Purple Squirrel With a Video Camera?

by Susan Henson
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This is the final episode of Amtec’s Purple Squirrel chronicles, the stories of Amtec’s ambitious and industrious recruiters searching for amazing, too-good-to-be-true candidates, otherwise known as “purple squirrels.” You can read our previous stories here, here, and here.

Who Are These Purple Squirrels?

Why are some job candidates classified as purple squirrels? Well, because the chances of finding a job candidate that fits the requirements and qualifications are about as good as finding a purple squirrel. 

Amtec’s  Jason Elrick, Senior Direct Hire Staffing Manager, has been recruiting for 13 years, and he has searched for and found many candidates for his clients. Sometimes he thought the search would be endless.

Video Trainer Extraordinaire

Recently, an Amtec client gave Jason a recruiting assignment. Find me a guy or gal who knows how to use a video camera, understands business operations mapping, has experience with learning management systems and is a born trainer and leader with excellent communication skills. 

What is the position title of someone who does all these things together? Training and Compliance Knowledge Capture Specialist, of course!

What does this unconventional title mean? The job requires someone who uses a video camera to capture “in the field” operations, then edit, curate, and narrate those videos for educational and training purposes. The job is also about organizing training videos into a learning management system, leading the training program for team members, and ensuring compliance requirements are met. 

The Perfect Fit

Despite the challenging combination of skills required for this job, Jason found the guy. He came from the petroleum industry and was the training supervisor  responsible for training and tracking compliance for 250 employees. He was a 28-year U.S. Navy, highly tech-savvy, and communicated well across all levels. 

“I was so surprised when I located a candidate to fill this role just a few weeks after I received the assignment,” said Jason. “His training background was exactly the right fit, and after I spoke to him, I knew his communications skills and ability to lead a program would seal the deal.”

How to Spot a Purple Squirrel

“When a job description is not very clear, it’s difficult to determine which skill sets and qualifications are the highest priority,” said Jason. A recruiter has to ask probing questions, “then use your ‘spidey-sense’ and listen,” continued Jason. “A good probing question can be as simple as ‘What’s your typical day,’ then you can get a sense for how that person works and if they will be a good cultural fit for the client.”

If you are in the engineering, construction, or manufacturing industry and you are struggling with finding candidates for your open jobs, call Jason. His expertise in the field can accelerate the hiring process to meet your staffing needs, even if you are looking for a purple squirrel. 

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