Unicorn. The words makes us cringe.
In the context of hiring, a unicorn is someone who can do everything required for their job… and the jobs of 2-3 other people. To HR Managers, hiring a unicorn seems like the perfect, inexpensive option because they can pay one salary while getting the results of 2 or 3 people. To a recruiter, however, this person very rarely ever exists.
As a recruiting firm, when a client can’t find a unicorn on their own, they look to us for help hiring them. While we love unicorns, (specifically of the cupcake and Frappuccino variety), we believe that neither the term, nor the mentality, belongs in the hiring process. That’s why, when a client approaches us with this hiring request, we often focus on changing their mindset to hiring the role with what might be the right people.
If you’ve been searching for your unicorn without much luck, here’s how we can help you take a step back, assess your hiring goals, and find who you’ve been looking for:
Evaluate How You Think About Your People
Business owners often forget this, but without people, a business is nothing. Think about it – who would be providing services and delivering to your customers in order for you to make a profit? Your people. If you can seem to hire that unicorn, maybe it’s because you’re not thinking about your people properly. For instance, are you devaluing the worth of the potential hire for the role you are filling? Maybe you’re offering too low of a salary for someone who would fit into this role. We often hear of companies looking for someone who will take a pay cut and “see the long term benefits” – No! Invest upfront in the right people. You get what you pay for and you also won’t have to deal with the cost of turnover! Look a bit deeper and perhaps you’re simply relying on folks who haven’t been groomed to make the best hiring decisions. There’s a good chance you’ve asked someone who’s either never done it before, or who doesn’t fully understand the role that needs to be filled. Hiring is not an easy task and it takes a lot of strategy and experience to do it right. After all, that’s why we exist!
Evaluate the Skills You Are Looking For
Once you’ve thought about the environment you are hiring in, it’s time to evaluate the job you are hiring for. Does the job reasonably require skills that are usually embodied by a single person? For instance, are you looking for an analyst who can also graphically depict data into an infographic? There’s a good chance that a data analyst does not possess the skills of a graphic designer. When clients come to us, we evaluate the market they are hiring in, the types of individuals they have access to, and the role itself and then we often present ways in which they can hire multiple people to fill the role successfully. While this requires more of an upfront investment, we’ve seen ROIs from hiring multiple people exceeding at their specific skill set.
Evaluate the Numbers
It’s important to recognize that there will be an upfront cost to hiring multiple people to fill a role, but we encourage you to do the math. Calculate how much it will cost to hire and train these individuals, but then also forecast how much revenue each of them could bring. You may be surprised how quickly you recover your investment without overworking (and possibly losing) a single hire. Not sure how to properly crunch the numbers? We have a formula for that.
If you find yourself months down the road of hiring with no candidate in sight, we’d love to talk to you. Give us a call at 647-797-9447 and let’s set up a time to chat!
(PS: We will never say no to a unicorn cupcake.)
Kathryn Ducey, Head of Operations, Recruitment Lead