Online dating profiles vs job ads

  • Mar 13, 2017
  • Management

3 reasons why online dating profiles are better than job ads.

Imagine you’re embarking on a new personal adventure and trying online dating for the first time. What would you expect to see in a potential dates’ profile? A detailed description of their hobbies possibly? Details about their family life and the type of company they keep, maybe? You'd likely be looking to get to know them better, understand why they are looking for a date or a partner. You'd want to know who they are, what makes them "tick". Would you want to know what they are looking for, to determine if there is a match? Maybe a list of what they're looking for, like this:
Looking for a date and partner for the future. Duties (include but not limited to):
  • Walking the dog on cold mornings.
  • Fixing father-in-laws’ computer on demand.
  • House Cleaning.
  • Listen to complaints nightly.
  • Serving refreshments to company.
  • Recall all conversations on demand.
  • Ask for directions when lost. 
Who would want to date someone that uses a list like this within an online dating profile? We have much higher expectations for an online dating profile than we do for a job ad. Did you know that job ads that focus on the needs of a candidate could receive almost three times as many highly rated applicants.  Studies show that job ads that focus on what an organization can supply to meet an applicants’ needs has three times as many highly-rated applicants.  Often, candidates are more interested in the culture of the company and how it could benefit them, not just nuts and bolts of the job itself. On average, people spend over 50% of their days at work. Between all the other activities in our lives, its reasonable we spend more time with our work colleagues than a life partner. Yet when posting a job ad, we don't treat it with the same respect.

Three reasons why online dating profiles are better than job ads.
1: Job ads don't demonstrate what a company is looking for in an employee.
Most job ads list the duties and qualifications of the role. Some will even tell you the work ethic of the individual the company is seeking, "hard worker" or "dedicated employee". Unlike online dating profiles they don't outline WHO the company is looking for. Think of it like this; a digital start-up that has frequent social events should be looking for candidates that are social. It might be assumed that an accounting firm is looking for the "typical" straight-laced accountant, but that might not be the case. If the firm is looking for someone that can represent the company at community events, they would be looking for someone a little different. Beyond the role, responsibilities and qualifications, who are you looking to hire? 
Recruiting Tip: Describe the person you're looking to hire.
2: Job ads don't tell the employee about the organization.
Every online dating profile uses the partnership mentality. What you need to know about me and what I need to know about you. While organizations on the other hand don't approach job ads as a two-way street, only stating what the organization is looking for in a candidate is a sure way to receive a stack of non-enthusiastic and under qualified applications.  Instead, tell candidates what they want to know, what they'll get from the partnership. Tell the story of the employer brand.
Recruiting Tip: List the perks associated with your organizations employer brand such as benefits.
3:  Dating profiles aren't the end of the line, they’re the start of a partnership.
A dating profile is just the first step in a potential partnership, unless you're responding to an obscure dating profile that states, "must get married tomorrow". Job ads, however, treat the partnership as if it's almost ‘signed sealed and delivered’, followed by an interview and a "Yes" or "No”. The job ad should be looked as an introduction to a potential partnership with future steps to follow. Steps that ensure you're hiring, not just for a role, but for your culture. Vacation policy, decision making and project assignments are all obvious examples as to why a new employee may end up leaving a company, either a post-hire surprise or just a missed discussion during the hiring process.  Now consider the last employee that you hired? How much of a discussion did you have about workload? “We are always very busy”, “we never stop” and “we have a busy season”- these may come up during an interview process. This subjective approach can mislead candidates, if it’s even ‘discussed’ during an interview. 
Recruiting Tip: Treat a job ad as step one of many in potential partnership.
Like online dating, recruiting can sometimes seem like a no win scenario. Organizations can find winning candidates with the right process with thought-out steps and the right tools. Take the recruiting process audit and find out with this two-minute audit how effective your recruiting process is.