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Does the unicorn candidate exist?! neuco advent calendar tips day 14!

14 Dec 11:00 by John Clifton

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An artist’s impression of what many hiring managers are looking for is typically a little unicorn like.

But does that candidate exist, and should you be looking for it in the first place?

We’d suggest that it might not. But then again it might, so you should absolutely set your sets on hiring the person that you really want.

Before heading down that path however, it’s crucial to really nail down the criteria you’re looking for. There’s always other stakeholders involved – other colleagues, HR, recruiters, etc – so being crystal clear on your criteria is important.

Challenge yourself on what you’re looking for. Keep revising what you want vs the purpose of the hire until you can condense this to 3-5 fundamental areas of expertise that you want people to have.

Be clear on the purpose of the objectives and responsibilities the person will have upon joining you. It’s easy to lose sight of why you’re hiring in the first place when you’re searching for people with what you consider to be the ideal background.

Have a realistice and pragmatic approach. It’s fine to have criteria that results in a very small potential candidate pool, but trying to hire someone for a role that no-one will have done before is an uphill battle.

Be ready with a back-up plan. If the unicorn doesn’t exist or they’re simply not interested in joining for whatever reason, you need a back-up plan. Go back to the reasons for hiring, and prioritise the next best skill sets that will work.

Get help. Sourcing hard-to-find candidates is time consuming, so if your time is valuable, get some help. If you’re planning to use an executive search or specialist recruitment firm, use one that knows your domain. Ask them to send potential candidates as swiftly as possible and use these as a discussion point to help refine their searches – working with them is the best way to get the result you want.

Whether it exists or not, following some of the advice above will give you the very best shot. Failing that, then give us a call on +44 203 865 1330 to discuss your needs and we’ll do our best to help!