Recruitment vs Dating

Posted on Wednesday, June 7, 2017 by Venn GroupNo comments

If there is anything I have learnt over the last two years since I began my career in recruitment, the easiest comparison to make is that it is scarily similar to dating. Don’t get me wrong I have had my fair share of failed relationships (if you can call them that) but it has taught me a thing or two about how to handle “candidates” and myself for that matter.

So we’ve got the job to search and I’m diving head first into the task at hand. I stumble across what looks like a very suitable candidate after many left swipes. The initial conversation is a little mild, so it’s time to put on the charm and build on this new potential relationship. Ensuring they are committed and not here to waste my time is the next challenge.  

We’ve successfully hooked a decent candidate and they are interested – let’s book them in for a face to face. Arranging this can be tricky - too soon and they can get a little put off and panic, too far in advance and they may find another opportunity. Timing can be crucial; my number one rule is never book a Monday morning interview. Monday dates don’t tend to end all that well either.

Prior to the face to face we need to confirm details, who, what, where, when…? In both my personal life and work life this is a highly effective tool I use to determine if I’ve got a potentially successful candidate. If they call like they say they will, you’re usually onto a winner.

So the day is here and preparation is key.

Look presentable? Check.
Conversation points? Check.
Relevant questions? Check.    

Time to shine.

Post interview is potentially the most important and when we as daters/recruiters need to ensure we are following up properly. No follow up at all will result in them moving on to the next agency that will contact them regularly; on the other hand if you pester them with calls with little to no content i.e. you’re calling with no job, you’re going to be annoying. You’ve gone through the whole process to woo them, don’t undo it all now.

Essentially there are many similarities you can apply when it comes to dating and recruitment, trust me I know. To summarise:  

Decisions – Making the right choice is crucial in both recruitment and dating. If you end up making the wrong choice it’s not going to be the end of the world but it is a lot of wasted time and effort.

Job Description – You cannot deny that there are certain ‘criteria’ that we all stick to when looking or a potential candidate or date. They may not be excessively strict but there is usually some minimum requirement they should meet.  As with dating, it's important to be selective about preferred qualifications or traits, and look out for red flags.

Desperation – No-one wants to be branded as desperate. Although you may think I am referring mainly to the dating element, playing hard to get in the recruitment game is just as important to some degree (you don’t want to ignore people because you’re trying to play it cool…) We lose negotiating power if we get over excited by a candidate, tell them they are the best thing since sliced bread and they will believe it and expect to be paid the earth. 

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail – In both dating and recruitment we dedicate hours to getting ready. I don’t mean just what we’re wearing or how we look but also how we plan to behave and what we plan to say. Someone makes their first impression of you within seven seconds of seeing you and this will set the tone for all future interactions. Being prepared and upfront about what we're looking for helps to avoid wasting their time or our own.

Stalking Background checks – OK correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t know a single person that hasn’t visited a potential date’s Facebook/Instagram/Twitter profile prior to a date. Not to stalk, but to ensure that they are who are they claim to be. It’s no different to Googling a candidate’s name prior to submitting their details. Never accept anything at face value.

Social Media – Following on from the previous point, social media is such a massive part of our lives these days and it is undeniable we use it when it comes to recruitment and dating. We go online to search for suitable candidates on the job boards and turn to Tinder to filter through suitable dates.

Contact – Whether I’ve met someone on a date or met with a candidate, lack of follow up contact is inevitably going to mean I’ll lose them. Recruiters often lose great candidates simply because they didn't communicate with them in time, even if there's no news, and the same applies to dates.

Recruiting and dating are not to be taken lightly and the truth is finding the perfect match isn’t easy – job seekers and potential dates can be unpredictable. The strength of your communication skills will go a long way to ensuring your success, both professionally and personally.

 Natasha Steed, Venn Group

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