The Desk

January 14, 2008

Making Matches in a New Way

Filed under: Recruiting — Yvonne LaRose @ 11:38 PM
Tags: , , , ,

Circulating among the recruiting sites these days has become a tad boring. Always the same topics. Always the same answers. Always the same voices shouting down the others. And everyone in search of the better mousetrap to find the best talent for the job in the shortest amount of time.

There are all sorts of assessments to determine whether the applicant will become a candidate. And there are all types of assessments to measure the quality of skills the candidate has. Then the subjective stuff gets smushed in — the recruiter’s judgment — as to whether (according to the resume) this person or that has the right qualifications.

I have a feeling many of these recruiters simply do not read the cover letters that accompany the resumes wherein the lateral experience is delineated for them. And I also have a feeling that some of these recruiters simply do not understand what it is they’re searching for because they don’t want to show their ignorance. They’re ignorant because they don’t understand the terms used in the job req or the position description. What they do instead of asking for clarification or saying, “To me, this means . . .,” is they just blow it off as something that everyone does and should know, and they wonder aloud why no one else understands what the terminology is saying. You know, they use psychology.

Well, I’ve turned somersaults and cartwheels in this post and not gotten very close to saying what I’m thinking about. But after looking at all of these factors that go into finding the ideal slate of candidates and many times not coming up with the right answer, why are we not using the techniques employed by eHarmony or Match.com or Yahoo! Personals (or similar matchmaking sites) in order to get the right match?

These personals sites claim to have a very high match rate and that they connect people who wind up as enduring relationships. They start with the basic premise that social networking sites and job boards use — a profile that gives a thumbnail version of who You, the person, are. There’s the section for likes and dislikes, what you want, your ideal situation. You tell a bit about yourself and your background (is that called a “resume?”). Buried within all of that is something that brings out a bit of your personality (can someone say “cover letter?”). You talk a bit about why you are the best thing since sliced bread, look things over for glaring errors and little tweaks that may be needed, and the click “Submit.”

Once that Submit button is clicked, each site starts its processes for sorting and sifting. eHarmony has 29 dimensions through which it sorts. Yahoo! Personals checks for the body type you’re looking for, while Match.com sifts through what your friends and acquaintances say (references), it double checks places where you’ve been — or want to go. Yahoo! Personals delves into things such as body type, ethnicity, and education level. There’s really not that huge of a difference between the job boards and the matchmaking sites except for the fact that at one you’re looking for employment and business, at the second, it goes beyond business into the personal side of life and perhaps sex. The other isn’t that type of business.

But each one goes through filtering, looking for keywords, assessing whether there’s a match and if not, continuing to sort and sift until there’s a hit. The recruiting and job board side of this matchmaking process (we’ll just refer to it briefly as the “recruiting” side) seems to be filled with land mines that are set to detonate at the slightest glimmer of a potential match. The recruiting side of the process is destined to ruin because there is so much that’s at the mercy of subjective decision making. However, the matches are supposed to be just right for the company and guaranteed to work out. There are all sorts of instruments that are used to make certain the candidate is just right. As I said before, there are personality assessments, interest assessments, skill assessments, psychological assessments. You name it and there’s a screening assessment that’s been invented to handle it. These recruiting assessments are a bit like finding the right application to use on Facebook or MySpace. That is, there’s lots of stuff but only a few that really do the job.

Well, the personal sites would seem to have a higher percentage of good matches than the recruiters. People at the personal sites seem happier and better adjusted for the transparency of the process. People using the personals sites don’t find theirselves interminably left on hold. They get results or they get refunds. So why don’t we just dump all of these recruiter-type assessments and matchmaking?

In fact, why don’t we just get rid of recruiters? What we would use instead are the personals sites. They seem to be much better at figuring out people, what their likes and dislikes are, who they get along with, and the sites help people communicate and meet! They have a better record of matches that work.

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