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Frequently we make the analogy that recruiting is akin to dating, professionally speaking — we make a connection, we court, we "propose" (in this case, employment) and then the "honeymoon period" begins.

But parallels can be drawn between what happens afterwards as well: Think about every couple's "happily ever after" story (how they met, when they knew they were meant for each other, yada, yada, yada ...). It's usually told either as two individual voices, each sharing their own unique perspective tied together through a common bond, or as one merged voice, where individual experiences fade into one another. And unless you're in a mediocre rom-com, that fading away of individuality can backfire.

Rather than presenting that "unified front" they were likely aiming for, the storyline can come off as forced, or disingenuous. Who wants to lose their individual identity? We do the same thing to our employees with recruitment marketing and in our employer branding messaging. All too often, we're like the latter couple, demanding employees give up their individual voices to fade into our own ideal of employer-oriented identity. Even with the most iconic of brands, this can result in lackluster response, as it did with this Microsoft video:

People Are More Than Their Jobs

Not only do you have to be careful to mind the balance in the focus between employer and employee in your messaging; it is important to demonstrate recognition that people are more than their jobs. In fact, employees’ outside circumstances, interests and flair can help you in your quest to attract talented individuals. 

One group that does this exceedingly well in video is Deloitte Careers, in their "Year One Wisdom" campaign. Take a look at how they highlight employee Xenia's interest in photography and blend it with her role as a Human Capital Consultant with their firm. Or how Lyndsey manages to split time between New York and Texas while tackling the demands and interests held in her home life. You see the interest she holds in family, cooking and socializing balanced against the interest she holds in her job, and what particularly excites her about it in this video:

The reason this is so fantastic is the opportunity to hear about the important work that Deloitte does in the voice of the employees as individuals — and how they're able to maintain more than just a work identity. This is particularly important for consulting firms like EY, Deloitte, PwC, McKinsey, KPMG and business juggernauts with a reputation for working employees to the point of burnout. By talking about more than just the job, you add dimension to your workforce, give prospective candidates a way to connect with current employees (they could potentially see themselves working for you through a common outside interest shared by one of your employees). It can also show that, as an employer, you recognize some sense of stewardship in the ever-elusive work-life balance.

It's important these messages get shared socially, as well. AT&T, for example, shares its employee-focused "Inside Stories" series on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, and the response has been positive, encouraging employees that work or have worked with highlighted employees to share their insights and celebrate their coworkers. American Heart Association is an example of a company that does this well, too. As a non-profit, they've got a tight budget, but have done a good job of using readily available mobile apps to create social images that feature employee photos, paired with employee testimonials.

As you can see, prospective candidates, employees and brand-fans alike appreciate the insight into the individual; proving it doesn't take big bucks to be a big hit. The lesson here is not to let the pursuit of 'perfect' keep you from creating individualized content for various channels that genuinely resonates with your audience.