10 Reasons Why Recruiting is Like Dating

We have all been through the butterflies and heartache of dating and have learned some insightful things about ourselves. Although they are not always fun, they are always valuable learning lessons. We call these lessons “Growing Pains” that are necessary for you to become the best possible version of yourself.

Whether you are married, in a committed relationship or single, you never stop “dating” in the recruiting world. Here are 10 reasons why recruiting is like dating:

1. The “not so” blind date.

DATING: It is 2018 and whether you like it or not, you have some sort of online presence. Let’s face it, before you go on a blind date you look online to try and find out everything that you can about the person you are about to meet for the first time. You find yourself scrolling through many pictures … pictures with their high school sweetheart, pictures of after-work happy hours and pictures with their dog named Spartacus. Before you meet them in person you have already established specific questions to ask.

RECRUITING: A candidate’s online presence is just as important as their resume. A rock star resume comes through your inbox and their resume provides links to their LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc… You take a peek at their LinkedIn and see their history of work experience, how long they have been with each company and recommendations from previous coworkers.

2. Why have you been off the market for so long?

DATING: So, you finally arrive to the “blind” date and it is time to get down to the nitty gritty details about this person and get some of those pre-established questions answered. In the back of your mind, you already know this person has been single for the last 5 years because you haven’t seen them in a photo with anyone but their dog since 2012, but here goes nothing… “So, when is the last time you had a girlfriend/boyfriend?” When they answer that their last serious relationship was in 2012, but have since been casually dating and haven’t found “the one” yet, you find yourself thinking “maybe I am the one they’ve been looking for!”

RECRUITING: When looking at a candidate’s resume, you think you know their whole story. That is, until you see that they have been out of work since 2012. Everything prior to 2012 on their resume is SPOT ON for the job you are trying to recruit, so you give them a call. When asking candidates, “Why have you been out of work since 2012?” you would be surprised that many candidates have had work experience since then, but just didn’t add it to their resume because they didn’t think that their experience was relevant.


3. I am not like most people, I swear!

DATING: Things seem to be going well on your “blind” date. You are learning about each other and sharing a lot of laughs. Your date decides to be vulnerable and share more of their relationship from 2012. They share that they once dated someone who completely shattered their heart and they have since refused to date anyone who has any similarities to their ex… After some conversation, you find out that you have some similarities with their ex, but you hope that your date doesn’t judge you based off of their previous experience.

RECRUITING: It is no secret that recruiters don’t have the best reputation. Even my parents had something to say about me being a recruiter when I first started, “How is someone as sweet as you going to be in that field?” When speaking with candidates you need to constantly set yourself apart and give them a reason to trust recruiters again.


4. Did I really just get ghosted?

DATING:  The date seemed to go really well. You felt a real connection and you exchanged numbers. Your date said they would like to go out again and would call you within the next few days. Four days go by and you haven’t heard a peep. On the seventh day, you relentlessly check your phone for a call or text message and finally you just get the courage to give them a call. After three calls, two text messages and zero responses you find yourself confused and discouraged. #ipromiseimnotastalker

RECRUITING: Unfortunately, the same thing happens in the recruiting world. You think everything goes well from your initial pre-screen and you end up submitting a resume over to a client and BAM! The client wants to request an interview with your candidate. So you call, and call, and call…but you never receive a response.


5. Are you seeing someone else?

DATING: Three weeks go by and your date has been radio silent. On a Saturday night, you decide to go out for a drink with your friend and they tell you about their most recent blind date with someone they thought was, “such a catch!” Your friend pulls up their date’s Facebook page and you cannot believe your eyes when you see the photo of your ex-blind date and his dog Spartacus! Your mind starts to go crazy with questions: “How could they do this to me?” “Is this why I haven’t gotten a call back?” “Were they seeing my friend this whole time?”

RECRUITING: There are thousands of recruiting companies in the world. Nothing is more disheartening than opening your inbox to an e-mail from a hiring manager with the subject line, DUPLICATE SUBMITTAL!This whole time you thought you had developed such a strong rapport and relationship with your candidate, however they have been working with someone else on the same position.


