The Cost of Holding Out for Purple Squirrels

Waiting for 'purple squirrels' will cost you.

Purple squirrels… Every recruiter’s dream. Imagine – the perfect candidate walks into the office with the exact experience you need. They have a complete knowledge of all platforms and software devices your company uses. No training necessary, an instant asset and boost in productivity. What could be better?

The problem is that the cost of waiting for this rare gem of a candidate is more detrimental than you think. It’s more effective from a cost and, surprisingly, quality standpoint to fill open positions in a relatively timely manner. Keeping positions open for months on end, hoping and waiting for a purple squirrel to run up the tree that is your company and start asking for peanuts will cost you in the long run.

Here are some tips from the Harvard Business Review on how to cut down the cost of recruiting without sacrificing quality employees.

1.) More emphasis on retention

Everyone knows the expression don’t fix what isn’t broken.” Retention is all about ensuring those breaks don’t happen. Keeping your good employees happy, satisfied and present at your company is a key ingredient in cutting down on recruiting costs. Retain your valuable people by being attentive to their needs (financial and scheduling-wise), make an effort to build relationships, and encourage honest communication by fostering an open work environment.

2.) More emphasis on training

If your training program for new employees is quick and effective, then there’s no need to waste time waiting for someone who doesn’t need to go through training. Make your training so streamlined and top-notch that new employees who lack background knowledge and experience learn the necessary skills. Aim to create a training program so successful that less-skilled hires know more than a candidate with previous experience.

3.) Consider what your organization really needs

The first step in hiring is to develop a solid understanding of the job market and what’s available. Empower recruiters to find those individuals in a timely manner. Create opportunities for hiring managers and recruiters to have honest discussions about priorities.

When you can’t keep a job open forever, consider the top priority for your company. Everyone involved needs to understand the capacity of a recruiting department as well as the high impact positions you need to hire for.

Hiring is more than conducting a few interviews and picking a resume with the right qualifications. Be sure to understand what your organization really needs. Work hard to keep the good hires in your organization and focus on a top-notch training program for all hires.

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