Searching for your Purple Unicorn

  • Finding your Purple Unicorn
  • So, are they worth pursuing?
  • Searching for the best scientists and researchers for the job (not Purple Unicorns)

Searching for your Purple Unicorn

If you’re on the hunt for a rare candidate whose education and experience fulfill an extremely niche set of criteria then you’re looking for a Purple Unicorn. Magical, mythical creatures that will impress from the offset with no training or onboarding necessary. All the boxes ticked (no matter how specific) and ready with bags packed to relocate to any remote town for any wage offered. 

Searching for the impossible can be a thrilling and daunting task. With no guarantee that you’ll find or, much less, employ your perfect employee it can be like finding a needle in a haystack. The list of requirements might be conflicting or the area of science or technology so new that the candidate is unlikely to have the experience required on their CV. Either way, the odds are stacked against finding the hiring manager’s criteria for that particular candidate.

Finding your Purple Unicorn

Finding these rare and elusive candidates can be most satisfying, but be warned that they will also know their worth. Be prepared to negotiate on money and benefits and go softly as they may need to be persuaded to make a move to a new company or location. Recruitment is a two-way street so be sure that you can accommodate the candidates' needs as well. 

So, are they worth pursuing? 

Only if you have the time or money for the search, after all, you may never find exactly what you are looking for. Work with your hiring manager to explain the difficulties of hiring a candidate within a strict set of boundaries so they can figure out if the company has the time and money for the search. Take a collaborative approach to look at the job spec and order the requirements in terms of deal-breakers. The hiring manager might have a list of priorities that are fixed but there may be more flexibility on other areas. Knowing where your compromise lies can help open up your job advert to attract a slightly wider audience of highly-skilled, desirable candidates. 

Searching for the best candidates for the job (not Purple Unicorns)

Space-Careers candidates have high-level skills that cross many disciplines and cover many specialist areas. These mobile jobseekers come from all over Europe and 93% are willing to relocate. Use our Applicant Tracker (our Applicant Tracker System - ATS) to browse through hundreds of CVs to find the most suitable candidates based on certain keywords so you can find the best person for the job.


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