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How to Catch a Unicorn Candidate. For Your Company!

Let’s face it we all want a unicorn.. That candidate that has 20 years experience in the exact role you are hiring for, all the certifications your client requires (+ more), has worked on the right projects, lives in the right area and has great communication skills. On top of that we want that candidate sitting around waiting to join our company at a moment’s notice! And if we don’t get that unicorn candidate then we just are not satisfied with the candidates that our HR team, staffing vendor, independent recruiter (or input your favorite HR partner) provides to us. You immediately think…. “They must not be looking in the right places or they aren’t tapped into the proper candidate pool.”

Well, we have good news! You can catch unicorns and you are going to be surprised how easy it is to catch a unicorn for your company. But here we are not focusing on the unicorn itself but rather the hunter.

What you’ll need

  • A hiring manager who knows exactly what they want
  • A plan for how to attract the unicorn
  • A clear plan on how to “trap” (hire & onboard) the unicorn
  • How he/she will be retained once you’ve got it

You can implement this approach yourself and have success. If you need help, to support you and  save time, energy, and resources… you need a real unicorn catcher (aka a staffing firm) to take care of all the work for you.

Know What You’re Looking For!

The first step on catching the perfect unicorn starts with knowing what you are going to catch. While this sounds overly simple we can assure you, it is not. As we all know, hiring is typically a secondary duty for hiring managers and project managers. Due to the lack of time they have to put into staffing a lot of times Job Requisitions come over in a form that doesn’t clearly define the real hiring need. Often times we see an old job description that includes a list of many key skills and a few new job requirements sent over as a new job requisition. Hiring needs that are unclear along with lack of communication between your recruiters and hiring team is one of the main causes positions remain open and your recruiters “can’t find the unicorn that you are seeking”.

At FalconTek we have a position start up call with each hiring manager, our team reviews the job requirements, discuss the project and helps the hiring or project manager identify the top 3 most desirable traits, the “Unicorn Traits” that you want your candidate to possess. Being extremely clear on the top three requirements will aid you and the staffing team and give you an insight of your candidate, which is an extremely good thing since it can help you solidify your Unicorn trap and make it more fool-proof as you are setting it.

Know What Your Disqualifies Are!

In addition to what the hiring manager is actually looking to find it is equally important to shortlist the most undesirable traits that you don’t want your unicorn to have. This will allow your recruiting team to quickly weed out the candidates that won’t meet the requirements. What good is it if your staffing team brings you a Unicorn that is only a Unicorn in one aspect of their trade and that is not the aspect that relates to your project.

Make a Unicorn “Trap” that is Appealing to Your Unicorn

By knowing the above two, you have a much clearer view of what this mythical creature looks like. You can now see the top positive and the top negative traits of your desired unicorn. You can use that information to drive out the kind of person your unicorn is and leverage that into setting up the perfect “trap.” This is an essential step; since unicorns are rare, they are instantly snatched from the market as soon as they are spotted. You need to attract and catch that perfect unicorn before your competitor does.

To do that, curate your job offer in such a way that it highlights all the points that could be of particular interest to the candidate. That can include the job benefits, work/life balance, project details, customer details, technologies used, future growth opportunity, bonuses. Be sure to differentiate yourself from your competitors!

In today’s job market (Jan 2020) when the unemployment rate is at an all time low and there’s a war to attract the best unicorns, we recommend putting your best offer out upfront. Many candidates we work with have multiple interviews and job offers at a time. Given this, it is vitally important that you have a clear job offer ready to discuss out of the gate as time is your enemy.

Know Where to Set up the Trap!

You now know what your unicorn looks like and you have taken the time to set up a perfect trap for your unicorn; Now all you need to do is set the trap and get unicorns to see it!

Placing jobs across your digital footprint, including the company website, social media pages, and specific job portals, is important. However, we believe with the current market it is vital to go out and actively recruit for your unicorn (or candidate). The days of posting a job and waiting on the perfect candidate to apply are gone. If you are going to hunt unicorns then you have to get out and hunt, it may take hours, days or weeks of sourcing both online and  offline but you will find your unicorn.

Be Ready to Catch the Unicorn!

With all the hard work you have done to capture the perfect mythical creature, you want everything to pan out perfectly once you find them. It will be important that you are ready to jump at a moment’s notice to provide them an offer and “catch” them quickly. We are in a candidates job market and many highly skilled candidates have the keys to the kingdom so you will want to have approval from management to quickly make the offer you know will help you catch them!


We wish you the best of luck in hunting! If you need support on your unicorn hunt reach out to us and we will have one of our certified unicorn hunters catch one for you!