Wharton professor Peter Cappelli wrote about purple squirrels, or impossible to find candidates, in his book “Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs.”
Spoiler Alert: Purple Squirrels usually exist because hiring companies, have unrealistic job description expectations.
Consider options for aligning qualifications necessary for the job, realistic with real candidates. Do this in collaboration with your search and placement firm. They can tell you how hard it is to find the person you are looking for.
Open minded managers consider options to get the job done and will result in moving forward over the alternative of not moving forward.
Here’s some good ideas to consider as a human resources manager or a hiring manager, and your candidate search is not turning up what you expect, as fast as you expect.
The obvious importance of looking at what you need to get done,and finding a person to do that work is of primary importance to moving your business forward.
Over-defining a job description so optimal and narrow (a purple squirrel), that the search will take forever – and may ultimately never find a candidate to meet expectations, is a bad approach.
As a human resources professional, you need to advise your hiring managers to avoid this. As a hiring manager, you need to avoid this approach – or, fundamentally your work will not get done.
A variety of other issues may develop, including your own performance review may reflect that you are unable to hire and build a team. That is in addition to your not having the staff on board to achieve the work you are obligated to do in your own role.
Don’t forget that you may find yourself doing the work of another individual you have not hired yet. This eventually takes its toll on family and work life balance. If you hear yourself ever saying that you don’t have time to interview for your open positions, this is likely the case.
the worst thing I’ve seen happen is that in the process of delay after delay, your company’s CFO says to you,
“Since you haven’t filled this position for over 120 days, and it has remained open, clearly you don’t need that person on your team anymore. We’re reallocating your position to another department with an immediate need, and candidate ready to hire.”
This last occurrence is a sure indication that your job description expectations are too high. to avoid this situation, even when you have difficult to do work on the schedule, is to look for alternatives.
- Consider a contractor. It’s a low-risk way to get work done, try an employee out. Recruiters can help you find contractors.
- Consider outside-the-box candidates, like retirees wanting to work part time, or even internships from college students that need to get industry-practice credit.
Barton Professional Placement Group can help you explore these alternative options for filling your open positions and getting the job done sooner. Call us today.