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Recruitment: A Modern Day Dating Game
Hiring and Recruitment

Recruitment: A Modern Day Dating Game

Sharon Monteiro
March 5, 2024

Relationships are the stuff of human existence. They take place and develop over extended periods of time, and necessitate the effort of human intention. We build all sorts of relationships in our lifetimes; with our parents, siblings, grandparents, neighbours, teachers, with our partners, and even our workmates. 

All relationships have a starting point. Two among these have a lot in common with each other than with the rest - romantic partnerships and employer-employee relationships. You don’t have to look too closely to see that recruitment is an awful lot like dating. I’d reckon that the latter is far more exciting than the former, but that’s only one person’s opinion. 

The evidence is in the parallels between the two. Whether you’re in the dating market or the recruitment market in the modern world, you’d begin by flipping through a bunch of online profiles. You have to evaluate hundreds of potential candidates, you’re on a time crunch, and you’re focusing way too much time on the photos. 

Also check out: Quick guide to an effective recruitment process

Dating and recruitment have a lot in common, from Tinder dates to committed relationships. Here are 13 reasons why recruitment is presently like the modern-day dating game:

13 Reasons Why Recruitment is like a Modern-Day Dating Game

1. The chemistry of long-term relationships

It's safe to say that people don't use Tinder to find the perfect long-term relationship, but rather to find something short-term, like a fling. A similar stance can be taken in terms of recruitment.

If recruiters are looking for someone to fill a short-term contract, they will only be recruiting on a surface level - do they have the necessary skills?

However, if the recruiter is looking for a long-term connection, they should look for characteristics such as 'value' and 'cultural fit' in their applicants. Prioritize compatibility; recruiters should look for people who have the same values as the company.

2. Detective work goes both ways

We've all done some preliminary research before the first date. And, with everyone leaving a digital footprint these days, it's much easier to perform some detective work on our date's numerous social media profiles and gain information about their ideas and habits.

According to research, 70% of employers review candidates' social media during the hiring process for the same reason. After all, who wants to take the risk of making a bad hiring decision?

If you don't want to violate GDPR restrictions on social, make sure you're only reviewing information related to the job application.

Social media detective work goes both ways. Your date is almost certainly checking you out as well. Before taking a position, candidates want to be fully informed about every element of your company. You may be certain that they are scrutinising your social media accounts, websites, and reviews in great detail. So, if you've been neglecting your online appearance, you could be driving away your soul mate - or potential employee.

3. Being ghosted gives everybody the spooks

Ghosting is the scourge of modern dating. You wonder what went wrong, what you could have been done differently, and whether you'll ever find love again. That experience extends to recruitment as well.

You find the ideal prospect, you message each other, they understand the company culture; this feels like The One. And then there was nothing. Your mails go unanswered, and they do not return your calls. You convince yourself they're busy, yet they don't show up on the big day.

Ghosting also occurs in the other direction. You interviewed a candidate that you discovered to be unsuitable. They're giddy about you with their family and friends, but you've given them no thought. But then they get that horrible sinking feeling when they realise their phone will never ring and their texts will never be acknowledged. When you're back on the market, they'll probably tell their friends about you as well.

Everyone is entitled to closure. It is preferable to have been truthful and provided constructive feedback in the future.

4. Monogamy is in its flop era

Long-term monogamous couples may still have their moment in the spotlight, but non-monogamous relationships are gaining traction. The same is true for recruiters in recruitment. Most candidates are speaking with other companies at the same time.

Just like in dating, knowing your unique selling point and putting your best foot forward are essential if you want to be considered a worthwhile pick.

Even so, in a relationship, you can never be certain that your partner will not have their own side-commitments. To meet their financial needs, 44% of employees have their own side hustles and companies.

Recruitment teams must implement proactive tactics and techniques in order to effectively manage the non-monogamous workforce

5. What it takes to be a good date

Being on a date with a narcissist is excruciatingly painful. A date with someone who asks thought-provoking questions and truly listens can provide the foundation for heartening conversation and, if the stars align, amazing chemistry.

Spend a little more time designing interview questions that are relevant to your company's needs. If you grow bored interviewing, chances are your applicants will as well.

