while connecting it to AstraZeneca as an employer of choice.

Next, Shavonne needed to make it real for the team by showing good examples of recruitment marketing and branding content. She showed them video and landing page examples and guided them towards potential themes she knew would resonate with candidates. She introduced the team to Stories Inc. to uncover specific stories to create compelling recruitment marketing content.

Make the stories work for the team: After getting all those great team culture examples, don’t jam them all into one video. Show the team there’s a lot that can be done with their story content.  Create a whole suite of recruitment marketing content, from landing pages to social graphics for social channels. We took all the great stories we heard about real collaboration, passion for science, camaraderie, and diversity, which also tied to AstraZeneca’s larger culture and created an overview video about the team experience, a standalone story that defines culture, a photo library of team members interacting and working, and creating social graphics with quotes from team members on them. The team was so proud of and inspired by their new messaging, they created business cards with the landing page on them and handed them out at a conference full of their peers.

Here’s a standalone story we loved from one of the scientist storytellers.

Encourage storyteller involvement throughout the project

Honor their input

Once you give them reasons to care about this project (they are the experts candidates want to hear from, they influence who joins their team), solicit and honor their ideas and opinions.

For example, our BPD storytellers created interview questions they wanted us to ask them on camera. Preparing questions that get great stories is part of what we do at Stories Inc., but we welcomed these questions into our own work. Having a team that really cares is a wonderful thing and even something as small as adding their questions verbatim shows you value their contribution.

Encourage them to share and celebrate their stories

Once the content is live, invite the team to showcase the work that features them. Because they’ve been engaged throughout the process, they will be proud to share their stories with their networks. Tag them in the content on social and encourage them to share.


The goal of a team storytelling project is to give candidates a clear picture of what it’s like to work on a specific team. Capturing the excitement for a brand project from the team you’re helping attract talent is important for the content to resonate with candidates. By first teaching the team the basics about recruitment marketing, and honoring their feedback and involvement the entire way through the project, you’re on your way to creating content that accurately depicts the team experience.