Recruiters and hiring managers are on a hunt for rare purple squirrels in this competitive job market.
You may have come across the term within the recruitment industry, but what is a purple squirrel candidate?
Purple squirrel is a jargon used by recruiters to describe the rarest of candidates with the ideal mix of the perfect qualities, skills, experience, and attitude.
Unfortunately, these rare candidates are nearly impossible to find in the uber-competitive job market.
Though they are hard to come across, sourcing one can boost your recruitment business and credibility.
So, what differentiates purple squirrels from other squirrels in the job market? And are they worth the chase?
Read more about what makes the purple squirrel unique and if you should consider hiring them over normal squirrels.
Purple Squirrels vs. Other Squirrels: Who are They?
As we mentioned earlier, purple squirrel candidates are the ideal candidates for a role who brings the perfect mix of the ideal skills, experience, traits, qualifications, and salary expectations.
Of course, something so perfect sounds too good to be true, and the same is the case for purple squirrel candidates.
Unfortunately, candidates with the perfect set of criteria are difficult to find in today’s competitive and candidate-driven job market, making purple squirrels exceptionally rare and every employer's dream.
What makes these candidates so rare is that they are passive candidates.
Even if purple squirrels are found, these candidates are already established in their roles, and they are not actively seeking new opportunities unless something intrigues them.
Today, employers and recruiters are on the hunt for purple squirrel candidates due to expanding businesses and skill shortages.
Moreover, purple squirrels can be a massive driving force for companies, bringing significant growth!
Normal squirrels are your average candidates in the job market who are readily available for a role. Unlike purple squirrels, they can be easily found with a simple search as they are active candidates.
These candidates are average job seekers who meet the hiring criteria but do not go above and beyond to bring something extra.
Normal squirrels may not offer anything extraordinary, but recruiters shouldn’t overlook them as these candidates still have great potential.
Ultimately, normal squirrels can always be further trained and developed to bring their best to a role.
Should Recruiters Hire Purple Squirrels or Normal Squirrels?
Finding the perfect candidate for any position in any industry cannot always be possible.
You must be realistic and remember that no one can be perfect in every aspect.
Keeping these realistic expectations in mind, you can always attempt to find purple squirrels for positions.
Here are some pointers that can help you identify whether you should focus on the purple squirrel hunt or attract normal squirrels.
1. Train to Retain!
One of the immediate benefits of purple squirrel recruiting is it helps overcome the slowly recovering economy or companies that no longer allow much investment in employee training.
If you are on the hunt for a purple squirrel to fill a position, you’ll want someone who requires the least amount of training and guidance and someone with a particular level of experience and expertise.
But, you must remember that a cookie-cutter set of criteria doesn’t necessarily have to equate to the best hire.
Ultimately, even a candidate who doesn’t possess the exact years of experience or personality can always be trained, which can help them efficiently adapt and grow, encouraging long-term employee retention.
94% of employees state that if a company invests in helping them learn, they will stay longer.
Training normal squirrels may create more purple squirrel hires than a company might find through external hiring!
2. Don’t Overlook Potential Candidates
When recruiters become too focussed on their hunt for purple squirrels, they often lose track of their priorities and overlook potential candidates.
In your hunt for a purple squirrel, the last thing you’d want is to miss out on other candidates who possess great potential.
Recruitment should always be a fair process, promoting equal opportunities and diversity.
Restricting yourself to purple squirrels of the job market can narrow your candidate pool, leading to a lack of diversity.
As a result, chasing after purple squirrel candidates can mean forgoing the benefits of diversity hiring, so make sure you do not restrict yourself and are open to other possibilities.
3. Prioritize Candidates Who Align with Company Culture
A candidate with the perfect skills, qualifications, and experience may not always carry the attitude and mindset expected by an employer.
As a result, recruiters need to think about how they can opt for candidates that fit within an organization's culture and display the potential to grow with a company rather than hunting for elusive purple squirrel candidates.
Like employee training, the right culture fit can go a long way in employee retention and company growth.
A purple squirrel candidate might seem perfect on paper, but they might not be the best choice for a particular company or role.
Apart from lacking soft skills or the right attitude, they might not be the best fit for an organization’s culture.
With these key points to keep in mind, the main takeaway for you is that both purple squirrels and normal squirrels are great choices—depending on your recruitment methods and client needs.
If you’re willing to spend some extra time or can afford a longer hiring process, you can pursue the hunt for purple squirrel candidates.
On the other hand, normal squirrels are sufficient if you’re looking to quickly fill a position to meet the basic requirements.
A lot of times, coming across purple squirrels is a matter of luck. These candidates are not something recruiters can entirely depend on for filling positions.
While hunting for purple squirrel candidates, our take is—don’t overlook normal squirrels or other potential hires as they can turn into the desired purple squirrel you were hunting for!