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Versatile Chameleons favoured over Purple Squirrels to fill PA Jobs

Purple squirrels is the term coined by the recruitment industry to describe an employer’s perfect candidate: candidates with exactly the right education, qualifications and experience to do the job. Some employers’ insistence on finding a purple squirrel has resulted in some job vacancies being left open for months. And in today’s candidate driven market, holding out for the perfect candidate makes little financial sense. This is even more true in secretarial recruitment where finding the right chemistry between PA and Boss is so much more important than the qualifications on the candidate’s CV. So how do you identify the right chemistry in a candidate?

RMS purple squirrel



Tessa Meadows Smith of RMS Recruitment, who recruits for secretarial, PA and admin jobs in London, explains how their approach differs; “We understand our clients’ cultural, environmental and employee needs on a different level through regular visits to our clients offices. Our approach is then to provide a handpicked shortlist of candidates rather than a long list of database driven CVs”.

Candidates who make their way to RMS Recruitment’s door in Mayfair are always surprised at the effort the consultants take in getting to know them and understand what has led them to this point in their job search. They take the same approach with their candidates as they do with their clients. They believe, that for the most part, there is someone for everyone. Even the “colourful characters” and awkward personalities can be complemented with the right candidate personality. It’s about being honest with candidates to ensure they go to an interview with their eyes wide open and alert to signs either that “this is a challenge” or “this is just not for me”. It’s about getting a long term fit because that brings recommendations flooding through the door. It’s how RMS has grown its business, not by saying what they do on a cold call but by doing what they say in their service. By digging deeper, they understand the culture fit is the secret to a candidate’s success in a role and allows them to thrive and the company to prosper.

As Jules Alexander, a recently placed candidate puts it, “ I had been looking for a new job for many months and been to lots of interviews, often making it to the final two people. It was only when I went to RMS that they took time to listen to what I could do, what I wanted to do, and matched me perfectly with a vacancy. What a great way to do business - listen to your clients and skilfully match them - no time wasting interviews for 'the experience' just excellent service and superb people.”

So our advice to clients is to abandon the hunt for purple squirrels and put your faith in recruitment agencies to find the right candidate, who even if they don’t look perfect on paper, will be less of a purple squirrel and more of a versatile chameleon. To find out more, call RMS Recruitment on 0207 518 9170.

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