The perfect candidate. Every employer is searching for the perfect candidate. Someone who is well-rounded, with multifaceted talents to fit the job description seamlessly, even exceeding the employer’s expectations. In the recruiting industry, we refer to this rare candidate as the “purple squirrel”. This purple squirrel can be one of the most elusive candidates in today’s forest of job seekers. I find myself climbing many trees, but the purple squirrels are unfortunately very rare and hard to find.
So what are the qualities of this elusive purple squirrel you ask? Fundamentally, they are hardworking, organized, dependable, and motivated. Not only well educated, but the purple squirrel participates in ongoing education to stay abreast of innovations within their industry. With a thorough understanding of current technology and social media, the purple squirrel is well connected and ahead of the curve. This candidate also has been in leadership positions, has been promoted often, and has developed new processes and procedures which in turn saved the company money. Communication skills are also key, including cross-cultural business communication, managing multi-generational teams, and managerial leadership.
So how do you become a purple squirrel? Continue your education. Update your technology and software skills. Work to exceed expectations in your current position; go above and beyond what is required. Get involved in your industry and community. Do you belong to professional organizations in the given field you are applying for? Do you belong to civic organizations? Are you involved in the non-profit world?
So you’re a purple squirrel, now what?
Before you go in to an interview, research the company so that you become familiar with their product or service. Go in to the interview telling the company what you can do for them. Know what it is going to take for that company to get your services and be able to tell them why you are worth it.
You need to be able to tell the company your compensation package. What is your base salary? What is your bonus structure? Incentives? Be able to tell the company what it is going to cost for you to work for them. Be reasonable but be firm on your compensation. You can say no. If the company really wants you and you are truly a purple squirrel, you can get the package you want.
Now you’ve got all the nuts.
-Pat Haynes, CPC.
President / Owner