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Speedy Recruiting and Casual Hook-Ups: A Valentine’s Day Blog

By February 13, 20144 Comments

Welcome to another Friday and another Whiteboard blog post. But this isn’t any old Friday, oh no. This particular Friday happens to also be Valentine’s Day. Many an illicit office kiss will be stolen under some recruitment mistletoe at Friday night drinks later, I’m sure.

Also taking advantage of the PR opportunities afforded by this most whimsical and syrupy of Days is the launch of a new dating website in NZ called Twosome. Now this is interesting to me.  Firstly, there are of course many parallels to recruitment and dating: the attraction strategies, the wooing, the engaging, the interviewing/first date similarities, the “after care” and, of course, the reference checks (meet the parents) and sometimes declined offers of employment (marriage proposal rebuffs).

Secondly, these dating websites seem to operate in a very similar way to online job boards. Posting an ad on a job board, trying to make your vacancy look as sexy and appealing as possible, in order to hook the best talent available, only to be left somewhat deflated by the dross that ends up actually applying, right?

So it will be interesting to see how another dating website, that doesn’t seem to add anything new other than looking nicer on mobile devices and not having any ads, is going to make much difference. It’s like creating a job board to compete with SEEK and TradeMe Jobs (who incidentally also own competing dating site FindSomeone), just on the basis of looking nicer. And, sadly, we all know how that approach ended up for right?

Add to this the major disruption to NZ’s dating scene (so I’m informed by others in my office, obviously) with the arrival of Tinder.  This is an App that “…finds out who likes you nearby, and connects you with them if you’re also interested.”  It is to old-fashioned courting what spray-and-pray recruitment is to Executive Search, enabling the most accelerated of flirtations and casual hook-ups with the flick of a thumb.

But is jobseeker and recruiter behaviour heading in the same direction?  The way job seekers nowadays spam out their CV’s to online job ads leads to a natural counter balance in the way recruiters respond.  I’m not just talking about the recruiter highlighted in last week’s Whiteboard who sprayed out one candidate’s CV to 30 clients, unbeknownst to them (superseded by another story I heard this week about another IT recruiter who regularly sends out 250 CVs per week as her personal KPI).  As a Twitter conversation between Kirsti Grant from Vend and Adam Napper from FarrowJamieson (hi guys!) highlighted this week:


Twitter convo


So I worry for Twosome in the same way I’d worry for another job board launching in the NZ market that really offered nothing new apart from look and feel. It’s results that matter, and people want them faster than ever, including the speed of their flirtation and hook up times as fuelled by the turbo injection of Tinder.

An online job portal that worked like Tinder and enabled hiring managers to quickly flick left to reject, and right to short list, with the briefest of mobile-friendly CV profiles showing just the core info?  Whilst it would be a sad indictment of how the recruitment process has evolved with technology, it would actually be an interesting comparison to how we relate to each other with the introduction of technology like Tinder.  Where’s the romance gone, you might say?  A bit like where’s the thorough, consultative recruitment process gone from our own industry?

As Kirsti highlighted, speed seems to be what counts.


Jonathan Rice

MD at New Zealand rec-to-rec firm Rice Consulting and co-founder of on-demand recruiter offering Joyn. Recruitment agitator and frustrated idealist, father of two, husband of one, and lover of all things Arsenal and crafty beer.


  • Amanda says:

    Speed is your best friend when you can tell from a glance that someone: can’t spell (particularly when they’re applying for an admin role); doesn’t know which job they just applied for; and, doesn’t even remotely have the skills to do the job with no articulation of transferable talent.

    Wam, bam, thank you mam.

  • Adam Napper says:

    You make some good points Jon .. I think Amanda is also spot on with her comment.

    We can dismiss people very quickly if they don’t fit the criteria we are looking for when recruiting (4 seconds as in the case of Kirsti Grant) … but when you do come across someone who does suit your role, then you stop and assess them in much more depth and conduct a full and thorough process.

  • Dylan says:

    How would you compete with the established players Jonathan? Tinder is a fun App if you’re a quick connection based on what someone looks like. Is that the only way though? And is that really the future?

    • Hi Dylan, is Tinder the future? I’m not the best person to answer that. I hear it being talked about all the time, both at work and socially, but don’t have plans to be in the market for that kind of thing, and it saddens me that it seems to be have become so popular. But maybe that’s just a reflection of the behaviour, needs and wants of the emerging throw-away society. I’m no expert on the dating industry, but I am on recruitment, which I guess shares many parallels. My observation is that TradeMe Jobs were able to eat into SEEK’s market dominance by leveraging their existing platform of users, customers and community to create the numbers required to make it a worthwhile product for the end user. Plus they benefited from a hefty marketing budget. No other job board has managed to do this to SEEK’s dominant position in Australia and no-one will if all they offer is the same product in a snazzier format. An online job board lives and dies by the number and (hopeful) quality of the jobseekers responding to ads and I guess the same is likely to be the case for online dating sites. In our world in recruitment, jobseekers are increasingly disloyal to employers, looking for the quickest fix career-wise, and easily distracted by new opportunities – and I guess this is reflected acutely by the take-up of the Tinder App.

      So I guess Twoesome could achieve the same outcomes TMJ managed if you can leverage Mighty Ape’s customer base and direct some chunks of your investment towards marketing to get those numbers registering profiles on the site. But then you could also do what TradeMe did with eBay and GrabOne did with Groupon. Copy a new innovation and make it more kiwi – bingo.