March 14, 2013   view past issues

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Recruiters Have Careers Too

And, in today’s economy, they need to protect them! Even the best of recruiters have found themselves laid off by their employer or at a dead end in their organization.

How can you protect yourself?

Get Peter Weddle’s new guide, The Career Fitness Workbook. It’s available at

The book has a number of special features:

  • Organized just like a physical fitness regimen, the book tells you what to do to improve the health of your career, how to do it and – unique to the Career Fitness program – how often in order to maximize the employment benefits you derive from your efforts.
  • From ancillary skill development and work pacing to soul work and gathering career intelligence, the book introduces a powerful blend of the best traditional practices and state-of-the-art techniques for effective job search and career self-management in today’s uncertain times.
  • Filled with worksheets and exercises, the book is a complete self-study program that delivers the knowledge and skills required for BOTH job search and career success.
  • So, get your career in shape. Get The Career Fitness Workbook today!

    Magenta Squirrels

    The term “purple squirrels” has recently come into vogue as a moniker for rare talent. It’s typically used to describe individuals who have especially hard-to-find skills. And, that’s the problem. While recruiting a person who has such a skill can seem like a victory, it can and all too often does fall short of that.

    People with rare skills are now more important than cash. Many of the country’s largest employers are sitting on piles of the green stuff, but can’t find the purple squirrels they need to grow. Whether it’s someone who can program in Ruby on Rails or manage complex projects, whether it’s a skilled machinist or a systems engineer with a top secret clearance, these hard-to-find workers are the paramount challenge for recruiters today.

    The key to success is not as straight forward as it might at first seem, however. You see, not all purple squirrels are created equal, at least in terms of their potential contribution on-the-job. If you believe academicians, talent follows a normal distribution in the workforce. Or to put it more bluntly, just 15 percent of those purple squirrels are superior performers. The rest are also-rans or worse.

    This best of the rarest skill cohort is most accurately described as magenta squirrels. Now, admittedly, magenta is a variation of purple, but the dictionary classifies it as a rare color. So, think of magenta squirrels as talent that’s so good at their rare skill, they not only excel at their own work, they raise the performance level of their coworkers, as well. They are, in a very real sense, profit multipliers.

    Employers may be able to survive with “C” level purple squirrels, but they can only prosper with magenta ones. And, magenta squirrels must be recruited with methods that are different from those used with other talent. They’re harder to approach and even harder to motivate.

    Approaching & Motivating the Rarest of Squirrels

    As described in my book The Career Activist Republic, magenta squirrels have a number of personal characteristics that distinguish them from others in the workforce. These attributes determine who and what they will listen to, when contacted by recruitera. They are the secret to selling magenta squirrels.

    First, magenta squirrels listened to their mother. What was the first lesson your mother taught you? That’s right, don’t speak to strangers. Magenta squirrels will not consider an opening presented by a person they do not know. To recruit them, thereof, you have to know how to develop “blink relationships.” You must be able to build familiarity and trust in the blink of an eye.

    How are blink relationships established? By changing the focus of your communications. Don’t tell them what you want them to know – the “requirements and responsibilities” of the job – but instead, communicate what they want to know. Answer these questions:

  • What will I get to do?
  • What will I get to accomplish?
  • What will I get to learn?
  • With whom will I get to work?
  • How will I be recognized and rewarded?
  • Second, magenta squirrels are almost always employed. In order to recruit them, therefore, you have to convince them to do the one thing we humans most hate to do: change. You have to convince them to go from the devil they know – their current employer, boss and commute – to the devil they don’t know – a new employer, an unknown boss and a different commute.

    How do you make such an argument? Not with a job opening. Magenta squirrels are never motivated by a job, no matter how prestigious or well paying it may be. They are, however, triggered into action by an intriguing career advancement opportunity. What makes it intriguing? Answer these questions:

  • How does the employer support employees and enable them to do their best work?
  • How does it communicate with employees and keep them informed?
  • What priority does it give to employee development and how is it provided?
  • What is its current and probable future track record among customers?
  • What are the vision and values of its leaders and is its mission important and respected?
  • Purple squirrels are people who possess skills few others have. Magenta squirrels are people who make an extraordinary contribution with those skills. A purple squirrel does the job. A magenta squirrel excels at it. Recruiting a purple squirrel is an accomplishment for the recruiter; recruiting a magenta squirrel is a victory for the employer by a recruiter with rare talent.

    Thanks for reading,


    Visit me at

    Be At Your Best With the Best Tools

    The best recruiters use the best resources to get the job done. And, when it comes to reaching top talent online, their choice is clear. It’s WEDDLE’s Guides for Recruiting Success. Get yours today!

    WEDDLE’s 2011/12 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet. This is the 10th edition of the Guide the American Staffing Association called the “Zagat” of job boards and social media sites.

    WEDDLE’s Guide to Association Web Sites. This book details the recruiting resources and capabilities that are available at the Web-sites of over 3,000 professional and technical associations.

    Finding Needles in a Haystack. This one-of-a-kind guide lists over 25,000 keywords and keyword phrases, across 5,400 job and position titles in 28 industries and professions.

    Outside-the-Box Training Sessions

    WEDDLE’s is pleased to offer a number of uniquely insightful and practical training programs for corporate and staffing firm recruiting teams. The courses can be tailored to your specific industry or career field focus and delivered onsite at your facility or via Webinar.

    The programs include:

  • Creating a Corporate Career Site for Post-Social Recruiting
  • Optimizing the Candidate Experience
  • Developing an Employment Brand for Top Talent
  • Best Practices in Online Recruitment Advertising
  • Optimizing the Content for Candidates Wherever You Contact Them
  • Building a Corporate Career Site for Passive, High Caliber Talent
  • The Art of Social Recruiting for “A” Level Performers
  • Transforming Your Resume Database Into a Candidate Gold Mine
  • How the World of Work Has Changed in the 21st Century
  • For more information about each program and its cost, please contact Peter Weddle at 203-964-1888 or

    Sourcing Your Own Career Success

    As recruiters and HR professionals, we spend 33 percent of our day (or more) on-the-job and 100 percent of our job helping others to achieve career success.

    Don’t our own careers deserve equal attention? Absolutely! And the one best way to do that is by sourcing career success with WEDDLE’s books. They include:

    A Multitude of Hope: A Novel About Rediscovering the American Dream. This modern-day epic traces the journeys of three out-of-work professionals searching for answers in today’s seemingly nonsensical job market. Along the way, they discover the secret to “career security” and the pathway to real and lasting success.

    The Career Fitness Workbook. This self-paced instructional guide introduces a complete regimen of activities that will help you successfully compete for and hang onto the job of your dreams. Think of it as “the habits of highly effective career activists.”

    Recognizing Richard Rabbit. This fable for adults will entertain and delight you and help you out of the boxes that keep you from becoming the champion inside you. It is a novel and engaging way to recognize the talented person you are meant to be.

    The Career Activist Republic. This blockbuster of a book provides a provocative yet positive assessment of the changing world of work in the American economy and describes an innovative strategy that will enable you to avoid the pitfalls and capture the opportunities in this new environment.

    The Success Matrix: Wisdom from the Web on How to Get Hired and Not Be Fired. This anthology collects the best of Peter Weddle’s columns on job search and career success. It is the only book you’ll find that provides a candid and totally up-to-date look at how to get and stay ahead in today’s workplace.

    In addition, read Peter Weddle’s WorkStrong blog for Career Activists. It’s a quick and easy way to stay on top of all of changes underway in today’s workplace and, best of all, it’s delivered right to your e-mailbox. Just click here to register.