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Trying to Find the Elusive Unicorn Candidate

Alaant’s, Tom Schin shares more on trying to find the elusive unicorn candidate and why it could cause you to miss out on a really great candidate.

Hi, folks! Tom Schin here from Alaant Workforce Solutions, here to talk about something we see pretty often.

It’s the dilemma of hiring the “Brian” who’s now leaving your organization vs. the “Brian” you hired 10 years ago. Sure, Brian does a lot for you, but Brian didn’t learn all those skills overnight. You’re not likely to find all those specific skills in one person - it’d be like finding that elusive unicorn candidate.  

When you’re faced with replacing a strong employee whom you’ve groomed, trained, and developed for years, it’s important to think about what they were originally hired for. 

What technical knowledge did they walk in the door with?

What soft skills made them successful early in their time with you?

What training did they go through that got them to where they are today? For example – perhaps they helped you with a system migration, and now your hiring manager NEEDs someone who’s proficient with that system.   

That approach could cause you to miss out on some fantastic candidates. Imagine if you found a candidate who had good experience in learning and applying new software programs; perhaps they have examples of teaching those tools to others. That might give you the transferable skills you’re seeking and give you someone who’s even MORE excited to learn and master your system. It’s even likely they have some suggestions on how to use it more efficiently since they’re coming with fresh ideas.

Remember that hiring is an investment up front and throughout an employee’s time with you. We’ve said it before and will say it again. Look for the reasons to screen the candidate in based on their experience AND capabilities. Need help breaking down what should stay or go from that next search strategy? Reach out to us today.

Have a question, or comment? Post it below or visit us online at

Thanks for listening – let’s catch up soon!


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