The Recruiting Blog | People First Recruiting

HR and Recruitment - What's a Purple Squirrel?

Posted by Annette Kohut on Tue, Mar 24, 2015

So, I was just minding my own business, gathering as many nuts as possible before the snow came. You know, it’s March but apparently that doesn’t mean spring in Winnipeg. As I was saying, I was gathering these nuts and all of a sudden I felt like someone was watching me. No, seriously, like something in my tiny head kept saying, “See who’s viewed you.” And then, I kept feeling like someone had Poked me. And even weirder, those darn blue birds kept Tweeting at me. I swear, they were looking right at me and Tweeting.

Anyways, I was too busy to pay attention, so I kept on gathering my nuts and working hard. But then, this pigeon came to deliver a message.

“Hello, purple squirrel! Our team's been reading your résumé, and you have a wonderful history of gathering all sorts of nuts, and plenty of them too! We’d love to meet you, and could you give us a couple of trees for references?”

Ummm, I wasn’t looking for another place to gather nuts, but who knows, maybe they know an even better place to work hard. Maybe, this place even has a nicer view from the branches, and who knows, maybe they even have berries, insects, and acorns too!

Wait, but what about the current tree I’m in? What would they think if I were caught looking at other trees?

Well, it’s just a conversation. Let’s see what they have to say! So, I headed on over to their burrow. This gentleman came out and explained to me the importance of a purple squirrel, and how we’re pretty hard to find. They look for special perfect squirrels for their clients. Their clients hire them to sort through every tree possible, lift every leaf, and conduct heavy research, just to find purple squirrels like me! Us purple squirrels are apparently the perfect fit for their clients. The Recruiters and the Sourcers work as a team to find these fabulous candidates. 

So wait, you’re saying I don’t have to give any nuts for this service? You’re saying, these “clients” pay you guys to find people like me, and I’m just presented to them if you think I'm qualified and a great fit?

Apparently, I’m a passive candidate. That’s when they explained that I showcased my nut-gathering-skills so well that they were able to find me easily and knew I had great qualifications. After speaking to some of my old trees for references, the Recruiters were assured I was always on time, always working hard, and a great squirrel to be around.

Wow, sounds like I woke up on the right side of the branch today.

Anyways, the team said passive candidates, like me, are the ones who aren’t seeking work, but are actively working. Active candidates are the ones currently seeking work. The Recruiter and Sourcer also said it’s not just active candidates who might be the right fit, but the passive candidates, which are hard to find, are really great fits, and the offer could be their dream job. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to have your dream job show up on your branch one day?

That’s nuts! And, obviously, yes.

So you’re saying, this job has a nicer view, more nuts to gather, and I have the ability to move my way up to the top of the tree?

Well, that makes me squirrely – in a good way!

So now, here I am, working the job of my dreams. I had no idea this tree had been out here this whole time, and was looking for a squirrel just like me. I’ll tell you one thing, I’m never telling a pigeon to shoo again! Who knows what great opportunities they might have to tell me.  

I want you to be happy like me, so send your resume in to People First Recruitment & Executive Search.

If you’re a company looking for purple squirrels or you need some training on finding purple squirrels, you need to learn about our Recruitment Practice and our Purple Squirrel Talent Academy. Call Karin Pooley now, at 204.940.3939 or email her at