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12 reasons why recruitment’s like dating

Tags: Candidate Experience, Employer Brand, Recruitment Marketing, Recruitment Process, Recruitment Transformation, Research and Data

From Tinder to long-term romance, recruitment’s got loads in common with dating…

1 – For long-term romance, values matter

Tinder’s great if you’re on the market for a fling, but a swipe isn’t the best predictor of long-term romance. (And sometimes, people look nothing< like their photos…) The same’s true in recruitment.

If you’re recruiting for a short-term contract, you don’t need their life story. You’ll recruit more superficially – do they have the skills you want?

If you’re on the market for a long-term relationship though, value and cultural fit are crucial. That’s why eHarmony bill themselves as the dating site most likely to deliver happy long-term relationships – because they prioritise compatibility. 

In the same way, recruiters should look for candidates who’re aligned around the business’ values. That’s why more in-depth information about candidates – like video interviewing – can be so helpful. 

2 – Social spying’s fair game

Oh come on, we’ve all done it. Nowadays most people have such a huge digital footprint, it’s almost impossible to ignore the temptation to browse dates’ various social profiles. 

70% of employers check candidates’ social media during the recruitment process for the same reason. You wouldn’t want to risk dating/hiring someone with objectionable opinions or awful habits now, would you? 

If you don’t want to fall foul of GDPR rules on social though, make sure you’re only checking information that’s relevant to the job application. 

Don’t forget that social spying happens both ways. Your date’s checking you out too. Duh. 

94% of UK jobseekers say they want to be thoroughly informed about every aspect of a business before accepting a role. That means you can bet most candidates are scouring your social, your reviews and your careers page in minute detail.  

If you’re neglecting your online presence, you risk driving your potential soul mate away before they ever hit ‘apply’. 

Read more: The WHAT, WHY and HOW of recruitment marketing 


3 – Being ghosted hurts

If you’ve ever been ghosted by a date, you’ll know it seriously stings. You’re left wondering what you did wrong, what you could’ve done differently and whether you’ll ever find love again. It sucks. 

The exact same’s true of recruitment. 

You fall head over heels for that fabulous candidate. You’re messaging each other constantly; sharing intimate details; this feels like The One. And then suddenly, nothing. Your messages go unanswered. Their voicemail’s full. You convince yourself they’re busy but the big day rolls around and tumbleweed. No show. 

Or the other way around, that candidate you interviewed last week who wasn’t quite right. They’re breathlessly telling all their friends and family about you but you’ve forgotten all about them.  

It feels pretty awful when they realise the phone’s never going to ring; their inbox isn’t going to ping. 

Awful enough they’ll definitely never give you a second chance, even if you’re back on the market. And they’ll probably warn their friends off you too. Much better to’ve been upfront and honest, giving constructive feedback for the future. Everyone deserves closure. 


4 – Monogamy’s old news

It’s the age of Tinder, folks. Some people love long-term monogamous relationships but plenty of people don’t.

And unfortunately for recruiters, the same’s true in recruitment. Most candidates you meet are talking to other businesses at the same time; maybe even people you know. (Gasp!) 

Just like dating, you’ll have to put your best foot forwards to prove you’re worth choosing over those other wooers. Knowing your USPs inside-out is crucial.

And even then, you can’t guarantee your partner won’t continue with their bit on the side. 40% of employees in the UK have a side-hustle now, dontcha know? 

Recruitment teams need proactive strategies to manage this new non-monogamous workforce effectively. 

Read more: How to maximise value from the non-traditional workforce


5 – Good dates are good listeners

There’s nothing more excruciating than a date with someone who blabbers endlessly on about themselves. 

On the other hand, a great date asks incisive, thought-provoking questions, then listens genuinely to the answers. That’s the basis for fantastic conversation and maybe, just maybe, fantastic chemistry. 

That’s the gold standard for recruiters too. A great interview is a great conversation. It encourages candidates to open-up, empowers them to show their best self and piques their interest in you too.

Spend longer crafting interview questions that do you justice. If you get bored interviewing, that’s a pretty good bet your candidates do too. 


6 – Looks aren’t everything

We’ve all met someone who got a double portion of beauty at the expense of personality. And it’s really tempting to overlook the bigger issues for, well, their looks. But it’s almost always a bad idea, if you’re looking for long-term fulfilment. 

The same’s true in recruitment. 

You can meet candidates with a super impressive CV who ticks every box. On paper. But it just doesn’t click when you meet. Maybe they’re a little arrogant. Maybe they’re not a team player. Whatever it is, they rub you the wrong way.

