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Is It Me, or Does Recruitment Feel Like Dating?

Is it me, or does recruitment feel like dating?

Recruitment, just as in dating, is a significant investment in time for both the candidate and the employer, where a considerable amount of time is spent getting to know each other, asking questions about their futures, and exploring whether there is a good fit.

Recruitment involves navigating human behavior and there's an unpredictability to that. Recruiters often find themselves repeating those very clique phrases when things go sideways: “They were too good to be true,” “Now I have to start all over,” “We are better off without them,” etc.

Here are ways in which recruitment shares the same challenges of dating:


  1. “I never said we were exclusive.” - Talking to other organizations/people: Just as people in the dating world may talk to multiple people at the same time, candidates may talk to multiple organizations at once, and/or vice versa. Which leads to...

  2. “What if there’s something better out there?” - Just as in dating, there is a fear of settling in recruitment. Candidates may be hesitant to accept a job offer if they feel they could find a better opportunity elsewhere. Employers may also fear settling for a candidate who is not the best fit for the position or the company culture.

  3. “Am I being used?” - Leading you on: In both recruitment and dating, someone can lead you on or give you false hope. A candidate might tell an organization that they "look forward to working together in the future" when they have no intention of committing. In these situations, candidates are trying to secure a written offer to compare and/or leverage against more attractive offers.

  4. “This is exactly what I’m looking for.” - Saying anything to keep you interested in them: Just as someone in the dating world might say anything to keep a potential partner interested, a candidate might say anything to keep an organization interested. This dishonest behavior leads the recruiter to slow down recruitment efforts thinking they have secured a potential hire.

  5. “It’s not you, it’s me.” - Rejection is a common part of both recruitment and dating. In both cases, it can be difficult for the person being rejected to handle the rejection, and it can be a challenge for the person doing the rejection to do so respectfully and compassionately.

  6. “--------“ - What is worse than rejection? – Ghosting! Ghosting is also a common issue in both recruitment and dating. Candidates or potential partners may suddenly stop responding or disappear without explanation, leaving the other party confused and disappointed.


Navigating recruitment behaviors that feel like dating can be tricky because there is an underlying emotional response due to their similarities, but there are a few things you can do to manage these situations:


  1. Keep your expectations in check: It's important to keep your expectations realistic and not to read too much into every interaction. Remember that the recruitment process is a professional one, and the ultimate goal is to find the right candidate for the job.

  2. Communicate clearly and professionally: In any professional setting, clear and professional communication is essential. Try to develop a transparent relationship with the candidate. Let them know that the more you know about their situation, the better you can help them.

  3. Focus on finding the right match: The goal of the recruitment process is to find the right match for the job. Focus on evaluating candidates based on their skills, experience, and fit for the job, rather than on personal feelings or biases.

  4. Do not take it personally: It can be difficult not to take rejection personally, but remember that it is not a reflection of your worth as a recruiter. Try to stay positive and keep searching for the right job or candidate.


And remember, there are plenty of candidates in the pool!!!


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