Hunting for the Purple Squirrel

What’s a purple squirrel? At Amtec, we know one when we…don’t see one! When we get an order for a nearly impossible-to-find candidate, we call that phantom a purple squirrel. This type of request requires exceptional recruiting abilities on our part, plus a flexible hiring approach on the part of our customer as we search for someone with similar technical and transferable skills.

Especially in the ever-changing world of IT, requests for purple squirrels are becoming increasingly common. Unfortunately, “the perfect candidate probably isn’t available or doesn’t exist.” However, you can take advantage of available top talent if you adapt your expectations and adopt a flexible hiring approach.

Jack Cullen, a long-time staffing expert, suggests that you consider hiring someone who has the potential to become what you need with the right training. He also recommends that you offer extra training to current star employees who might otherwise be lured away to other jobs that offer opportunities to learn new skills. Cullen also encourages employers to find workers who have transferable skills or who come from different fields but have performed similar types of work.

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