Pixar Animator Shares Secrets to Telling a Compelling (Company) Story
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“When you share a personal, professional moment where you’ve changed in a positive way, you inspire people. That's the best way to get people to change.”
Bring the hiring pitch home with personal stories that show how people authentically live out your company’s mission. Pixar’s films often start from a real, personal story.
Your company’s big-picture mission might be inspiring, but it’s not necessarily personal. You can make it more personal by peppering your pitches with personal anecdotes about ways that you’ve changed.
After you’ve hooked your audience/candidate, you need to catch their attention and get the story moving by animating it with change and transformation. In Pixar’s movies, that change isn’t just about reversals of fortune—they’re about personal transformation.
Great stories promise to change the life of the protagonist who we imagine ourselves to be, if not our own. In light of that, recruiters should focus on how candidates’ lives will change—not just their day-to-day tasks, but also how the new role will change the way they feel.
Most Pixar movies begin with a compelling premise—a hook—that sets up the whole narrative. Hooks are often phrased as a “what if?” question and they grab our attention because they’re unusual, unexpected, action-filled, or driven by conflict.
Recruiters should equip themselves with one-sentence pitches that wrap up the company and role they’re trying to sell. Focus on transformation to tell a compelling story—make it clear how the candidate’s life will change
Companies tell stories because they stir up feelings, and that’s what makes these brands memorable. Similarly, recruiters shouldn’t sell jobs as a dry collection of responsibilities and perks—you should strive to bring the role alive through stories that evoke strong feelings.
Pixar movies never flatly tell you the theme of the story—they make you experience them. Facts, figures, missions and visions by themselves aren’t nearly as memorable, impactful, or personal as a story can be.
Tell stories to candidates because they stick, stir emotions, and drive decisions—that’s why they can be a companies’ most effective recruiting tool.
Research indicates that stories can be far more effective at selling a job than impressive facts and figures. With only 5% of the latter being remembered after just 10 minutes, against the 65% of stories.
"Don’t ever say your mission statement to someone. Tell them all the great things about your company—the ups and downs, the things you’ve learned—and let them feel the mission statement.”
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I like movies, reading books and tea. I also listen to a lot of podcasts.
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