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Recruiting Is Like…..Life!

LifeOver the course of my career I have heard, read and stated that recruiting is like dating and saw it used again during a recent discussion on LinkedIn. A few years ago I realized that I no longer liked the “recruiting is like dating” analogy and noticed that some of the commenters expressed a similar “over use” of the analogy. To me recruiting is like everyday life.

Recruiting has shifted from behind the Oz like curtain to “transparency”; “employer branding” and “candidate experience”. Candidates have become savvy about their job search and treat it similar to other life choices versus spray and pray applications.

Think about it:

  1. Recruiting is like the college admission process – High school students researching what school will best meet their needs geographically, socially, financially, if the college has a solid brand and then make a decision to apply to a set number of schools in three categories: “no chance of getting in but will apply”; “my ideal school and should get in”; “safe schools”. This to me represents the standard recruiting process – colleges seeking applicants, high school students seeking a place to continue their education.
  2. Recruiting is like the fraternity or sorority rush – Freshman entering college have heard of the Greek system and have either made a decision prior to going to college that they will or will not rush, some are unsure and check it out and others have no opinion and go to a rush event because a friend is going. This could be equated to a career fair. Quick meet and greet then a decision is made whether to proceed or not by both involved parties. Some people walk away turned off and others feel that joining will enhance their college experience.
  3. Recruiting is like house/apartment shopping – (see my previous post here) – House hunters can use on-line tools to find housing in a desired neighborhood, close to work, and within their budget. Candidates using similar tools can review the job postings in a desirable geographic area, salary information and if the employer has good ratings or comments before making a decision to apply.
  4. Recruiting is like shopping for a mobile device – Research, short list, engage with the seller and ask questions – information exchanged. Maybe you buy from them and maybe you don’t but now you are in their equivalent of a talent community. They can market directly to you and you can opt out or allow them to do so until a deal too good to turn down pops up.
  5. Recruiting is like finding a pet – A decision is made to add some kind of animal to your household. The prospective new animal owner researches how to obtain the pet, what may be involved in caring for it, visit a shelter, breeder or other purveyor of animals and seeks to find the one they feel will be a nice long term addition to their home.
  6. Recruiting is like finding a – daycare provider/babysitter; gym/fitness center; volunteer organization; car; restaurant the entire family will enjoy; vacation rental….

The job search and recruiting experience has changed. Sure the core components are the same – have a need, post the job, source, screen, interview, offer and close. It all depends on the needs of the candidate and the employer. The candidate may be looking for a company that will give them two years of experience in a field before they apply to grad school, they just need a paycheck, they are seeking a long term career with one employer, they are unhappy with their original career choice and looking to make a change, they need part-time work. Most of the dating analogies refer to the employer and job seeker hoping to find that long term match but what I described could be termed – flings; one night stands; sugar daddy/momma; relationship; rebound; affair.

In today’s world recruiting and the job search are like most everyday decisions or interactions. Employers are marketing (posting, sourcing, social media, videos, career fairs, referrals) to attract potential candidates and candidates are treating it like a consumer purchase.

What are your thoughts?


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