Harry Potter and Hiring: A Magical Combination

By Adam Robinson,
September 16, 2013

Looking for to hire a “Fantastic Beast?”

As any self-proclaimed “potterhead” already knows, JK Rowling and Warner Bros. have announced a new Harry Potter movie, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’.  For all of the muggles out there, this is an exciting development for the Harry Potter fandom, and has stirred up quite a bit of anticipation among magic deprived fans. The book covers all of the beasts found throughout magical world, and give details on where you can encounter them, their classification, and their level of danger. Nerdy excitement aside, you may be wondering how this relates to hiring for your company.

Just like these magical beasts, your candidate pool is an interesting collection of people who may come from around the world, have a wide array of skills, and can potentially pose a threat to your company.

Though we don’t live in the magical world of Harry Potter, we can still think of our candidate pool as the pool of “Fantastic Beasts”, where we are all striving to find the elusive “purple squirrel.’

Hiring managers typically face the challenge of having candidates who are plentiful without the skills they need, and the candidates with good skills but low motivation (both come with a high risk of danger to your company). However, as every hiring manager knows, there is that ideal candidate who seems to be impossible to find, but has everything you could ever ask for.

This candidate is similar to the most rare magical beast, and in the hiring world, we call this fantastic candidate the Purple Squirrel. With almost a zero on the danger scale, the exact skill set you desire for the position, and the values, motivation and personality that mesh with your company, the Purple Squirrel is the candidate all hiring managers strive to find. With the knowledge that your perfect candidate is out there somewhere, it’s hard to stop searching for this rare find. And who says you should?

Finding your Fantastic Beast

However, sometimes it’s hard to know when you have actually found your perfect Purple Squirrel, or just a “good fit”. Granted, finding a good fit (instead of the Purple Squirrel) for the role isn’t all that bad – they may grow into the employee you always desired.  There are a lot of ways to ensure you are on the right path to finding your purple squirrel, no matter what the role may be. By using skills testing, behavioral assessments, reference checks and background checks, you can get a lot of information about your candidates and ensure that they have the skills and personality that you are looking for.

Though it may seem like a daunting task, and finding the right person takes a bit of work, it is worth it to keep searching for the ideal candidate, the most rare fantastic beast, or your Purple Squirrel.

Morgan Gleasman is the resident Potterhead and Recruiting and Selection Coordinator for Hireology, a web-based selection management platform that provides customized interviews, job profiling, and one-click background checks to help you hire the right person. Start your free trial at www.Hireology.com today!

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About the Author

Adam co-founded Hireology with the mission to help growing companies make better hiring decisions through data and better technology. Adam is passionate about entrepreneurship, donating time to a number of organizations that support the entrepreneurial cause. Adam completed his undergraduate study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and received his MBA from DePaul University in Chicago, IL.