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The future of employee storytelling: what current trends are telling us

Reading Time: 6 minutes

We were delighted to speak at World Employer Branding Day. Our session was titled The future of employee storytelling: What current trends tell us. In this post, we’ll highlight which employer branding content trends are becoming best practices, and what we see in the future for the employer branding profession. 

Stories Inc. has a unique perspective on the employee storytelling landscape because we serve employer brands, big and small, local and global. All day long, we talk to employer branding, talent acquisition, and recruitment marketing teams about the problems they’re facing. We’ve also created thousands of pieces of employee story content to address those problems, including brand awareness, how to best engage prospects during the candidate journey, changing employer brand perception, building candidate-facing marketing channels, and more. 

We also are in the position to see culture manifesting within organizations, which is one of our favorite parts of our work. We uncover stories from employees that show specifically how corporate and cultural decisions have impacted their lives. And, we’re often learning about it before candidates and some employees know, as we create the messaging that delivers the cultural insights to those audiences. This allows us to be on the cutting edge of culture content trends. Culture content lifecycle diagram

That said, we also monitor content performance after its deployed, so we know what content resonates with candidates and employees. 

The most popular culture content for candidates

Really, the trends we see in culture content are the trends we see in culture. The most popular culture content we see comes from three different inputs:

  • what employer brands are asking us to create
  • the types of stories employees are sharing with us about what’s made an impact on their lives, and
  • what’s performing well on candidate-facing marketing channels. 

Using that criteria, here are some of the most popular culture content topics: 

These culture trends aren’t going away anytime soon, because culture has changed so drastically and permanently. They are actually evolving into best practices.

Candidates will always seek insight

Candidates will always be searching for insight. 

They’re relying on your team members to show them what the real employee experience is like. And, it’s only getting noisier out there. What’s breaking through are specific stories. Employee story content routinely outperforms all other content on social channels, for every client whose channels we audit or report their data back to us. 

And that’s just not a video with a face in it. Actual experiences give insight, testimonials do not.

What makes a story compelling? A graphic

What’s next for employer brand

Over the last year, we’ve seen a rise in the need for culture content across many different functional areas. Employer brand professionals are the expert in culture content, and they’ve been asked to help almost every department tell great employee stories to engage their audiences. They’ve asked us too! In particular, D&I leaders are being asked to show the impact of their work over the last two years. In most cases, this group needs both data and employee stories to show the true and whole value of the progress an organization has made on their DEI journey so far.

Story synergy diagram

What’s changed is a rise in customers, alumni, investors and more audiences caring about how organizations are caring for their employees. Culture communication is more important than ever before. 

Organizational storytelling is an important approach for the future of employee storytelling and here’s how it works briefly:

The Story Flow diagram

Bottom line: huge opportunities for employer brand!

We see these culture trends and the rise of organizational storytelling as a huge opportunity for employer brand professionals. Where culture content has often been siloed and only used to attract and engage candidates, your content library is getting more ROI as a result of the rising interest in culture content among different audiences. It’s a great time to be an employer brand professional!