Catching Your Purple Squirrel

In today’s market – finding the person that best fits your mandate is not always the easiest task. But when you find that person, then you need to snap them up – quickly.

In the space of one week Tascha Hermann, managing director of ICT recruitment agency, Green Grass Consulting, had three of her clients lose their best candidates simply because they had waited too long. This reluctance to hire, coupled with round after round of interviews is as frustrating for the recruiter as it is for the candidate, especially when the recruiter knows that they’ve identified your purple squirrel – an HR term used to describe the perfect candidate.

 With so many people hunting for jobs, the general consensus is that decent jobs are few and far between, but Tascha sees it another way. In terms of being a recruiter, the jobs are there, but only for the people who have the necessary skills to do them. And herein lies the real issue - a skills shortage. Employers get lulled into a false sense of security; with so many candidates out there they feel they have the luxury to take their time in making decisions, but this backfires because the reality is that there is only a small pool of suitably skilled candidates.

In short, there are an abundance of jobs, but a dearth of great candidates.

Time is therefore of the essence; if you are lucky enough to have interviewed someone who has the required skills and experience, can communicate effectively, fits the company culture and the salary bracket plus has the right attitude and personality – what are you waiting for? Sign the contract and make a commitment - because if you don’t, someone else will, warns Tascha.

It goes further than simply taking too long though. “You can’t expect people to move backwards, especially in our current economic climate. Make a fair salary offer. Consider their skills, their experience and the position they’re coming from before extending an offer,” says Tascha.  After getting the candidate to jump through all the hoops you need so as to be as sure as your recruiter is, make a meaningful offer in a timely manner.

These illustrious squirrels don’t come around every time you need to hire, so if your recruiter finds you one, jump on it and hold on tight, before it slips from view.

~ Katie Cubitt