Job Hunting Now Resembles Internet Dating as Hiring Moves Online – Bloomberg

The pandemic and a tight labor market have pushed job hunting online, creating a new dynamic for applicants and hiring managers.
Your coffee date doesn’t show up, an exciting person ghosts you, everyone is flaky, and you feel like a piece of meat. You must be job hunting.
The dynamics of modern dating, ushered in by apps such as Tinder and Grindr, are moving into the labor market, where candidates and prospective employers now weigh dozens of humans at once and sometimes ghost the rejects. Dating and interviewing have always had their similarities, but the pandemic and labor shortages have moved the hiring process online, making the two more alike. Online hiring lets employers court candidates aggressively, even as those same candidates are booking 5 to 10 job interviews in a week, snagging the most enticing offers as they appear.
It may sound painful for both applicants and hirers, but it turns out that experience swiping left on a dating app is transferable into the world of work. “The jitters, stomach butterflies, clammy hands, and need to check your appearance and audio a hundred times while counting down minutes on the clock are much the same for a first online Zoom date or job interview,” says Corissa Peterson, hiring manager at Resume Genius, an online resource for job seekers. “Eventually you learn that even if your date or interview goes horribly wrong, it will be over in an hour, and you’ll never have to see what’s-their-face again.”
Daniel Hess, a filmmaker in Baltimore, was tossed into the job pool when the pandemic shut down the industry. He says his seven years on dating apps Bumble, Hinge, OkCupid, Plenty of Fish, and Tinder have helped him to quickly sense if an employment opportunity is going to be a good or bad fit. “It’s taught me who I would work well with and who I wouldn’t, and how to be pickier,” he says. “I never would have guessed that dating was good preparation.”
Shawn Laib, an insurance copywriter at, says the six months he used Grindr and Tinder trained him to rely on his intuition and be more assertive. In dating, he says he’s now able to see potential deal breakers early on—a skill that’s also relevant for job hunting. “You need to catch red flags and ask more questions when you don’t trust what’s happening,” he says.
Therapists agree that dating skills are applicable to finding a job or recruiting for a position. Screening other humans requires us to discern between what people say and do, says clinical psychologist Avigail Lev, director of the Bay Area CBT Center, which specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy. This process requires awareness of one’s own values and the ability to determine whether they align with those of the person on the screen.
Here are three successful practices for hirers navigating a job market that sometimes feels like the dating world, according to Pearl Kasirye, head of PR at London-based search engine optimization company Pearl Lemon, who says she’s used “all the dating apps”: Thoroughly sleuth social media profiles and digital footprints for red flags; quickly schedule video calls to efficiently ascertain fit; and don’t ghost. “I’m open and honest, because they are people, too,” she says.
Applying simple laws of attraction is a surefire way to find hiring success, whether the interaction is online or in person, says Shaun Heng, vice president for growth and operations and chief of staff at crypto price-tracking site CoinMarketCap. “Let’s say that you want to be hired or get a new significant other,” he says. “If it’s really clear that you’re a catch, then you probably won’t have to chase down what you want.”
Read next: Employers Look to Internal Job Board Startups to Fight the Great Resignation


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