From 2010 to 2012, the recruiting industry was fairly effective at identifying and closing “Purple Squirrels” – that perfect candidate who possessed the optimal combination of skills, education and experience, would work for below market pay, was from the small town or neighborhood where your office is located and went to your alma mater.
That was then; but in the last 12 months, the market for skilled A-players has become noticeably tighter. Processes take longer and candidates have become much more demanding (sometimes unreasonably so). Businesses that have been accustomed to identifying and closing on their perfect candidates are put on notice that in 2013 the “Purple Squirrel” is on the official endangered species list.
Now more than ever, the recruiting process requires increased flexibility around the definition of a good candidate. Forwardlooking companies are taking a closer look at their “must have” requirements and aligning them with the current data on compensation in a particular geographic area. For example, geographic areas that are touched by the energy boom are particularly challenging places to recruit and retain talent at anything less than above market compensation rates. Furthermore, companies are more open to entertaining an arrangement that includes long distance commuting whereby an executive would fly in on a Monday and out on a Thursday or Friday.
For 2013, we see the A-player unemployment rate continuing to come down, so planning ahead and focusing on attributes that are critical to success is more important than ever. And perhaps, “good enough” is good enough for some roles.
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