In Search of an IT Unicorn?

Keeping your job requirements and expectations realistic.

A common problem with IT staff recruiting is customers expectations not matching the talent market, here are some of the hurdles we come across.

Unrealistic expectations when it comes to the talent market can lead to extended hiring cycles to the detriment of your desired outcomes. Knowing how to spot those impossible job descriptions in your own hiring process can save time and speed the process. Our team of Talent Acquisition Specialists have seen their fair share of challenging roles come across their desks from clients. Here are some of the red flags we’ve come across:

The pay does not match the expectations

The IT industry is one of the most competitive when it comes to compensation. If you do manage to find a candidate to take a lower salary than the market rate, they’ll more than likely be quickly swooped up by a competitor sooner rather than later. The more common reaction is that engineers don’t take you seriously leaving a bad impression and contributing to a negative reputation.

Looking for 2 or 3 engineers wrapped into one

There are professionals out there that have developed hybrid skills in their related fields, such as devops engineers who can come with both network infrastructure/operations and software development expertise. The difficulty comes when the requirement asks for skills that are wholly independent of each other. The odd candidate will have dabbled here and there with technologies outside of their main functions but you won’t find an expert in both fields within any reasonable timeframe.

Waiting for the impossible ideal

If a candidate has most of the skills you need but are lacking in one or two areas, it’s important to take their potential long-term value into account. Are they intelligent, driven and the lacking skill can be developed? Why not train them and nurture their career? Not only will it promote company loyalty but also you have an opportunity to mold the person into the resource you need for your specific environment.


An expert Talent Acquisition professional can immediately spot job requirement issues and consult with the client with respect to options that will dramatically improve results. At times, this takes additional research into the market and talking with several candidates to ascertain, however, this is a critical step to ensure a successful, timely candidate search that results in a long-term great hire.

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