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Have You Ever Let the Perfect Candidate Slip Through Your Fingers?

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By Julie Rupenski, President and Owner of MedBest, A Senior Housing Forum Partner

All businesses, including senior living/long-term care organizations, have lost a great candidate at some point. There are a bunch of reasons why this happens but often it is because organizations are attempting to find their unicorn . . . that perfect match, which is fine if it works.

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They start with a list of traits or attributes the ideal candidate should have. Here is the problem, often those lists are not realistic . . . as in “I want someone who is hard-charging and aggressive, yet also laid back and compassionate”. It is possible this person exists but not very likely.  

Your Recruiter

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In the world of recruiting this “perfect candidate” is known as the “purple squirrel”. This is where a recruiter can make a huge difference. They can actually help you find your purple squirrel or at least come very very close. A big part of what they will do with you and for you is to help establish a right and reasonable set of criteria and then stick to them (or modify them as needed).

A big part of this is thinking about the needs of the candidate. It is easy for hiring organizations to say I want this and this and this. A big part of the equation though is really thinking through why that purple squirrel candidate would want to work for your organizations.

If they are as good as you want them to be, given the current market demand for great talent they will be looking for their own version of a purple squirrel organization that will be worthy of them.

The Perfect Middle-Man

The recruiters' jobs are to be your middle-man. They serve as tools that help you shape your needs and understand the needs of the candidates you seek. This means spending time talking with your recruiter about your concerns and needs.

Finding Your Purple Squirrel

The most important thing you can do as a hiring organization is to be flexible and open. This flexibility might include salary, benefits and growth opportunities. The key here is to not sink the ship before it sails. This gives you the time to really understand the market, comparing and contrasting your expectations relative to your competitors.

A big part of this whole process is to remember you are not the only one out there looking for good talent. A good place to see some of the quality management positions available with long-term care companies is to look at the MedBest and other job boards.

Your Purple Squirrel is out there. With the right preparation and a relentless recruiter, much like the long-term care recruiters at MedBest, that magical employee could be waiting outside your office door.

If you are looking for an exceptional, experienced recruiter working in the long-term care or senior living industry, visit medbest.com today and begin your path to recruiting your purple squirrel.


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