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Have you ever heard of the term “Purple Squirrel” or “Unicorn” in recruitment? They are buzzwords used by recruiters to describe the perfect candidate. However, as described by those terms, these candidates are rather difficult to find or do not even exist at all.

Perfect Candidate

It will be awesome to get a candidate who fulfills all the requirements on the job description. However, the resources and time required to find this person might not be practical. At the end of the day, your efforts might even go to waste if you are looking for candidates that are extremely rare if not flat-out impossible.

Right Candidate

The desire to hire a perfect candidate could hurt you without you realizing it. Instead of trying to find the perfect one, how about looking for the right candidate? A right candidate can be someone who might miss a few of the points on the job description, however, their attitude and values might fit into your company culture and team dynamics. Consider focusing on building an effective team than hiring individuals.

Pointers to look out for the Right Candidate

Knowledge & Skill

Does the candidate have a good level of knowledge or skill on the subject matter? You do not really need someone who knows everything, but someone can fill a certain gap in the team. However, of course, if it is a very niche project then the requirement will be very different. Building a team requires more complementary skills and personalities instead of many of the same. Therefore, the best java programmer in the world might not be the best fit for your team if you need someone who knows java and is able to do presentations for example.


During interviews, you should also consider looking out for their level of enthusiasm. The right candidate will be someone who loves your company and the direction it is going. They should not place too much emphasis on monetary benefits or short-term benefits only. At the end of the day, you will want someone who can grow with your organization and create a new future.


Having the right attitude is very important especially in the post-COVID world. How will they manage tough situations and stress? Are they forward-looking and adaptable to changes? These are some new norms that are triggered by the changes around us these days. Therefore, the right candidate should be versatile and is open to learning new things all the time.

Before you can identify what does the right candidate looks like to your organization, you should consider doing a skill-gap analysis of the team and understanding your company culture to draw out your hiring plans.

On 23rd July 2020, we are honored to be invited by the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry to share our insights on how to build effective teams!

Click here to watch the full video!