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Purple Squirrel

Where have all the candidates gone? April 10, 2019

Throughout my recruiting years, I’ve noticed that qualified and interested candidates are becoming harder and harder to find. I’ve often wondered,

“Are employers being too picky or not paying enough for talent?”

Purple squirrel is a term used in the recruiting industry to describe the type of candidate that is a rare find. purple-squirrelToo often, employers will present recruiters with a wish list of educational, work history and skill-sets that radically limit the candidate pool. Employers should be mindful that each condition placed upon a job description exponentially shrinks the candidate pool. In developing job criteria, employers should be mindful that they are excluding good candidates based on pinpoints of a job requisition.

After finding the right candidate, are employers paying competitive market value?

In high school physics, we learned about Newton’s first law of inertia (every object will remain at rest or in motion unless completed to change its state by the action of an external force). Candidates are like inertia to change jobs or companies does not exist. Over time, prospective employers have forgotten this universal principle when offering a compensation package to a candidate. Simply put, qualified candidates will rarely change jobs for the same money they are making at their present employment. Employers, it’s time to “come off of the hip” and make it worthwhile for the “purple squirrel” to leave his or her job and come work for you.

Unnecessary job criteria and average compensation packages have created the illusion of a candidate shortage. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Where have all of the candidates gone?  They may be right under your nose!