July 27, 2017

The Surprising Ways Modern Recruiting Is Like Online Dating

By ThinkingAhead

Human beings are incredibly complex, but recruiters specialize in understanding their motivations, particularly what makes them psychologically suited for specific jobs and professional arrangements. As with most relationships, long-term success is based on a compatibility of core values and personality traits rather than a superficial matching of needs and capabilities. Recruiters can identify these characteristics and parse them in ways that match the best job candidates with the most compatible companies — which are, after all, just organizations filled with other human beings!

Recruiting Is Chemistry

The hiring process is often fraught with aggressive deadlines that lead to mistakes on both sides of the equation. Companies want to fill important positions promptly, and many candidates want to begin a new job as soon as possible, especially if they’re currently out of work. People are driven by their motivations, and whether they’re seeking a job or a date, both sides understandably experience various levels of anxiety.

Candidates naturally craft their resumes and tell their stories to make themselves as appealing as possible. But recruiters deal with candidates on a personal level: they truly know who a candidate is, what they want, and where they’ve been. Words are words, but past behavior is the greatest predictor of future success (or failure). For this reason, recruiters are sometimes better able to tell a candidate’s story than a candidate themselves.

Job candidates unable to communicate a clear vision for their professional future and explain the merits of their past simply aren’t in the right headspace to make important career decisions. Or, in dating terms, “they’re not ready to start seeing people again.” But recruiters know who in their network is primed to make a move and who isn’t. By aligning a company’s internal culture with a candidate’s goals and disposition, recruiters maximize the probability of success for both parties. It’s all about matching the right people at the right time — in other words, chemistry.

The Power of Social Media Profiles

Today, vetting the various social media profiles of a job candidate (or date) is standard procedure. The world of social media and online interactions has never been more complicated, and it’s become increasingly sophisticated with each passing day. Recruiters are experts in social media: they not only use social media to find and establish relationships with job candidates, but also to identify inconsistencies or red flags with regard to public opinions and statements.

The line between a person’s personal opinions and online persona is being erased by social media. Employers want to know if job candidates behave respectfully and responsibly in public — which includes anything posted to the Internet. Simply stating that your thoughts on Twitter are your own doesn’t absolve you from the reality that what you say now or in the future may have an impact on your employer: offensive language, unrestrained outbursts, or incriminating images and videos are all an implicit part of the modern job candidate’s resume, whether they like it or not. Recruiters can find these warning signs before a job candidate signs a contract, potentially saving employers time, money and public embarrassment.

Looking Good to Others

Many companies view the hiring process as a purely outward-facing endeavor. After all, if your company has experienced exponential growth for years, who wouldn’t want to enter into a relationship with you? The job you’re offering is a fantastic opportunity, so candidates should appreciate that it exists and do everything they can do to impress you. This type of thinking, however, can have long-lasting negative consequences for companies. The hiring process is a powerful branding opportunity that can demonstrate a company’s professionalism, marketplace relevance, and respect for individuals. Mishandling or squandering hiring interactions can be devastating in an overconnected world; never underestimate the wrath of a spurned candidate!

A poorly planned hiring strategy that mistreats candidates or reveals a lack of competency inevitably gets out — and word of mouth is the most powerful means of building, or destroying, a brand’s reputation. By asking knowledgeable questions as an objective external party, recruiters can help companies write detailed job descriptions (kind of like dating profiles) and guide the hiring process with proficiency and professionalism, so that even job candidates who aren’t hired should have only positive things to say about the company. Sometimes, the chemistry just isn’t right, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be friends!