Symba CEO: Focus on storytelling to attract and retain talent

Despite the daily information onslaught, 'we remember stories and we listen to stories'

Symba CEO: Focus on storytelling to attract and retain talent

HR leaders can learn a lot from Shakespeare, Spielberg and Swift.

They’re some of the most beloved storytellers in history, as evidenced by their impact on literature, cinema, music and overall pop culture.

Storytelling can also be a powerful tool in terms of recruitment and retention, according to Ahva Sadeghi, co-founder and CEO of Symba, a San Francisco-based tech startup powering global workforce development programs.

Listen: Episode 9 – Best practices for attaining and sustaining top talent

“We remember stories and we listen to stories, especially on Zoom where there's so much information that's being shared with us constantly,” Sadeghi told HRD. “We're on back-to-back calls, but we remember when someone told us a story of one candidate who was able to grow and develop in a role, stay at the company for four years and then went on to build a team and deliver on a project.”

Still in the midst of the Great Resignation and with a recession looming, HR leaders have been tasked with making tough decisions regarding personnel. If a highly valued, long-term employee demands a raise or they’re walking, the higher-ups may be reluctant to acquiesce because of the economic downturn. But HR leaders understand the financial drain of hiring, onboarding and training, which most likely will cost more in the long run than just making the employee you can already count on happy.

“You look back and you're like thank goodness they're still on our team – I can't imagine what it would have been like to bring on someone new and not know if they're actually the right fit,” Sadeghi says. “If you have great examples of what people who’ve stayed at the company for a while have been able to achieve, you should really champion that and rally behind it. See if you can come up with those success stories and think about how you're going to deliver that information.”

Sadeghi offers more advice on how to retain talent during market upheaval in the latest episode of HRD America Talk.

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