Unicorns And Purple Squirrels: 5 Terms Only Recruiters Understand

Posted by The ConveyIQ Team

The world of recruiting can be a magical place.

Whether you’re all about the buzzwords, or just the thought of them makes your eyes roll, they’re hard to avoid. They're often pretty bizarre if you hear them out of context, too.

We’re here to share some of our favorites. Here we go!

Purple Squirrel

There’s Purple Squirrels…

If you’re a recruiter, you’ve DEFINITELY heard this one. Purple Squirrels are those absolutely perfect hires. They meet all the requirements for your job req and can do your job no questions asked. But they’re hard to find (if they even exist at all) so don’t sink all your resources into the hunt.


Like purple squirrels, Unicorns are those mystical candidates whose resumes shine with perfect qualifications. Sometimes, they’re pink (if they’re passive candidates) and other times they may have wings. But finding one is difficult -- so think twice before dipping into your pot of gold (or recruiting budget) to try to catch one.

…The “Other” Type Of Unicorn…

“Unicorn” job descriptions are mystical too, but in a more “Wicked Witch of the West” sort of way. Unicorn job descriptions often include overly-specific skill sets or unclear job requirements that can exclude or discourage perfectly qualified applicants. Even if these job reqs are written in good faith, it’s better to just get real.

Business Ninja Recruiting Terms


So fun fact about Ninjas — they’re everywhere. According to a Linkedin study from 2010, the use of the term “ninja” in job titles soared between 2007 and 2009 — a trend that took rise following financial recession in 2008. Well, 10 years later, they’re still alive and well, throwing skills like ninja stars and if you’re a recruiter, maybe taking part in stealthy sourcing?

Rockstar Recruiting Terms

…And Rockstars

Okay, we’ll admit we’re guilty for using this one (or some iteration of it) but it’s a buzzword that’s been around for quite awhile. The term “rockstar” is typically used to describe high-performing candidates who are ready to groove to the beat of your company’s mission, and it’s definitely a bonus if they’re also you organization’s biggest fan.

Speaking of rockstars, we’re currently looking for several to join the ConveyIQ team. Think you got what it takes? Check out our open positions here.

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