If you have been a Recruiter for any length of time, you have probably been presented with a “Purple Squirrel” by a Hiring Manager.  Proper etiquette deems that we do our best to meet our client’s every need. To be a gracious Recruiter, you will need to have a good recipe to cook up these tough little critters.  Following is the recipe that I use to cook them:

“Hurled of Squirrel “

Make sure you have:

  • 1 x Purple Squirrel. (To ensure your squirrel is ripe, make sure the job description is so specific that the likelihood of finding anyone who actually meets the requirements is slim to none and is nowhere to be found.)
  • Cup of Suaveness
  • Quart of Hope
  • Pinch of Luck


  • Skin It:  Working with your manager, you will need to get the meat of the matter.  Skinning the job order down to exactly what the manager is asking for will be the key task.  Being skilled in your trade will help you know when a manager is looking for “seven years of experience” in a technology that has only been around for four years.
  • Blanch It: If the manager continues to add additional skills to the job description every time you bring candidates, then you need to stop the madness.  You should take the job description and any other requirement that has been offered and communicate it back to the manager in writing. You can sit down with the manager and establish priorities for each element, and then get sign off on the profile – it’s how the executive search consultants do it.
  • Barbeque:  Barbequing is a delicate and time sensitive technique.  It is important you always are keeping your hiring manager up to date on your search.  This consistent attention will allow you to gain some flexibility and give your manager access to other candidates that may not have been previously considered.  If you wait for weeks, then go back and tell your manager the candidates they want does not exist, the manager won’t believe that there is a problem.

I have used the above recipe several times in the past, with success.  Of course, past success still doesn’t mean it works every time, so as a bonus here is my back-up recipe:

  • Call Pizza Pizza: This is a great time for you to step up and be a leader.   Your manager is looking to you to solve their problem and as a Leader you can call in your team for extra support.  Whether you work in a team or on your own, we all know a Recruiter that can fill “anything”. 

What are your Purple Squirrel Recipes?

Views: 257

Comment by Will Thomson on March 6, 2013 at 10:07pm
Love it!


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