Bruce Morton is the CMO of Allegis Group Services. Bruce’s experience spans three decades and throughout this time he has seen a massive shift in the way organisations manage their...
What does second-year Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doug Collins have in common with a purple squirrel? Excluding their color differences, the better question might just be what don't they have in common?
The purple squirrel is the rarest of rare. The aesthetically pleasing rodent (no, that's not an oxymoron) comes around only once in a great while, and has been spotted just a few times. Collins, who had most recently worked in the broadcaster's booth, joined the Sixers during the 2010-2011 season and almost overnight molded the NBA's third-youngest team into a true contender that took the Big Four of the Boston Celtics to the seventh game of this year's Eastern Conference semifinals.
Purple squirrels, like coaches (and executives) of Doug Collins' caliber, don't just grow on trees, but when they do appear, they have an immediate impact. Just ask Pennsylvania residents Connie and Percy Emert, who, according to The Associated Press, were incredulous after coming across the rare creature last February.
But enough with the metaphor, I think you get the point. A purple squirrel is a game-changer. The kind of person you interview and think to yourself "this process is over, let's give this person a blank check and let him do his thing at our company."
A number of strategies have proven to be successful when it comes to netting that big piece of the puzzle for your company. For instance, in a recent ERE Media column, professor of management at San Francisco State University Dr. John Sullivan points to CEO recruiting and building ideal candidate behavioral profiles as two of the most effective techniques.
1. The CEO taking an active role in recruitingThough it may not be the main thing in his or her job description, recruiting can often be most effective when the CEO or other top executives are involved in the process. This occurs at a number of large corporations such as Apple and Google.
2. Research and build a profile of your ideal candidateThe best way to find the top-of-the-line candidate? Know what you're looking for. Exhaust all outlets to build a profile that reflects this person's qualities, including their interests.
Though these strategies are undoubtedly useful, to me it all still comes back to social media. If you want to attract the most dedicated, savvy individuals to your firm, you need to embody these traits yourself. No job seeker feels great about going to a prospective employer's Facebook page and hearing crickets. Update that site, as well as your Twitter handle, LinkedIn page, Foursquare location and everything else. Updates can include industry headlines, corporate news and - perhaps most importantly - interactive posts from contests to surveys.
How does this bring game-changing talent to your office? Simply put: it gets you on their radar. Very rarely will the purple squirrel walk randomly into your yard one day (unless you're Connie and Percy Emert). But if you boast the benefits of your firm on social media - put up pictures of the casual attire your employees wear or the pool table in your break room - and take an active approach, you'll position yourself as a leader in your field.
If you haven't heard, social media is officially the name of the recruiting game. So get on it. Be active and even start scouting potential purple squirrels through LinkedIn and other outlets, especially since passive candidates (those who may not be actively seeking work) are often the diamonds in the rough who can make you into a contender, rather than a pretender.
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