If you are in the world of HR or any recruitment capacity in your role, then you have most likely heard of what we refer to in the industry as the “purple unicorn”. For those who don’t know what we are referring to; a purple unicorn candidate is one of those rare, but perfect candidates. A purple unicorn hire is a person so magical that they could do their job in their sleep, without any questions asked. The problem is that finding the purple unicorn hire is sometimes as hard as finding an actual mythical creature.
The unfortunate part about this concept is that searching for perfection is not realistic. Just like the perfect job description is not based on real life, the perfect candidate isn’t either. Trying to create the “perfect” job description is problematic because they are overly specific, and they miss the entirely suited candidates that are available and have the passion gap to rise to challenge. Other times, it misses the opportunity to develop internal candidates that know your business and can offer greater insight if offered development opportunities.
The pandemic has forced entire industries to pivot and revolutionize the way they are doing business. Yet surprisingly, we haven’t completely shifted how we invest in our people? In 2018 Gartner reported that ~70% of employees shared they do not have full mastery of the skills they need for their jobs now & in the future. Perhaps the perfect candidate is the employee in front of you who represents your business values and is looking for future professional development?
If you are a manager or business leader, I would challenge you to rethink what the definition of the perfect candidate is and to recognize the talented individuals that are already in your midst. Your future self will thank you!
Purple unicorns, purple squirrels, rockstars, or ninjas; whatever you refer to the perfect candidate as, we encourage you to step out of the perfection bubble as it might be standing in your way of recruiting the right people for your clinic. At MCA, we have chosen to forgo perfection and rather recruit based on values, drive and team mentality. It has been a game changer for our business.
By: Rachel Steele, VP People & Culture