You’ve heard of black squirrels, reddish squirrels, even albino ones—but a purple squirrel? Unlikely, or so I thought until I read one was sighted in Pennsylvania awhile back… Regardless of whether it truly exists in nature or was a porta-potty-rodent debacle, in the recruiting world, purple squirrel is a metaphor for the fictional perfect candidate (a concept similar to Prince Charming for romance). In other words, a purple squirrel is a dream candidate with an astounding mix of skills who rarely, if ever, exists in the real world.

Not that there aren’t A-candidates out there: These people meet your core competency requirements and have the skills and personality traits to complement your company’s unique culture. At JCSI, we make a living finding and engaging with A-candidates on your behalf.

But the purple squirrel your hiring manager dreams about is not real although they come in all sorts of imagined varieties, such as experienced candidates who don’t exist in that salary range or candidates with a combination of very specific and diverse skill sets. The problem isn’t just knowing when you have a purple squirrel, it is breaking the news to your hiring manager that the profile they imagine doesn’t exist, and then moving toward realistic expectations that will result in a real-world solution to your staffing need. The sooner this process is achieved, the less disappointment and wasted hours, and the quicker you achieve the hire.

Fortunately, JCSI has several tools to debunk your purple squirrels and get you on the track to a successful search by providing insights and data to transform a far-fetched profile into an opportunity that will appeal to real-world candidates and meet your staffing needs.  Our customized tools make this an easier transition than you might think.

For instance, tools such as Sourcing AnalysisPosition ProfilingBenchmarking, and Salary Surveys show how your requirements stack up in the marketplace of real candidates and employment opportunities. The Sourcing Analysis gives data geographically about the local candidate pool compared to regional or national markets, providing valuable information about whether you want to widen your search net and/or consider relocation assistance. The Position Profile documents the skills and competencies you desire into one profile. Benchmarking translates the profile requirements into resumes of real candidates who possess the identified skill set. The Salary Survey enables you to compare compensation by title, location, and years of experience, including data on a range of salary levels. Together, these tools enable you to assess the talent pool, skill sets, and compensation you desire within the existing marketplace—a vital way to avoid chasing purple squirrels.

No matter how you feel about bushy-tailed rodents of any color, you don’t want your talent acquisition resources wasted on chasing fictional candidates rather than the real animal to meet your staffing needs. Let JCSI help you define the exact profile and benchmark the A-candidates who do exist in your market. Contact us today to learn more!