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Selling and Storytelling: The Importance of The Candidate's Tale

Kirstie Kelly

Selling is a vital part of any business. Philip Delves Broughton argues that without it "no business exists". He goes on to point out that "it's not just sales people who must sell". Throughout your workforce people will need to sell an idea or convince someone of the value of their project. Recruiters therefore have to find a way to spot this skill in candidates who would not traditionally be asked to present a sales pitch. The solution comes from four little words: Once upon a time…

The key to selling an idea, Johnathan Gottschall declares, is the ability to tell a story: "In business, storytelling is all the rage."

Being able to tell a story, to relate it to the listener and draw them in, is what really demonstrates a talent for selling. Gottschall writes, "a story is a trick for sneaking a message into the fortified citadel of the human mind." His research into the psychology of why stories hold so much power has concluded that: "people are moved by emotion … when we are absorbed in a story we drop our emotional guard". When listening to an objective presentation people are defensive and ready to criticize, but this melts away when listening to a story.

The problem for recruiters is that the only way to know if an applicant can weave an engaging tale is to listen to them and watch their body language. You might select a group of candidates to invite to final interview who are outstanding on paper, but who fail convey their story in person.

Video interviewing offers an alternative. As a cost effective method of first round screening, video interviewing lets you watch and listen as candidates tell you their story. With this additional way of differentiating the talent pool, you can spot those who, like a good book, leave you wanting more.

What's your story?

Kirstie Kelly

Kirstie is our resident expert in the field of recruitment and technology, having 23 years total experience in commercial business across a range of business sectors. As a result, she has been instrumental in ensuring the innovative technology provided at LaunchPad is relevant for our customers. Kirstie's passion is all about finding creative solutions to recruitment challenges. And no better way than with technology!