Ever attended a networking event, been introduced to a stranger or stood in an elevator and been asked, “Where do you work?” or “What do you do?” It’s in situations like these that you need a short, easy to understand synopsis of your recruitment business that sparks their interest and leaves them wanting to know more.
This is not the opportunity to wing it – you never know, the person you’re speaking to might just be your next client!
What is an elevator pitch?
An elevator pitch is a condensed overview of your business, summing up key points to get your value proposition across in the time it takes an elevator to move between floors (hence the name). It’s not ramming your company down someone’s throat as quickly as you can, and it’s definitely not spamming your prospects’ inboxes with a list of your services.
So now that we know what an elevator pitch is – how do we write one?
Creating your pitch
Let’s start with some guidance on how to create an elevator pitch for your recruitment agency. First, it’s important to get your pitch down on paper, as this will make everything a lot clearer and give you a chance to identify your goal before getting started.
Your pitch should then take the following basic form:
1. Explain what you and your agency does (and why!) – It’s easier to think of this as a matter of defining a problem and offering a solution. So for example, if your company specialises in SME recruitment, you could phrase it as:
“I share the risk of recruitment in the SME technology sector by offering a three month guarantee on all placements made.”
2. Communicate your unique selling point (USP) – What does your company do differently? This part is important as it’s likely to be the phrase that stays in their head as they walk away from you. Try throwing in an impressive stat if you have one! For example:
“We’re a specialist SME technology recruitment agency, so whilst this is certainly a niche area, we have a 92% placement rate thanks to our highly specialised database”
3. Tie it all together with a call-to-action (CTA) – Make sure you finish up with a clear indication on next steps. For example:
“Maybe I could give you a call and you can tell me a bit more about what you’re looking for – do you have a card?”
Perfecting your elevator pitch
Now we’ve got that part nailed down, how do you perfect your recruitment elevator pitch, making it as effective as possible in such a short space of time?
Here are our top 5 tips to perfecting your elevator pitch!
Use simple language
Keep your message clear and concise, removing all PR jargon and buzzwords – remember that as much as you love this stuff, it means nothing to someone outside of your agency! You want them to walk away with a good understanding of what you do, not feeling totally confused and relieved those 30 seconds are over.
Know your audience
It’s also important to practice tailoring your elevator pitch to different audiences, as you’re likely to present it to people from a whole variety of different industries and in many different circumstances. The pitch you give at a recruitment conference should be quite different to the pitch you give when introduced a mutual friend in the pub (but both scenarios can equally lead to new business, so should be treated with the same level of importance).
Start and end with a question
Starting with a great hook and ending with a call-to-action will draw the listener in and make it easy to work out what happens next. Begin with an open-ended question that will familiarise them with what your company does (e.g. “Have you ever had any issues when hiring front end developers at your company?”) then end with another question that will work as a call to action (e.g. “can I give you my card?”). Opening and ending with questions also shows you’re keen to engage with the person, not just indulge in some shameless self-promotion.
Make sure you keep it short! This is the whole point in an elevator pitch, and with good reason – this will ensure you keep your listener engaged without giving too much away so you leave them wanting more. 75 words can generally fit into a 30 second pitch, so try to keep it around the 75-100 word mark.
Practice, practice, practice!
The more you practice your pitch, the less robotic and scripted you’ll sound. Your tone of voice is important so try presenting your pitch to a friend, or record your pitch on your phone and play it back to yourself. Listening back will reveal any words your stumbling over, if you’re speaking too fast or if there are any spots where your intonation isn’t quite right – which can make all the difference!
It doesn’t take long to create the perfect elevator pitch, and the good thing is you can use it as a basis to build on as your agency or role evolves over time.
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Joanne is a Senior Growth Specialist at Firefish. She loves bringing on board new recruiters who are looking to recruit smarter.