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The Terms: Ninja, Unicorn, Purple Squirrel? What Do they Mean?

The terms ninja, unicorn, and purple squirrel are pretty unclear as to the meaning outside their traditional, you know, ninjas use a long sword, and unicorns have one horn, and well squirrels are small little jumping rodent things but why are they purple, that’s stupid. Yes, you’re right, but in business? Well that’s a very different story.

These terms have extreme value as to how recruiters can compare their candidates and new hires. Recruiters are looking for a specific skill set or list of experiences for the positions they’re filling. Each word can used as a way to describe the type of candidate, a type of filter if you will. Very similar to how professional sports scouts define their players, recruiters are applying the same techniques to their candidates. So what does each word mean?

The Unicorn

Unicorns are those imaginary candidates whose resumes shine with perfect qualifications. If they’re passive candidates, sometimes, they’re pink and other times they may have wings. Finding one of these types of candidates can be difficult — so think twice before using your extra ammo (or recruiting budget) to try land one.

The Ninja

Ninjas are the niche field experts.. instead of throwing steel stars, these candidates throw Java exceptions. This term has been growing since 2010, According to a Linkedin study.

The Purple Squirrel

If you’re a recruiter, you’ve definitely heard this term – the oldest in the book. The purple squirrel is simply put as the perfect candidate. They meet all the job requirements, and can fill the need with no questions asked. But.. they’re hard to find (if they even exist at all).

At Guerrilla Recruit, we have access to all of these types of candidates through our large network of over 700. Check out how we can help your company in any of our other blogs!

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