6. Looks can be expensive

While appearances can be appealing, ignoring larger flaws at the price of a person's personality is nearly always a terrible decision if you're looking for long-term commitment. The same is true for hiring.

Perhaps a candidate's CV is quite outstanding. But when you meet, nothing clicks. Regardless of how good someone appears on paper, they must be someone your people want to work with. Otherwise, you risk upsetting the team dynamic and, as a result, losing your culture. A poor hiring decision can be costly.

Also check out: The 10 Most Creative Resumes that helped people land their dream jobs

7. Over-eagerness can turn prospects away

Sometimes you meet someone with whom you instantly connect. However, getting to know someone takes time in most circumstances. So, the simplest way to scare someone away before getting to know them is to be too eager, too quickly.

Likewise, if you have a strong feeling about a candidate, don't hurry in. Keep your cool. Recruiters are under intense pressure to reduce time-to-hire, and prospects are frequently eager to move quickly. However, if they require more time, don't press them to make decisions faster than they are comfortable with.

You don't want to scare them away before you've established a relationship with them. And if you coax them into a position too soon, you may both wind up regretting it.


8. Maintain consistency and respect

Being toyed with by another person is not a pleasant experience. Blowing hot today and cold tomorrow indicates either a complete lack of respect or underlying emotional difficulties. You're probably running away from the calamity without getting drawn in if you have any hope.

The same is true for your interactions with candidates. Candidates are looking for consistency and respect. It's a slander if they send their CV and get nothing in return. It's also a smear if you say you'll email them next week but then don't.

Maintaining consistency is difficult when you're a serial dater. In the same way, smart recruitment technology, such as peopleHum's ATS, must be used by recruiters in order to effectively blend timely automation with human touch.

Otherwise, all you'll have is a negative reputation and someone who struggles to maintain successful relationships. 

9. Test the wheels

How can you know if your relationship has potential? Work together on an activity that you might perform as a committed couple, such as helping them plan a trip or moving apartments. The relationship has potential if you emerge with your affections intact.

Similarly, having a trial day in the office or assigning a paid-for project is the greatest approach to discover if a candidate is right for the job.


10. Make the experience feel special

When one partner feels like a number, romantic connections don't last long. A candidate experience that feels like a conveyor belt, just like dating, will not result in long-term connections. As a result, 50% of employees leave during the first 18 months of employment.

From your first contact until onboarding, focus on providing a positive and compassionate candidate experience. If you do not regularly put in effort, you risk applicants dropping out before they even begin.

11. Money isn’t all there is to offer

Imagine going on a date with someone who takes you to a posh restaurant for an expensive steak despite the fact that you've already mentioned you're vegan. Isn't that the case? Imagine going on a date where the other person organises a vegan picnic in a park. Doesn't that sound far more appealing?

Similarly, there will always be companies that can offer the highest salary or the best benefits, but it is more about how well you can meet the needs of your candidates with your offering. Perhaps this means supporting work from home options on Mondays and Fridays. Or setting up "bring your pet to work" days.


12. Set them up with what to expect

When you're just the two of you, dating is a lot of fun. But then comes the dreaded meeting with the parents. This corresponds to the "meet the hiring manager" moment in recruitment.

Recruiters are under a lot of pressure. If your hiring manager despises everyone you've found, you risk damaging your relationship and establishing a reputation as a failure to deliver. On top of that, you have an additional workload as you continue active recruitment for a position you hoped would close.

The solution? Inform candidates of what to expect, what to bring, and where to go so they can present themselves in the best possible light. And wait until you have done extensive research to fully comprehend the hiring manager's requirements before you begin to recruit in accordance with their brief. It will be much easier to find candidates they want if you understand why certain abilities are important.

Also Read: Hiring Manager vs Recruiter: What’s the big difference?

13. Leverage the power of being set up by friends

Friends often know us so well that they can spot romantic opportunities that we would have missed. And because like-minded people congregate, we frequently have a lot in common with friends-of-friends, which makes for an ideal date.

Employee referrals operate along the same lines. 82% of employers believe that referrals are the best source of new employees. Referral hiring is also faster and less expensive. So it's a win-win situation.

So don't give up on love. Leverage your network with a robust employee referral programme, and watch the suitors pour in.

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