Our idea for roundpegs.com marries a lot of the ideas that work in the online dating model. In reality, finding a job and developing a career at a company is very similar to finding a date and a building a relationship with someone you me...
Some of the similarities include
1. You have requirements
As a job seeker, you know what you are looking for - and there are certain drop dead requirements you aren’t willing to bypass. You need to make X dollars a year, you need Y benefits, and such. You want to work in Z city. We all have requirements that we aren’t willing to compromise in our job search.
As a dater, you also know what you are looking for - and aren’t willing to budge on. Perhaps you have religious beliefs. Perhaps you don’t date someone that watches reality shows. Regardless, we aren’t willing to compromise on some things in our search for a mate.
2. You have preferences
Job seekers have alot of “soft” preferences - things that make a job more attractive - and thus give it a higher score relative to other jobs. For example, to some a casual dress code gives it high points. To others, having a games room with ping pong and foosball make that office more attractive and fun. These are not make-or-break items, but greatly contribute with the attractiveness of a job.
Daters also have such preferences - some of us prefer dating someone who have a certain shade of hair color, or have a certain affinity for a partner that likes watching some obscure re-run of a tv show on weeknights. These quirks are things that contribute to the attractiveness of a partner.
2. You know who you are
A job seeker is able to define what you are - so that you can be represented online. And no, a resume doesn’t do you justice. You can and should have an online profile that defines you - your requirements, preferences, your experiences - who you really are. This is a better spark of interest than a generic resume.
Daters also do the same with the idea of an online profile that is a glimpse of you for others to see and spark interest.
3. You’re looking for something new
Both job seekers and daters are in the same mindset - they are looking for something fresh and new that matches their needs and preferences. They are a captive, engaged audience.
4. You want to be matched
Most job sites don’t do this well. They make you do all the work - enter in keywords, sift through results, and qualify job postings yourself. Its like a big classified section that you click through. All you want to do is see jobs that are relevant to you, and have the technology do the work. But at the heart of it, you want to be matched with someone you want, and someone that wants you.
Online dating has gone a far way to simplify the process. Once you have created a profile, the technology matches you and shows you people that would be a good fit and are looking for others like you.
5. The Human Element - The Dance
This is what it’s all about. The “getting to know each other” phase. It’s like a dance. You try to impress each other. Every thing you say matters. Bring your A-game.
You don’t want to commit right away - you want to flirt and screen. Imagine if people selected mates by looking only at a profile!
As a job seeker courting an employer and vice versa, this stage seems to be rushed. There seems to be a rush to bring someone in and interview them right away - wasting alot of time. It would be more worthwhile to have a “courting” stage where you get to know each other, pre-qualify and pre-screen each other.
On the dating side, this is common. It is very common for online daters to get to know each other online for weeks until they actually meet in person.
What does this all mean?
Our idea, roundpegs.com, aims to bring together some of the ideas I’ve written about here. There is alot of ideas working in the world of online dating that can be applied to finding a job and recruiting online.
One thing to note is that matching job seekers to employers is only half the battle. Its key to bring job seekers and employers together, but the real value is enabling conversations and connecting the two parties - which allows both sides to pre-screen each other and introduce the human element of figuring out if a job is for you.