Purple Squirrel Candidate Sourcing Agency Recruiter Recruiting Tips

Who Are Purple Squirrels? A Comprehensive Guide for Recruiters

Recruit CRM Published on May 10, 2022

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Do you know the feeling when you’ve struck gold?

Well, that’s exactly how recruiters feel when they catch a purple squirrel.

One of the rare moments in a recruiter’s life includes finding and hiring the perfect candidate and it sure feels like a match made in heaven!

Finding and hiring a purple squirrel may sound fancy, but honestly, a lot of effort goes into it and a recruiter must be prepared to hire and manage the best candidate.

Keep reading to know all that you need to know about the purple squirrel candidate hunt.

What is a Purple Squirrel?

what is purple squirrel

Just so you know, purple squirrels don’t exist in the real world and not even in the workplace.

It is a recruitment lingo coined to describe a flawless and perfect candidate for a job role.

This perfect candidate has all the skills you are looking for in a candidate, the right education, relevant certifications, achievements, knowledge, and ample experience in their fields.

This magical candidate is the ideal fit for your client's organization. With all the specialized qualifications and skillset, they can add up value to the workplace.

They are the ideal culture fit for your organization and share the same values that are important for your client's company.

Purple squirrels are usually passive candidates that are happy working where they are, however, it is not impossible to get hold of them.

Hiring this mythical purple squirrel may sound too good to be true but there are pros and cons to everything.

Let us take a look at those!

3 Advantages of Hiring Purple Squirrels

  • Brings Value to the company: The ideal candidate, who has the right qualifications, skills, experience, and knowledge can add up to your client's organizational value and enrich their workplace.

  • Motivates Colleagues: Workers may get inspired by this purple squirrel and may want to compete with that candidate. This way, other employees will be enabled to work much more efficiently.

  • Less Investment in Training: Since the perfect candidates are already skilled and qualified, there isn’t much time and expense to spend on their training, unless required or demanded by the candidate.

3 Disadvantages of Hiring Purple Squirrels

  • Expensive Process: Hiring such candidates can cost both, your pocket and time as special efforts are required to hire special candidates.

  • Other Candidates are Overlooked: Recruitment should be a free and fair process. To hire the perfect candidate, it would be unfair to ignore and overlook other job applicants from diverse backgrounds.

  • Threat to the Company: Candidates who are smarter than the rest may pose a significant threat to their superiors as well as other employees. They may want to take over their co-workers and managers.

5 Tips for Hiring Purple Squirrels

purple squirrel

The process of attracting and recruiting purple squirrels is slightly different from hiring normal candidates.

You will have to consider various factors that include rethinking if you really need to hire such a qualified candidate, what values could such a candidate bring to your client's organization, and how to eliminate the threats they might bring to their company.

Here are 5 major tips to help you out.

1. Know Your Target & Have a Plan of Action

No work or tasks can be completed without research. Research your target candidates and get to know who they are, what they do, what they expect, and the kind of environment they expect at their workplaces.

Recruiters may have varying definitions of an ideal purple squirrel so create candidate personas to understand your talent acquisition needs better.

Once you are done with the research, create and implement an action plan.

This also involves your recruiting strategy and approach to the candidate. Your approach to the candidates includes ways in which you wish to attract and engage the talent from the candidate pool.

2. Market the Employer Brand

Recruiters know the importance of marketing and promoting the employer's brand. The process of recruitment involves a lot of marketing as that’s the best way to attract talent.

Purple squirrels are mostly passive candidates and they will notice your job boards and career sites only if your marketing game is strong.

Many candidates will notice your job advertisement and simply ignore them and purple squirrels are even more elusive. Do focus on the job descriptions while posting jobs.

Showcase the company culture and establish a powerful online presence of the employer brand on digital platforms. Make use of social networking sites, email marketing, content marketing, job alerts, and drip campaigns.

Read more: 6 common mistakes to avoid while writing a job description.

3. Differentiate Between Must-Have and Nice-to-Have Skills

A colorful resume with a lot of skills may look really fancy but recruiters must question themselves, if all other skills are even necessary or not. Answer this question before hiring- What are the skills you want your candidate to possess?

List out the absolute necessities for the job and omit the skills that are rarely used or can be acquired while working the job.

Once you have narrowed down the required skills, it will be easier to find potential candidates. There are possibilities that some candidates already have a lot of skills but find out what among those are absolutely important for the job role.

4. Foster a Positive Work Culture

purple squirrel

Promoting a positive environment at the workplace is necessary for both, the employees and candidates. All workers should be treated equally and respectfully. Ensure a work-life balance as candidates, especially the purple squirrels hold this in high regard.

Positive work culture will engage employees in healthy competition among themselves and eliminate the possibility of one employee posing as a threat to the other.

This will also help build up the reputation of the employer’s organization. A reputable company lures squirrels and retains them. Have team-building activities, and training sessions, and ensure a warm onboarding process for the candidates.

Read more: Positive candidate experience and organizational culture: How to hire top talent and keep it?

5. Don’t Overlook Other Candidates

Recruiters are often rigid in their selection process.

Hiring purple squirrels or flawless candidates does not mean recruiters and hiring managers to ignore the other candidates. The perfect fit does bring value to your company but that does not mean other job applicants don’t do that.

Recruitment should be a fair process and not a biased one.

Of course, selecting on the basis of skills, expertise, knowledge, and experience is essential but not every candidate is perfect. Some just look out for growth and development opportunities provided by companies.

Consider all job applicants from the talent pool while hiring as this will help boost diversity hiring and inclusivity. Practice free and fair employment strategies.

Is it Worth the Hype?

what is purple squirrel

If you’ve read the advantages and disadvantages, you know the answer- YES and NO.

There’s no denying the fact that for a recruiter, finding the perfect fit for the job may be synonymous with meeting the love of your life. But what will you do if all the employees working the job are perfect? Who will you train? To whom will you provide growth opportunities?

Moreover, how will you eliminate the risk of the threat posed by purple squirrels? Such a risk won’t encourage a healthy work culture as well.

Your priority should be to find talented candidates who are ready to work with utmost dedication and passion.