763-Avoiding the Unicorn Trap

Episode: 763

Episode Title: Avoiding the Unicorn Trap


The search for the perfect unicorn employee can make you miss otherwise great talent. Here’s how you can avoid this trap, next on The Perna Syndicate.


Ep 763 show:

Welcome back to The Perna Syndicate! I’m your host Mark Perna, and I’m glad to have you today. Unicorn employees are the ones that seem perfect at first, but actually come with a fair amount of risk. It’s a trap worth avoiding. 


First, we have to understand that great talent can be built. Focus on transferable skills and identifying what can be taught on the job. This means taking a good hard look at your current job requirements. Look at which qualifications are absolutely necessary—and which ones can be learned along the way. 

For example, employers are becoming aware that outdated degree requirements are a hurdle preventing many otherwise qualified candidates from moving forward in the screening process. So how can you determine if your open positions really require a college degree or not?

It really comes down to your business and industry requirements. Fields such as finance, healthcare, or engineering are perfectly reasonable to require a degree, but outside of these and other highly specialized industries, it may not be as essential. 

Many skills can be learned through hands-on experience. A candidate who has years of relevant experience may end up being more qualified than one with a degree. Keep an eye out for candidates who have taken online courses, earned certifications, or completed boot camps in the field. 

By being flexible in your requirements, you open yourself up to more potentially amazing talent—and avoid falling into the unicorn trap.

Thank you for tuning in today! Tomorrow: how can you tell which skills are vital for the position you want to fill? I will see you then on The Perna Syndicate.

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