While the unemployment rate is already at a record low, a new report from Goldman Sachs projects it will only continue to decrease, reaching three percent by 2020. And as most top talent is already gainfully employed, this makes the hiring market highly competitive for employers.

Beyond the low unemployment rate, another challenge for employers is that job seekers have countless ways to search for new jobs -- including job boards, LinkedIn, company career sites, networking events, and more. This enables job seekers to be more selective than ever before when choosing their next career moves -- meaning employers need to make a great first impression.

One way to capture the attention of quality job seekers is by developing an elevator pitch. Elevator pitches have traditionally thought of as something job seekers need more so than employers. Job seekers craft elevator pitches to highlight their skills, experience and goals on LinkedIn, in cover letters, during interviews and anywhere else they might interact with potential employers. But in today's applicant-driven economy, it's just as important for employers to have an elevator pitch to share with job seekers.

Whether your team is reaching out to a prospective applicant on LinkedIn, interviewing a candidate, attending a career fair, or randomly runs into someone who might be a good fit for your team, you should be prepared with an elevator pitch to get job seekers excited about joining your team. Here are some tips to get started.

Keep it short and sweet.

The low unemployment rate means most top talent is technically off the market, but this doesn't mean they aren't still looking for jobs. In fact, 72 percent of U.S. adults keep an eye on open roles, no matter their employment status. But with most of today's top talent passively job hunting, you'll only have a limited amount of time to sell job seekers on the opportunity joining your team presents.

Similar to the best practices recommended for job seekers, your pitch should be no longer than 30-60 seconds. Written out, this is equal to 70-140 words. Any longer than this and you'll risk losing prospective applicants' attention -- either as you're talking in person, or they're reading your email or LinkedIn message -- to other opportunities. You don't need to include every requirement and responsibility associated with your open roles, but rather, you should focus on the top selling points to keep job seekers engaged and excited about the opportunities your team presents.

Outline career growth opportunities.

If they're already employed, one of the reasons many job seekers look for new opportunities is because their career growth has become stagnant in their current roles. Since this is often the case, it's important to highlight what long-term career growth looks like on your team. You can use this part of the pitch to discuss your company's growth goals, specific career paths and how you invest in employees' continued growth.

If a job seeker is interested in a particular role, walk the job seeker through your career path for that department so they can envision a long-term career with your team. Also highlight any resources your team has for employee growth and development, such as training sessions, a professional development budget, certification reimbursement, and more.

List your employee benefits.

Beyond outlining career path opportunities, with such a brief window to capture job seekers' attention, your elevator pitch should always answer the "What's in it for me?" question by listing your benefits. These can include a brief overview of your culture - such as whether you're family-oriented, dedicated to diversity or other aspects of your culture - vacation time, retirement benefits, healthcare benefits, your commitment to work-life balance, and more. By quickly highlighting any benefits you offer, qualified talent will be eager to apply to your open roles over competing job opportunities.

The job market is expected to get increasingly competitive in the coming years. By having an elevator pitch to job seekers prepared at all times, you can attract top talent, fill your open roles quickly, and as a result, improve productivity and profitability at your business.

Published on: Nov 29, 2018