However good someone looks on paper, they have to be someone your people will want to work with. Otherwise you risk disrupting the team dynamic, and ultimately eroding your culture.

A bad hire can be expensive. It’s not worth the hit, however perfect they seemed at first glance. 


7 – Over-eager beavers set off warning bells

Sometimes you meet someone where sparks fly instantly and you’re both making puppy-dog eyes before you’ve taken your coats off. In most cases though, getting to know someone takes time.  

The quickest way to frighten someone off is to be too keen, too soon. If you’re proposing marriage before the starters come out, they’re more likely plotting their escape route than considering saying yes. 

The same goes with candidates. 

Sure, maybe their Tinder photo CV looks like a great fit and you’ve got a great feeling about them. But play it cool, OK? Recruiters are under loads of pressure to cut time-to-hire, and often candidates are happy to move fast. But if they need longer, don’t rush them to make faster decisions than they’re comfortable with.   

You don’t want to frighten them off before you’ve built a relationship with them. And if you do coax them into a role too soon, you might both end up with morning-after regret. 


8 – Don’t blow hot and cold

Nobody likes being messed around. Hot-today, cold-tomorrow dates betray either a complete lack of respect or deep-seated emotional issues. Either way, you’re (hopefully) running a mile before you’re sucked in.  

The same’s true in your relationship with candidates. 

Candidates want consistency and respect. If they send their CV and get deafening silence back, that’s a black mark. Or if you say you’ll message them next week but forget – not okay. 

Maintaining that consistency’s hard when you’re a serial dater, talking to tens of people at once. That’s where recruiters need to leverage smart recruitment technology, to combine the human touch with timely automation. 

Read more: Technology and recruitment – Is the human touch extinct? 

Otherwise you’ll get a bad reputation and wind-up a lonely singleton who struggles to maintain successful relationships. Nobody wants that. 


9 – Everyone wants to feel special

Romantic relationships don’t last long when one partner feels like a number. And like dating, a candidate experience that feels like a conveyor belt won’t deliver lasting relationships. That’s why 90% of candidates applying to Fortune500 firms drop out during the recruitment process. And why 50% of employee turnover happens in the first 18-months of employment.  

Focus on creating a great, empathetic candidate experience from first engagement to onboarding. Roll out the red carpet or you risk candidates dropping out before they’ve really gotten started.  


10 – It’s not all about the money

Imagine a date takes you somewhere super posh and expensive for steak but you’d already mentioned you don’t eat meat. Then they order the most expensive red wine without asking what you’d prefer (not the red. Not the steak. Not the date). 

Then imagine a date where they put together an awesome vegan picnic sitting by the river, because you said last week you missed the country. Way better, right?

The same principle’s true in recruitment. 

There’ll always be companies that can offer the biggest salary or best benefits, but it’s more about how well you can meet your candidates’ needs with your offering.  Maybe their vegan picnic is working from home on Fridays. Or awesome maternity/paternity cover. Or bring your pets to work days. 


11 – Meeting the parents is next-level scary

Dating’s all fun and games in the early days, but if everything’s going well the relationship will soon ratchet up a notch. The dreaded meet the parents moment. Or meet the hiring manager moment, in recruitment. 

There’s a lot of pressure – for you too. If your hiring manager hates everyone you’ve found, you risk damaging your relationship and getting a reputation as someone who can’t deliver. Plus the added workload, as you continue active recruitment for a role you’d hoped would close.

Be empathetic. Tell candidates what to expect, what to bring and where to go, so they can put their best foot forwards. You wouldn’t launch Dave into a family meal without a strict brief (‘mum hates swearing. Don’t let dad drag you into politics’); so don’t do it to candidates. 

And don’t start recruiting against the hiring manager’s brief until you’ve dug deep to understand their needs inside-out. It’ll be much easier to find candidates they love if you know exactly why certain capabilities matter (or don’t). 


12 – Getting set up by friends can work wonders

Our friends often know us so well, they can spot romantic opportunities we would’ve overlooked. And because like-minded people flock together, we often have loads in common with friends-of-friends. A recipe for the perfect date. 

That’s how referrals work too. 

82% of employers feel referrals are the source-of-hire that delivers the greatest ROI, for example. 88% feel referrals deliver the best quality of hire. Plus referrals are faster and cheaper to hire too. Win, win, win.  

So don’t give up on love. Leverage your network with a robust employee referral program, and watch the suitors come rolling in.

Tribepad help recruiters find, impress and keep their perfect match. Just call us Cupid. Discover more. 

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