Finding (And Signing) Your Purple Squirrel

Ah, yes. The Purple Squirrel. That elusive, mythical creature that you’ve heard about but have never witnessed. Or maybe you have caught a glimpse, but it was just out of reach?

The recruiters reading this know that we’re not talking about a literal purple squirrel. Rather, the term “Purple Squirrel” is commonly used in recruiting to describe the dream candidate for an open position. This is a candidate who checks off every “must-have” and “nice-to-have” on your wishlist. They have the right education, experience, background and skills.

Sounds great, right?

But there’s a problem.

These candidates are incredibly hard to find and harder still to “catch.”


Well, chances are the candidate with the perfect experience, background and skill set probably already has a position that they love.

They’re probably not even looking for a job.

The “Purple Squirrel” is likely a passive job seeker.

While it can be hard to snag a passive job-seeker, they may be open to your position if it meets all of their requirements.

But how can you reach a passive job seeker if they aren’t even looking?

Don’t worry, you’re not completely out of luck.

How can you find a “Purple Squirrel” for that hard to hire role?

1. First, you’ll want to make sure you have a strong employer brand.

I know, I know, I’ve talked your ear off about employer brand at this point, but there’s a reason. We CANNOT overstate how important having a strong employer brand is when it comes to attracting talent. Especially talent that isn’t looking for a position.

Employer brand is essentially your brand’s reputation-- both to the general public and employees. When you have a strong employer brand your company’s customers and employees will feel proud to act as your advocate. This is hugely influential as job-seekers are more likely to trust the word of current employees than content in overwrought marketing materials.

If you already have a strong employer brand then great! If you don’t have much brand recognition or if you want to improve your employer brand, you’ll want to take steps to rehabilitate it!

2. Meet Candidates Where They Are

Ok, so it’s hard to find a passive job seeker if you have a bad employer brand but it’s even harder if you’re not reaching them at all with your messaging.

Because these individuals aren’t actively looking for jobs, you won’t find them in the usual places like your job page or a jobs/careers site or potentially even job posts. The best way to reach these candidates is by meeting them where they already are, on social media where they spend time

The average person spends over two hours a day on social media, so if you’re not using social media to spread your message? Well, you’re missing out.

There’s a lot of content on social media, though. How can you be sure to reach these passive job seekers?

Well, that leads me to our next point.

3. Content is King

Yes, social media is like the wild wild west. There are so many different people vying for audience attention. Creating content that stands out will be crucial in your efforts to attract a passive job-seeker. That’s easier said than done though. What kind of content can you create to really grab people’s attention?

Research increasingly points to video as the best way to grab a viewer’s attention. And hey, if you can make a video that’s worthy of being shared? You’ll reach more than just your existing audience.

Okay, these are all much easier said than done. How can you strengthen your employer brand and meet candidates where they are with stellar content that will reach them?


We empower talent teams to easily make and share authentic, high-quality videos to recruit and build  a talent pipeline. They take just 25 minutes or less.

More than just employee testimonials, we offer storylines that will help you capture audience attention. Our storylines have been crafted by proven storytellers-- they know how to keep your eyes glued to the screen.

Our easy-to-make, easy-to-share videos help you capture the attention of audiences on social media, so you can be sure to catch the next purple squirrel instead of letting it slip through your fingers.

For more information on WorkReels, email us at

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