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Stories Inc Insights into Employer Branding Now 2018

We recently downloaded and read Universum’s annual Employer Branding Now 2018 report. By the time we got through it to the end, we had one main takeaway:

“Almost everything in here points to stories.”

All of the trends could easily be developed and accentuated through stories. From common EVP ingredients to growth in video, one of the best ways to wrap everything up is through stories.

The trends in the workforce show that employers are trying to showcase culture for the candidates. In the meantime, candidate trends are saying they [Gen Z] want to see video content more than anything else.

“Gen Z enjoys video content more than any other content type, and they have markedly different viewing habits and expectations than the generations that precede them.”

Then the Employer Branding Now report moves into the most common EVP Ingredients, which showed smallest to largest companies focusing on professional development, innovation and inspiring purpose, respectively. Other common ingredients included friendly environment, commitment to diversity and attractive products/services.

Watch below how stories bring professional development, innovation, purpose and diversity to life.


While a basic video certainly showcases all of those common ingredients, it doesn’t provide candidates with any more information than a list on a career site would. Whereas videos that utilize stories, give candidates direct insight into the company, and show how the values are lived day in and day out by the current employees.

Of the common EVP ingredients, large and most attractive companies’ employer branding efforts are doubling down on showcasing inspiring purpose, innovation, and friendly work environment. And, stories tell it best.

Furthermore, countries like India, the United Kingdom, France and China are all seeing employer brand growth in similar values. Another Universum survey shows that candidates are also looking for inspiring leadership, innovation and creative work environments. With both companies and candidates looking for the same content, stories give an inside look that pictures or descriptions never can.

Watch how stories bring to life leadership and work environments.


It’s important to note that only 19% of nearly 2,000 global employees reported that their experience with their employer matched their company’s publicly facing employer brand. Employer Branding Now reports this data from a study done be Weber Shandwick in partnership with KRC Research. Stories combat the discrepancy between employee experiences and employer brand because they are real experiences from real employees.

Employer Branding Now also shows that the majority of companies in 2018 want to differentiate themselves from the competition. And, again stories are the best way to do this. Are you starting to see the pattern that I see? Stories are unique to the person, and they are hard to replicate. Stories will always be original.

 “Many leading employers have ended up sounding the same, and are now trying harder to define and express the qualities that make them special.” – Richard Mosley, Global Head of Strategy and Advisory, Universum.

Gen Z not only consumes videos faster, but they also want their content differently. Businesses are growing video content because Gen Z is attracted to short, authentic videos with real people. Stories give the genuine look into real people’s careers, which meant the desires of the growing candidate generation.

And, shorter stories can act as a teaser to attract candidate’s attention. As they go down the hiring funnel, the stories and content can be longer-form because you’ve already gained their attention.

Stories may not be the next big revolutionary idea. But, as technology changes and hiring processes grow, they humanize the process. Stories add insight and can make the listener feel as though they went through the story, too.

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