We all love a good story. Straight from our formative years we all respond to a well told story. They capture our imagination and stay with us as we go through life. Whether it's a fairy tale, a classic yarn, a sporting success, a tale of personal triumph or a fine romance, stories are part of our DNA.

It's a few years now since the marketing world realized that using the power of storytelling would help messages resonate and be more memorable to their target audience. And whilst marketing channels have evolved, and ever more intelligent segmentation and targeting tactics have been devised, a good story is still key in getting the message across.

Back in 2014, The Center for Neuroeconomics Studies examined why the brain responds to great story telling. They discovered the brain produces the chemical oxytocin when presented with great stories. That's the same chemical that's produced when we are trusted or shown kindness, and it motivates cooperation.

So in terms of recruitment, telling a great story about your brand is an effective way to attract great talent. A positive, compelling story around your brand will bring admiring glances from the kind of people that you want to attract and release lots of oxytocin! You'll build a talent community to draw upon efficiently and cost-effectively when there's positions to be filled.

Plus, as well as being a useful tool for general talent attraction, storytelling can also play a big part in the recruitment process itself. It's useful having storytelling techniques up your sleeve to help, and with the "Feel Felt Found" method that I'm going to share with you, you'll see how it can help convince candidates to join you. The technique was first described to me by John Haynes, founder of the Liverpool-based International Coaching Academy. It's one that I come back to time and gain in my conversations with clients in the recruitment marketing space.

So, let's consider the scenario where you're a hiring manager with a star candidate that you're extremely excited to bring into your business, but, uh-oh, they're not so sure. They're asking you how they can be certain that they're going to fit in with your team. It's not an uncommon scenario, but let's look at how Feel Felt Found can help us reassure the candidate and get them on board.

1.Tell them you know how they feel

Let the candidate know that their question is relevant. Tell them that you know how they feel, and stress that the cultural fit and team ethic is really important to everyone in the company. You're demonstrating empathy and understanding, and reassuring them they they're sure to fit in with the team.

2.Tell them others have felt the same

Continue to reassure them by telling the candidate that everyone else in your team felt the same way once. Everyone in the team was once in the same situation and wondering about joining the company. You'll be showing them that it's normal and healthy to be feeling a little apprehensive and you'd be a little surprised if they weren't.

3. Tell them what others have found

Complete your response to their concerns by telling the candidate that those people with the same concerns actually found they were at home in the business from day one. They found themselves to be part of a warm and friendly team and enjoying the culture and values that you've described to them. Stress to them that the culture and values are important, they're one of the main reasons people stay with the company, and if the candidate is serious about that culture and values then they'll have absolutely no problem fitting in and thriving in. So you'll be telling them that others have taken to the business like a duck to water, with their fears quickly allayed, and there's no reason why the candidate shouldn't have the same experience once they take the plunge.

Feel, Felt, Found is a useful and successful technique as it connects the present feelings of the candidate with the feelings of those who have been in the same shoes with the same concerns. Just think about the technique for a moment though, and you'll realize it's actually quite familiar. This is what often happens in movies, as our emotions are influenced and affected by the characters and the story as the movie unfolds. We share their concerns, move with them to experience the present, and journey on into a successful future and a satisfying conclusion. It's a classic storytelling technique and highly effective.

Published on: Oct 6, 2017