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Stories from the Team: Insights from the Job Candidate’s Perspective

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Millennial? Gen Z? I don’t know what I am, but I know what I value when searching for a job…

An interesting article from CNBC recently highlighted that “nearly nine out of ten of millennials would consider taking a pay cut to work at a company whose mission and values align with their own according to LinkedIn’s latest Workplace Culture report.” Now, I had thought I was a millennial for most of my life but according to recent research from Pew Research Center, I am one year short from the cutoff to be a “millennial.” I’m in the post-millennial limbo.

Although I am not technically considered a “millennial,” the findings in LinkedIn’s report resonated with me. I am starting to enter the professional workforce through internships and gaining valuable experiences while still in college. Throughout my internship/work research on careers sites and social platforms, I was looking for a few key items: values, culture, and purpose.

Creating a better workplace culture

When I read LinkedIn’s report, one thing that stood out to me was that “70% of professionals in the U.S. today would not work at a leading company if it meant they had to tolerate a bad workplace culture.”

I connected this statistic with my experiences and knowledge from my psychology classes at the University of Richmond. The report is valid because we aim to satisfy our need of “sense of belonging” according to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

This motivational theory states that we need to satisfy the needs on the bottom of the pyramid first. After our physiological and safety needs are met, we strive to fulfill our social needs which includes interpersonal relationships in the workplace.

Therefore, when candidates are researching jobs, most candidates can only base their application decision on what they know from the details on a company’s careers site. If they do not believe that there is an inclusive culture within the company, then most likely, they will not apply for the position.

A sense of belonging

During my job search research for an internship this summer, I realized that most careers sites have generic statements about their company’s culture and purpose. Everyone “works for a purpose” or has a “fun culture” but what is the differentiation point that allows candidates to see what it truly means to work for your company?

I was pleasantly surprised when I applied for the Stories Inc. internship to find video on the careers site that used real stories to show their caring, thoughtful culture.

Story-based content is your competitive advantage because only your company has that specific story. Companies can attract top talent, especially millennials, using story-based recruitment marketing content about mission, values, and purpose because candidates empathize with stories.

For example, I had never heard of the company Kasasa until I watched the videos that Stories Inc. created, featuring real employee stories. After I watched this video, I learned that they have a strong culture of caring because Rae’s team emotionally and physically supported her in a moment of weakness. I can tell that Kasasa places an emphasis on fulfilling their need of sense of belonging.

These employee stories allow candidates to see a company’s true culture. Millennials prioritize mission and values over a paycheck. They can see a company’s values with story-based content.

After working for Stories Inc. this summer, I know that my need for a sense of belonging has been fulfilled. I knew that they had a caring culture after watching their videos and reading about their values but experiencing it firsthand solidified that their stories about thoughtfulness and authenticity were sincere.

You can’t fake these stories.