HR Storytelling: Is It Possible?

Is HR storytelling an important strategy to consider?

By Karuna Tsang
The Hoffman Agency, Hong Kong

Addressing the Alexander Mann Solutions’ Catalyst event, Hoffman CEO Lou Hoffman explains why HR should be telling stories.

When scientists proved that the human brain is wired for stories, they made an important point. While the use of “storytelling” in business communication has been widely discussed and has emerged as a powerful communications tool in recent years, a lot of organizations are still doubtful how to implement it. They need to find a way to be effective and resonate with their target audiences.

As an advocate of storytelling in public relations, not only do we advise clients from different business sectors to apply storytelling techniques when they take media interviews, we also recommend that they incorporate those techniques in communications with employees and other stakeholders. Recently, our CEO, Lou Hoffman, was invited to share his insights into business storytelling with a group of human resources executives at the Alexander Mann Solutions’ Catalyst, an industry conference hosted by our client Alexander Mann Solutions, the world’s leading talent acquisition service provider.

At the event, which looks at innovations in talent acquisitions and management, Lou explored the role of storytelling techniques in the HR function. Certainly, during the job search and talent acquisition process, which includes posting job description, due diligence, job application and interviews, etc., every touch point between the HR contact and the candidate provides an opportunity to present who you are as a company, what the job functions are and what the expectations are for the right candidate. Unfortunately, it is still very common for companies to take the safe path: sending generic auto reply emails that acknowledge receipt of the job application and lack a personal touch, and posting typical job descriptions stating factually the roles and responsibilities of the position.

While we understand that it is as hard for companies to open up as it is for human nature to resist change, it is not as difficult as it seems to adopt a conversational language, incorporate personalized content and even include anecdotes in business communications. To win the war for talent, organizations (the HR department, in particular) must change the way they communicate with employees and candidates, because retaining and recruiting is crucial to the success of a company.

Visit Lou’s blog to learn more about storytelling: http://www.ishmaelscorner.com/.


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