Strategic Storytelling for Recruitment and Retention


Written by: Bridget Krage O'Connor, Principal and Owner of O'Connor Connective

If you’re like most organizations in the New North, you’re trying to recruit talent and retain the talent you already have. While this was a concern before the pandemic, it’s a more crucial issue now as organizations look to fill their openings.

“Your organization can’t execute your business strategies if you don’t have the right job roles filled,” author Erik Samdahl wrote in Forbes magazine. 

He makes a great point. In order to take your company to the next level, you need the right people in place to support you. Our job, then, is simple: We need to help the best people fall in love with our companies. 

How do we translate that intention to our potential and current employees? Well, stories are a great place to start. 


Tell Them Your Story 

DSC_0895-EditUltimately, recruitment and retention of talent is a very human situation. People want to feel they are part of something bigger. They want to feel valued and know their ideas and talents matter. We all want to know we’re doing the right thing. 

Your company’s vision, mission and values are the stories your current and future talent are longing to hear. The next step is to integrate those elements into your retention and recruitment efforts.  

For example, if one of your company values is to “give honest counsel,” a job posting could include language to accentuate that standard. 

EXAMPLE: “Are you looking to join a team of hospitable, engaged creative professionals focused on impacting the community through honest counsel and storytelling?”  

That same value – “give honest counsel” – can translate internally to transparency about financials, policies and expectations.


Show Them They Belong  

Another storytelling strategy is to let images do some of the talking. If you have a fun, upbeat work culture, post photos of those vibrant employee interactions on your social media feeds. Show off the interior of your company — spaces, places and people. When you use images to show the values and culture of your company, you help top talent imagine themselves already engaged in contributing to the work and services you provide. “Show, don’t tell” is a rule in storytelling that has real-life application. 


More Than a Job Description 

It’s true. We all go through the motions of posting employment positions and pushing them out through social or an online jobs site, but a job description doesn’t create an emotional engagement with your organization. The power of story and engagement is far greater than just posting a job. 

Sometimes, we, too, forget how our products and services create a ripple effect in our community. As the life and vibrancy of your company, your recruitment and retention depend on your ability to tell — and, more important, show — your company story. With your guidance and commitment, they can tell the world. Because, right now, your next top talent is out there, waiting to fall in love with who you are, not just what you do. 

About O'Connor Connective

O’Connor Connective is a strategy and marketing communications consultancy connecting people and organizations to innovative results. 

We are located in a historic district on Main Avenue in De Pere, Wisconsin—just outside Green Bay. Our consultants office out of our over 100-year old renovated space designed to inspire and create ideas. Across the street we have a training center designed to provide the technology and executive meeting facilities necessary for training, focus groups, meetings and more.

Topics: Talent and Education