If you’re a recruiter or in HR you’ve probably been in a hiring situation where there’s more positions to hire for than there are candidates. In very specialized fields, it can be tough to find that perfect candidate for every position. A lot of fields require years of specialized experience, and there are only so many candidates in the job pool that fit that description to a T.

So, what do you do when you can’t find that unicorn candidate, and the role needs to be filled, well, yesterday? You get flexible. You get creative.

Although this role may, ideally, be best for a candidate with years of experience in one niche area – the pool of perfect candidates may be small. But, we can almost guarantee that if you open your parameters just a little, the pool of candidates will be wide and vast. It may be daunting, but there are so many reasons why it can actually be in your best interest to bring on one of these candidates versus the one with the perfect resume.

These candidates are hungry and willing to learn.

When you bring on a candidate that may not have the exact skillset, the expectation is clear that there will be a learning curve. Both you and the candidate are clear on the fact that there’s going to be a process of learning, and that transparency is key. As long as they have the building blocks and right infrastructure, you both are set up for success.

Invest time, not money.

It’s safe to say that with the best candidate comes the highest price to pay. When you bring on someone who doesn’t have the exact experience, you’re going to save some money. This candidate isn’t asking for the top of your salary range – because they know they have room to grow. Sometimes its in your best interest to invest time in teaching and training a hire for less, than to invest your entire quarterly budget into the one candidate with a pretty resume.

They’re moldable.

Because these candidates aren’t coming in with years of previous experience, you can shape this person’s skillset to perfectly match your company’s needs and your company’s systems. Instead of spending time breaking old habits that don’t necessarily align with your work values/culture, you can spend that time showing this person the ropes and making them an expert on your company and what you hired them to do.

So, if you ask us, sometimes it’s best not to spend months chasing the purple squirrel. Instead (not advocating for animal abuse) grab a paint brush and paint your own squirrel.