A purple squirrel is hard to come by, but finding one gives you a golden trophy that can significantly impact the business grandly. That is why improving your recruitment system to be able to catch one is a must.

The Purple… what?

That’s right. You’re still on the right page. We are talking about a purple-colored squirrel. However, not literally. This is an HR jargon that describes a very rare candidate who is perfect for a particular job– matching exactly what the requirements are from education down to skill sets to experience.

These candidates are already established in their careers just as squirrels are to their natural habitat. However, if the right acorn or opportunity arises, they would be open to changing their environment if something piques their interest.

The Golden Acorns for Purple Squirrels

Squirrels love acorns. These are what they pursue for security and satisfaction. So, in the HR sense, these would be what candidates are looking for in a company.

  • – Salary & compensation
  • – Dynamic role and responsibilities
  • – Compelling leaders
  • – Ideal office environment
  • – Company values and culture
  • – Career growth

Setting up the Trap in Your Recruitment System to Catch Purple Squirrels

Now that you know what to consider tweaking in your hiring approach, it’s time to optimize your recruitment system to successfully lure top talents in. Here are ways how:

Maximize channels to post job ads

Use various channels to post your job ads. This will easily spread awareness of your listing and will increase your chances of tapping purple squirrels.

These can be the likes of Google for Jobs, Indeed, Glassdoor, etc., or specialized ones such as Behance, Medzilla, and others. Additionally, you can also take advantage of the fact that 3.8 billion people are on social media as of 2021 and post on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Optimize career page

Of course, you can also utilize your career page. There are just a few pointers to take note of.

First, ensure that you can share your company culture with the world so that the people understand what your brand is all about. Second, include an attractive description that will make them think “Wow! This job sounds awesome.” or “This company sounds so cool!”. Third, make it SEO-friendly.

The latter will make it more possible for your career page to pop up first on search engines. This will be extremely advantageous given the mountains of information found online.

Candidate Assessments

This will be an extra step in the hiring process. This confirms that candidates are properly filtered, and you get applicants that you are seeking. Looking for a top-notch IT professional? Give a coding test to see how well they fare.

Purple squirrels are good on paper, but they are equally impressive in action, as well.

Hire remotely

Don’t be confined to one geographical area. The COVID-19 pandemic proved that it is possible to cross borders and acquire qualified candidates regardless of location.

Purple squirrels can be thousands of miles away, so you should conduct your search far and wide if the need emerges. There may be hidden gems found in unsuspecting regions!

You’ll be surprised that this reaps quite a few benefits, too. It promotes diversity and inclusion, which, in turn, raises your employer branding superbly.

Ensure a smooth candidate experience

An application goes both ways. Imagine that you found the purple squirrel. Without a doubt, it should like you, too. Otherwise, you’ll scare it away and run to your competitors!

How do you do this? When you communicate, be sure to make them feel welcome in an authentic way. Furthermore, despite your busy schedule, candidates will appreciate it if you give feedback to them. Don’t leave them hanging and make them wait for a long time in the entire application procedure.

Learn the difference between ‘Must Have Skills’ and ‘Nice to Have Skills’

Last, but not least, be realistic and stick to the must-have skills as your criteria.

Oftentimes, recruiters can be blindsided by additional skills that they forget their main criteria. This can lead to already-good-enough candidates slipping off your fingers just because you’re looking for and more amazed by said “additional skills”.

The Perils of Seeking Purple Squirrels

Purple squirrels can sometimes be too good to be true. You might find yourself spending too much time finding one, that you’ll end up with wasted time and resources instead. Truth be told, the recruitment landscape is often changing, so being set on one definitive candidate qualification can be a roadblock to growth.

To add to that, the competition might be fierce in some industries. That’s why you have to be prepared to negotiate persuasively, especially with the compensation requirements. Set a practical budget for this.

Finally, don’t just settle on what you see on paper and assessments. You might get too worked up with a tangible check-list that you overlook important aspects. Culture fit, team synergy, and many more should be on your list, as well.

Such candidates are hard to find but not impossible. Your recruitment system might be excellent as it is, but sometimes it’s also a matter of luck. That said, it’s important to revisit your plan if catching purple squirrels is worth building a recruiting strategy on.

Our take on this? If you have extra time on your hand or if filling a vacancy isn’t that urgent, do it. As they say, “shoot for the moon. If you miss it, you will still land among the stars.” If you won’t find a purple squirrel, you’ll likely find the next best thing.

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