The elevator pitch is too long! This is the blunt assessment of Jeffrey Hayzlett, erstwhile Kodak CMO and co-author of The Mirror Test: Is Your Business Really Breathing?
Hayzlett says the problem isn’t its function. The elevator pitch has never been more important. No, the problem lies in the duration; Attention spans are too short now. We used to have an elevator pitch’s comparatively laid-back “3-to-5 minutes.” Now, he says, we get, “mere seconds.”
How many seconds? Hayzlett likes 118: “Eight seconds to hook me and up to 110 seconds to drive it home.” The 118 concept has caught on. Within the offices of Kodak and elsewhere, “Tell me the 118″ has become an invitation for a brief summary of your idea, your business proposition, or — if you’re on the job hunt — yourself.
Hayzlett urges everyone to develop their own great, relevant 118. It’s something we’ve urged right along.
Using Your 118 In Recruiting or Hiring
Within each campaign, VoiceScreener offers two unique sets of 118 opportunities.
The first is enjoyed by recruiters and hiring managers — in other words, our clients. They get a chance to speak directly to applicants, and to assure them that they’ll be glad they participated in the interview process.
This opportunity is called the recorded Greeting. It can be the voice of the CEO, the recruiter, the hiring manager — whoever. What’s important is that the first voice an applicant hears should be compelling.
The quality of this Greeting’s message — and the sincerity of the person giving it — can do much to ensure an applicant continues with the interview process.
This Greeting should grab the candidate’s attention, then provide strong, concise reasons why this job and this employer are highly desirable.
As VoiceScreener users know, what follows the Greeting is the lead-up to the all-important interview questions: “You are about to hear a series of questions. Each question will be followed by a beep. This is your cue to answer the question. After you have completed your answer, press the pound button and you will hear the next question.”
The second opportunity for a killer 118 rests in the hands of the candidate. A huge benefit of VoiceScreener is the ability to let candidates show themselves in the best possible light. The fact is that most VoiceScreener interview answers clock in at well under two minutes. That seems brief, but those roughly 118 seconds (or less!) have been sufficient to wow listeners and initiate follow-up conversations.
What’s Your 118?
So what is your 118? For us, it’s a variation of the following:
VoiceScreener uses something we call Original Voice to help HR professionals succeed. Using a phone and simple web dashboard, they are able to create, record and distribute custom voice interviews. The results are dramatic: Expedited hiring times, better candidate experiences, standout submittals and increased revenue.
We invite your written comments. Tell us what you say when every word counts, and a conventional elevator ride is simply too long.