Sometimes in life, we experience reoccurring themes that we just can’t get away from. Lately, the parallel between hiring and dating is something I’m seeing everywhere. Both situations have changed a lot over the years as technology has advanced, and the similarities go beyond the act of “choosing” someone. Here are some of the ways in which hiring the right person can be eerily similar to the world of dating:
Everything is relative. You might think one candidate is amazing until you talk with someone better. Conversely, you might think one date was awful - until you experience a worse one. Steve Boese explains that once you’ve experienced 37% of potential candidates or spouses, you should make note of the best one so far, and then select the next person that beats them. So if you get 10 matches on a dating site, or 10 applicants for an open job role, pay close attention to the first 4 (that’s 3.7 rounded up). If Jim is your best option after the first 4 candidates, select the next person you meet who surpasses Jim. Whether you decide to use this strategy or not, it’s definitely an interesting way to think about it!
I was recently discussing the world of dating with a friend who’s well immersed in it, and he brought up his frustration with all the new terminology that exists now. The example he used was “ghosting.” Two people start messaging, they go on a date, and then boom – one of them starts completely ignoring the other. They’ve disappeared. Like a ghost.
Funny enough, I saw this article on Tim Sackett’s blog the exact same day, where he talks about ghosting after interviews. Much like dates, interview candidates are also being completely ignored after a healthy amount of interaction. In both situations, this can be pretty hurtful, but it happens more than you might think. Hiring the right people isn’t just about your current candidate pool – it’s about making that pool better for future hires. So instead of ghosting candidates who didn’t make the cut, consider following up. A little closure can go a long way.
Social media isn’t new, but its impact keeps growing. It doesn’t take much to find the social accounts of potential candidates – or potential dates – and start forming an opinion about what they’re like in person. Many people actually use this to their advantage, crafting an image of themselves that they want to put forward. They might connect their social accounts to their job application or dating profile so you don’t have to waste time searching for it.
According to my uncle, the Good Old Days of dating were when “we just used to go out, talk to girls, and date them!” Now, you investigate their profile, text or message them for a while to screen them, date them, and then maybe ghost them. Replace “date” with “interview” and you’ve basically got the same thing. The parallel is uncanny!
For better or for worse, the worlds of recruiting and dating are changing – and it’s sort of weird to see how similar they are. No matter if you’re looking to hire the right person or you’re looking for love, I wish you the best of luck. Who knows – maybe your experiences from one can help improve your experience in the other!