in an enchanted land far far away there lived some magical creatures.  These creatures were so amazing that there was nothing they could not do, everything they did was perfect.

Happily they roamed the land helping those less fortunate.  If a project was falling the magical creatures get it back on track.  If there was a dispute they would resolve it.  In fact they could do the impossible and all they wanted in return was a little gratitude and payment for their services.  

The magical creatures worked with facilitators called recruitment consultants who would find out who needed help, find a magical creature with the most appropriate skills and handle the financial transactions. The facilitators would negotiate with the people who needed help to get a really good rate for the magical creatures and then charge a small free to the people for their work in putting both parties together.

For years the people of the land, the recruiters and the magical creatures lived happily and the number of the magical creatures grew. 

What did they look like I hear you ask?

They were four legged creatures, with long flowing manes and a large single horn in the middle of their heads.  They were purple in colour and look magnificent!


One day something terrible happened……………………… A recession hit the land and try as they might the magic was too strong for the purple unicorns to make any kind of a difference.  People are fickle and quickly stopped using their services, meaning the magical creatures did not earn the money they were used to. 

Soon events turned worse as a mob of bandit recruiters came to the land.

Dressed in blue pinstripe suits, with red ties and light brown shoes, they spotted an opportunity and set about undermining the magical creatures.  These bandit recruiters were offering low wages, high fees and sadly the magical creatures had no alternative than to accept.

Over time the purple unicorns started to die out, without the love of the people and the measly money these purple unicorns stopped answering their phones and emails and started to disappear, some ran off into the distance never to be seen again, but most evolved into normal common or garden donkeys.

Now this is not where the story ends you’ll be glad to hear.


Well they do exist and they know how to capture the few elusive purple unicorns.  It’s no longer gratitude and fair payment that works though.  The purple unicorn whisperer uses other tactics.  They woo them and court them and win their trust.  They return calls and respond to emails and know the things that purple unicorns want.

So if you are ever in need of the services of the elusive purple unicorn, you first need to find the even more elusive whisperer and you’ll all live happily ever after.


One a more serious note – We all know that the market place has changed in favour of the applicant.  Recruitment done right takes fineness, especially when trying to find candidates with rare skills. 

Once a recruiter has “courted” the ideal applicant on behalf of their client, all of this can be destroyed by the interview process, through both the recruiters’ and the client’s processes. 

Long lengthy 3 or 4 stage interview processes that include things like competency based questioning, assessment centres etc., will often make the best applicants walk away. 

We are now in a race where applicants often have 2 or 3 offers on the table, so you want to ensure your processes are no longer designed to weed people out, but are quick and efficient and maintain that courting approach so the applicant feels special and chooses your company over your competitors. 

I’m happy to share ideas if any Hiring Managers, In-house Recruiters or HR professionals need help re-evaluating their interview processes.


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