6. Was it something I said? Or was it something I didn’t say?

DATING: Once you have acknowledged that you were completely duped by your blind date, you reflect on what went wrong and decide to give this whole dating thing a try again. Instead of just focusing on asking about a person’s past, you should dig further into their current situation. If you learned anything from your first date, it’s that you also need to really focus on who this person currently is and what they are looking for. Seems silly that you would even have to ask someone “are you seeing anyone else?,” but it happens all the time and it can save you some future heartache.

RECRUITING: After you open your “DUPLICATE SUBMITTAL” e-mail, you kick yourself because you didn’t even think to ask if your candidate was working with another recruiter. You saw their resume, got way too excited when they said they were available and didn’t ask anything further.


7. The quickest way to get where you want to be, is to take your time.

DATING: This time around you are going to take your time and enjoy the process. Before you go on your next blind date you take a deep breath and tell yourself, “Let’s see what this person is about…if it doesn’t workout I can at least make a new friend?” It may take you a few dates to really get to know someone. So, take your time and make some friends along the way.

RECRUITING: You see a “rock star” resume come through your inbox, but before you get too excited…you stop, take a deep breath and compose yourself. “Let’s give this person a call,” you tell yourself, “if it doesn’t workout then maybe they know someone who would be interested?” Recruiting is all about speed, however, if you go too fast you can miss the little details which can have a big impact down the road. Like my dad always told me, “The quickest way to get where you want to be, is to take your time.” Slowing down is the most valuable lesson learned.


8. Don’t tell me you’re different, show me!

DATING: During your previous blind date you plead your case that you should be given a chance. After some self reflection and a lot of Dr. Phil episodes, you finally realize that YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH! You do not need to tell someone how great you are, you need to simply show them how great you are. So start by being genuinely funny, nice and sweet.

RECRUITING: If candidates had a dollar for every time they heard, “Please give me a chance!” from a recruiter, they would probably be rich. Russell Tobin sets itself apart from the competition by providing an excellent candidate experience (#CX) and following through with their promises.


9. Time to meet the Folks! (THE BIG INTERVIEW)

DATING: It has been about a month and you have been consistently spending time with your significant other when you finally decide that it is time for them to meet your parents. Not only is it terrifying for you to have someone meet your parents, it is terrifying for your significant other. You prepare your significant other the best way you can by letting them know that your parents over-exaggerate everything, and you warn them about your 8th grade “goth” phase, in which you emphatically promise was “just a phase!” It is extremely important that this meeting goes well, because as the old saying goes “you are judged by the company you keep.”

RECRUITING: You’ve been working with this candidate and have developed a strong relationship with them when they finally get the interview request! Your engagement with the candidate does not stop there. Interview preparation is extremely crucial throughout this process, not only for your candidate, but for yourself. You need to ensure the candidate is fully prepared to meet with the hiring manager. After all, the candidate is a reflection of your organization.


10. Seal the Deal

DATING: Some time has passed and you guys are completely in love. You decide that you want to seal the deal and propose. You bring your significant other to Paris and stand in front of the Eiffel Tower as you proceed to tell them everything that you love about them. You finally get down on one knee and ask, “Will you marry me?” and you wait for your YES 🙂 or NO 🙁  (eek) before you decide your next move.

RECRUITING: Your candidate has made it through the 5-round interview process and the hiring manager decides that they finally want to make it official and offer them the role. Your adrenaline starts pumping and you get excited as you call your candidate. Before officially announcing the offer, you provide the awesome feedback from the manager about how amazing they are. You then follow-up with these words, “Well, great news! The manager wants to offer you the position. Do you accept?” You then wait for their YES 🙂 or NO 🙁 before you determine if you will be going on your next date…

* * *

At the end of the day, it all comes down to trust. Trusting yourself, trusting the process and trusting others. The only way you will develop trust is to be vulnerable and genuine. Also, remember that everything is a learning lesson; if it does not work out the first time, be grateful that you have the opportunity to learn from it for your next go-around. Now, go show your significant others and candidates some love on this Valentine’s Day.

Elizabeth Miller

Elizabeth is the Community Engagement Manager based out of the Minneapolis office.

Connect on LinkedIn +