The smart approach to recruiting a rare species

Rare species:

A species that is uncommon, few in number, or not abundant.

(think Big Foot, Dragons, Unicorns, Snow Leopards)

It is not unnatural for a business manager to submit a job description that requires a candidate that is i) either extremely rare or ii) non-existent.  The question is – do you want to spend years looking for a needle in a haystack or do you want some strategies to find some good enough candidates?  Chances are there will be many candidates who will add value to your company and will end up being the ‘right’ choice even though they may not meet the niche skills, experience and background that you have specified for that hard-to-fill role.

If you bear in mind that 86% of the most qualified candidates are not actively seeking a job and that 73% of employers are struggling to find relevant candidates, you can see that thinking out of the box is the only way you can stay ahead of the competition.

These simple steps are the smart approach to adopt when in search of a rare species:

  1. Reassess which attributes are essential

Get really clear about which attributes are essential. Which skills/competencies are i) must-haves, ii) good to have and iii) trainable. Even if this widens the net by 5%, that could catch the best person for the role.

  1. Research the market

Do you know how rare your requirement is?  Does anyone actually exist that could meet all of the criteria?  If you find someone, where are they based – and would you consider paying for someone to relocate?

  1. Develop a rare breeds sourcing strategy

Now you know how big the potential pool of candidates is, you can work out the best way to reach them. For instance, Bigfoot only tends to hang out in the wilderness and wouldn’t necessarily notice an advertisement in the local newspaper.  You need to finely tune your searching routes (or get us to do that for you).

  1. Be authentic and sell your business

Rare species are in demand and it’s a good idea for you to highlight why you are the employer of choice. Be clear about your company culture, training programmes, charity efforts, social activities, flexible working and progression opportunities. Show that your environment suits a rare breed.

By following these 4 steps, you will hopefully secure and retain that ever elusive candidate (or at least someone who can do the job just as well). We are always here to help, so do drop us a line if you are feeling stuck with a vacancy.