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Sourcing for Jobs with Candidate Shortages: 4 Tips to Find “Purple Squirrels”

Comments Off on Sourcing for Jobs with Candidate Shortages: 4 Tips to Find “Purple Squirrels”Written on November 7th, 2017 by
Categories: Corporate Recruiters, Human Resources, Third-Party Recruiters
RecruitAlliance empowers you to uncover purple squirrels.Sourcing for Jobs with Candidate Shortages: 4 Tips to Find "Purple Squirrels"

You've just been assigned a new requisition that has gone unfilled for the past 18 months. It's a straight-forward position, but you know there is a highly limited pool of candidates who even meet the minimum qualifications. Worse yet, your executive leadership is looking to you to fill the job at a lower salary than what is being offered in your area. From a corporate talent acquisition perspective, purple squirrel requisitions hurt a recruiter's metrics. You can be a recruiting super-star, and never fill this position—under these circumstances. From the search firm's perspective, you have two options; you can either meet with your client and discuss changing the parameters of the search (backed with supporting data), or politely decline a losing TA battle.

Have you ever received a "Purple Squirrel" assignment from your company? Have your "success metrics" been clouded by factoring in the negative results from your "Purple Squirrel" search?

Here are 4 Tips to help any company or recruitment firm attract and acquire top talent, regardless of the difficulty of the search.

1. Leverage the power of a Vendor Management System. VMSs allow you to post your requirements, include the fee you're willing to pay, all on your contract terms. Recruiting Vendors compete to fill your open requisitions. They are required to agree to your terms, or cannot submit their candidates. Vendor Management Systems can be the best way to get your "purple squirrel" job in front of the maximum number of Recruiters' eyes. When you're dealing with the law of large numbers, this provides better assurance that a Vendor will locate and submit a matching candidate.

2. Analyze the job requirements with the hiring manager, and re-examine the minimum requirements. Are there areas they will take a little less on education and more on practical experience? Would they consider a candidate who is short on experience, but has more education? Will they consider training an internal candidate who can be groomed for the position? Have a deep conversation with the hiring manager, and see where small changes in the requirements will be acceptable.

3. Cold-call, cold-call, and then do more cold-calling. The general rule of thumb is "purple squirrels" do not have to apply for jobs. They are almost always recruited by a firm. Therefore, their resumes are not in databases, and you're often lucky if you find them on social media. These types of searches require intense names' sourcing through a variety of methods and picking up the phone to chat with the candidate. For this reason, most corporate recruiting departments leverage recruiting firms to receive prompt results.

4. When you connect with a "Purple Squirrel"--do something different than your competition. If your candidate is local, offer to take him or her to lunch. Take the steps to create a business relationship that will result in hiring the candidate or receiving referrals. Send these people out a birthday card each year. Find simple and special ways to keep the doors of communication open. For recruiters, these relationships are worth their weight in gold.

Remember, when the talent pool numbers are low for a specific search, there is no quick fix. These are unique assignments that require thought, time, and dedication....all before you even start calling the candidates! Set practical expectations for "purple squirrel" searches, and don't waste your time using typical sourcing strategies, like job boards, career fairs, and Google Ads. Focus more on identifying the pool, getting their contact information, and connecting.

RecruitAlliance is a Vendor Management System with an employer referred network of staffing agencies and recruiting firms, waiting to fill your most urgent hiring needs. Employers may sign up for their free* account and immediately begin posting jobs to the recruiting vendor network. Employers choose the fee they're willing to pay, the terms of the contract, and drive the hiring process. Recruiter members agree to all terms before a candidate is ever submitted through the platform. Learn more.
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