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The power of the standalone story in recruitment marketing content

Reading Time: 6 minutes
The standalone story. Where to begin to express our love for it!? When I’m conducting interviews and the storyteller happens upon a story that I just KNOW is perfect, my heart starts racing, a smile flashes across my face, and I happily tell our interviewee what a great example that was and ask if they can tell it again. When the interview is over and they leave the room, I pump my fist in the air and high five our team.

Why the dramatics, you may ask? We uncover dozens of stories each and every interview day, but when you find that perfect story that pierces to the core of what it means to work at that organization — so much so that it can stand completely alone in its own right — you’ve found something special.

A standalone story is powerful for many reasons. To name a few:

  • They’re short and to the point. With attention spans shorter than ever, a standalone story quickly grabs attention, builds a connection between team member and candidate, and drives it home. All in under a minute.
  • Very repurpose-able. If the storyteller is a female engineer who started as an intern and is telling a story about an exciting project she was on, you can use this story to target female engineers, potential interns, and demonstrate meaningful and exciting work. Reuse this story in text and video form and you’ve got exponential value from just one story. Done!
  • Build strong connections with potential colleagues. The standalone story allows for a single team member to be on screen for longer than they typically would in a longer-form compilation video. There’s more room for personal context and personality, which makes the storyteller especially relatable.

We’ve put together some of our favorite standalone stories. Deciding was tough, so some honorable mentions are included!

1. Mission and Purpose: Maryalyce from CVS Health

Sharing personal experiences around mission and purpose are perhaps the most powerful pieces of recruitment marketing content. Why? Because if you can connect with a candidate on your organization’s “why,” the rest is easy.

We’ve shared this video before, but it never really gets old. Maryalyce’s emotional reaction to CVS Health’s decision to exit tobacco was her “aha” moment.
Honorable mention here goes to “Moment I Knew” at EA Sports.

2. A Really Great Day: Nick from BAE Systems

What a “good” day looks like in your organization says a lot about your culture (same goes for a “bad” day). A “really great day” may be a day of community service, a party celebrating a team milestone or the launch of a long-awaited project. It’s a personal thing!

For Nick, a really great day was working on a tight timeline to prove a never-before-done radar capability. Bonus points to this story for being personal & specific while still respecting the classified nature of the content.
Quick pro tip: what makes this video great isn’t just what he says, but how he says it. It can be worth it to keep in a few long pauses and stutters if it means getting to see the authentic joy on his face as he relives the celebration.

3. Culture Slice: Robert from Frontpoint

Without having to explicitly describe it, a story can say a lot about a company’s culture. Also a contender for a “Good Day” standalone, Robert’s story about winning a sales competition tells you that 1) It’s a casual environment (when’s the last time your colleague has lifted you up and carried you out of the office?), 2) Collaboration is real (his teammate’s victory brought him true joy and success), and 3) Frontpoint is a competitive environment (not for everybody!).

Always strive for “culture in action” in your content, not describing culture alone. Honorable mention here goes to an oldie but a goodie, Nina’s 101 Dalmatians story at DCU.

4. Empowering Young Professionals: Orlando at Dell Technologies

As young professionals navigate early career decisions, finding a job where they feel challenged, supported, and valued is of the utmost importance. Don’t just talk the talk when it comes to recruiting new grads — let them hear the truth straight from your current young professional team members!

We’re happy to report that we have no shortage of stories in this category. Orlando’s story of bringing the CMO’s skydiving idea to life is shown here, but other top contenders are Rebecca’s Supportive Leadership story from Sonoco and fellow Dell team member Madison’s opportunity to present to the CFO.

5. An Inclusive Workplace: Joanna from BAE Systems

Representing a diverse team is extremely important. Telling your inclusion stories that showcase how your diverse team members interact on a daily basis? Arguably more important.

In this story, Joanna shares her personal journey of working with a deafness, and how she found herself to be valued and challenged at BAE Systems. Though not all standalones, we broke down our other favorite inclusion stories here!

To the point, engaging, and versatile, standalone stories are a great addition to any recruitment marketing content strategy.

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