A few years ago I read 90% of employees make their decision to stay long term at a company within the first six months. This really stuck with me. As a (former) talent acquisition manager, our team considered tenure/turnover an important metric. As a (current) recruitment marketer, producing content that gets the right people to apply and the wrong people to click elsewhere and refer is a major goal.

Here are some tips on how to use stories to get candidates thinking long term from the get-go:


There are many reasons to use purpose in your recruitment marketing. Retention is an important one. Someone who is pursuing their life’s work and realizing their reason for being, isn’t going to leave for a shiny new thing. Your organization needs to communicate what you stand for to inspire candidates.

Using Retention Strategies in your Recruitment Marketing Content

And it helps if you’re a company that improves our national security or a non profit that works to end homelessness. But, purpose shows up everywhere, in most organizations. Get the stories and share them, like this:

Cultural Values

Paired with purpose, story content about your values gets candidates to the core of your culture faster. So, when done right, this content improves the chances that the right people are opting in after they see it. Right culture fits from the start, better chance of retention.

For example, Dell created their content about their open door policy for interns. One intern was so excited about this value that he planned to meet with over 100 senior people… in one summer! He’s not going to stick around at a company that doesn’t support that tenacity and desire to learn.


Setting Career Expectations

It’s all about setting the expectations for candidates about what they will experience once they’re onboard, and when thinking about tenure you should look at that experience a few years in for the average employee.

Showing a candidate the interesting careers at your organization is a great strategy to get them picturing themselves doing the same (i.e building a long career with you!). But knowing what good retention looks like for your organization and showing the real story is key.  

For example, some companies think five years is good tenure. Other companies hire for life.  Others realize personal and professional circumstances can pull people away from companies, and welcome them back.

Get employees thinking about a long term career with you from the start. First, inspire and align them with your purpose and values, using stories from employees who are living it. Then, get real about what great tenure means to your organization and find real employees to share their experience. Setting the expectation at the very beginning can save you disappointed and quitting employees later.

Catch Tiffany Lee from HomeAway, Chloe Rada from Sodexo, Jennifer Newbill from Dell  and Lauryn Sargent from Stories Inc when they present on a variety of social recruiting topics at SRSC  in a few weeks! Grab your tickets now.