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What’s the Difference Between Employee Testimonials and Employee Stories?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Recruitment marketers are often faced with the dilemma of determining which is ‘the right’ kind of employee-focused content to use on company career sites, social media and in candidate communications.

While employee testimonials do a great job painting your company in a positive light, employee stories do the best job giving real insight into your culture. Here’s why:

Employee testimonials vs. employee stories

An employee story is a specific example of what the organization did for the person. Employee stories give real insights into the employee experience as a whole.

In contrast, a testimonial broadly describes how the employee feels about the organization and ultimately makes a recommendation as to why others should work there. 

As recruitment marketers, we’re constantly trying to give candidates insight into our company. For this reason, opt for employee stories over employee testimonials in your recruitment marketing content. Here’s why:

Candidates want substance

Candidates are looking for substantial details about the company culture and employee experience, not general statements that could potentially describe any company.

For example, many companies showcase diversity and inclusion prominently on their career site. Employee testimonials feature employee quotes such as, “I can bring my whole self to work” and “I feel like a part of the team.”

To feel both of those things is great…but they don’t give candidates the substance and proof they need to truly understand what diversity and inclusion mean at your organization.

Let’s look at Joanna’s inclusion story from BAE Systems:

Joanna’s story proves a few things about BAE’s culture of inclusion that a testimonial couldn’t:

  1. BAE Systems is able and willing to accommodate people with disabilities.
  2. People with disabilities are seen as people with potential. They will be given the opportunities to be challenged and progress in their career.

Employee stories set you apart from other companies

Employee testimonials can start to sound the same. Buzz words like “Innovative” or “We’re like a family” are common, but they can mean different things at different companies.

At Loews Hotels, “family” means all hands on deck and being willing to do whatever it takes to wow guests. Hear Cristian’s story:

At Kasasa, “family” can be much more personal. When Rae unexpectedly landed in the hospital after moving to a new city, she had to lean on her new work family:

These stories go deeper than the “We’re like a family” employee testimonial and will help you stand out from other potential employers.

In conclusion, use employee stories, not employee testimonials in recruitment marketing content

67% of employers believe retention rates would be higher if candidates had a clearer picture of what to expect before taking the job (Glassdoor). Employee testimonials do not provide a clear picture, which can often contribute to unmet expectations.

Share employee stories to give candidates the insight they need to decide for themselves. Everybody wins!