Can eHarmony Bring Their Matching Magic to the Workplace?

The matchmaking masterminds at eHarmony have decided that love isn’t all you need–you also need a job. So, they’ve decided to jump into the recruiting game with their new (still in beta) website: Elevated Careers.

Now, to be fair, I have, for years, advocated making job interviews more like dating, but what I meant was that you should have a back and forth in an interview, not like the interrogation that happens at a lot of job interviews. It seems like a company that has spent years perfecting the romantic match-making game should be the tops at this. After all, as founder Neil Clark Warren said:

Nobody has really matched personalities in terms of the applicant and the supervisor. That’s not something that LinkedIn or Monster do. [And the career market] is such a big market that we do expect it to grow faster than our core product.

It’s true that they aren’t matching people based on the compatibility between supervisor and employee, but there’s a problem with this. Let me give a little example from my own life her at Inc. I’ve been writing for them for 2.5 years and during that time I’ve had 3 different editors. Now, all 3 have been fabulous, but I’m not best buddies with any of them. (Probably because I live in Switzerland and they are in New York, but still!)

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11 thoughts on “Can eHarmony Bring Their Matching Magic to the Workplace?

  1. Actually, we’ve been advocating matching supervisor and supervisee on 20 validated scales with our assessment tools for 15 years, and teaching our clients to do so with great success…but, there’s a challenge: It’s a lot of hard work, and most HR folks, and even their bosses, aren’t all that excited about doing the work!
    The payoffs can be huge, and many supervision problems can be predicted, mitigated, or avoided, if the work is done properly.

    1. This does not address the issue of the supervisor moving on or out in a few months. Is your expectation that the next supervisor must also be vetted as a match?

      And is this a one-on-one match? What if the supervisor manages twenty people; do you strive to make them all a match?

      Also, what if the supervisee is up for a promotion? Is her new supervisor going to be a match?

      This sounds like work you do in the real world and I’m really interested in how you make it work.

  2. Gallup has found that a significant factor in job satisfaction is whether an employee has “a best friend” at work, so maybe match-making is not a bad idea after all.

    1. It’s great to have a friend at work, but it works best when that friend is a peer, not a manager. There’s just too much movement in a company to worry about matching personalities.

      Sure, you need general matches and general cultural fit, but that’s as far as it goes.

  3. Evil HR Lady –

    You state, “Hold out for the love of your life before getting married, but you should probably hire the good enough person.”

    If this advice were followed across the board, it would probably solve, at least in the hiring process, 95% of the “problems” we’re all (employees and employers) complaining about.

    1. This, I believe is true. So many hiring problems come from holding out for the best. Including that when you’ve held out for hte best and then that person turns out to be rotten, you’re so invested that you can’t fire or discipline.

  4. I dunno about this…..they are assuming both employees and employers know what they want. Also if you have an potential employee that is using the site for dating as well I’d be very concerned about privacy or rather, the lack thereof.

    1. Well, the sites are different, so there’s no problem with that.

      But you’re right about not knowing what they want. What concerns me most is matching to a company profile. That’s got to be filled out by some HR person or the PR rep or someone else with a vested interest in making the company look awesome.

      1. Unfortunately the sites being different is not a particularly effective source of protection; particularly if they fall under the same organizational structure. You would have the same level of access both legally and technically across the organization (and to the clients they server, which are not the job seekers). It might be ok but the temptation to make more money by providing additional services to the clients (extra $150/month and we will validate whether the candidate is a religious match for your organization) will always be there.

        Also on a slightly lighter note people tend to be less honest in dating than job interviews. Do we want to move in that direction?

  5. Interviews should be like dating. Awkward first dates in reality.
    That made me think back to some of my best interviews (as the interviewee): basically a conversation. Start off “tell me about what you did here”, leading into technical questions about aspects of that, triggering other avenues of conversation. It lets both people get a feel for the personality. Doing this from the interviewer side of the table, it makes a lot of people uncomfortable, simply because it’s not structured, but I think it leads to a more natural and realistic evaluation of the job and the candidate.

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