This article was originally published on centricconsulting.com on September 30, 2014.
One of the first things you learn in business school is the fine art of crafting an “Elevator Speech,” which is essentially a concise (and persuasive) description of what your company does and why it matters. The premise is that you should be able to deliver your monologue to your unsuspecting, and captive, travel companions on a short elevator ride.
Along with a shiny diploma and a mountain of debt, most B-school grads leave campus with a well-polished stump speech. Throughout the course of their careers the messaging will change, but the premise remains the same – “My company, Acme Corp., makes awesome widgets. The widgets are awesome because of X, Y & Z. Are you interested in learning more about our widgets?”
This is well and good if you are selling widgets. But what if you are selling Acme Corp.? More accurately, what if you are selling your elevator-mate on the idea of working for Acme Corp.? While most people have their “selling widgets” elevator speech down pat, I find that they stumble when it comes to their “recruiting for Acme” version.
Here are five tips to refine your recruiting elevator speech and persuade awesome candidates in 60 seconds or less:
As with all things, practice makes perfect. I don’t advocate rushing over to the closest high-rise building and stalking the elevator landings, forcing people to listen to you practice. Your co-workers, however, are suitable practice companions. They know your company and can provide insight into things you may have missed. Try to practice with a variety of co-workers, of all experience levels and professions. Each will look for something different in your speech, making you more comfortable tailoring your speech for different audiences. With practice, you will feel confident and ready to deliver a concise and persuasive speech on your next recruiting encounter – be it in an interview or elevator.