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Can you ‘tinder’ your career to the next level?

tinder_matchIt’s no news that the dating app, Tinder, is highly successful and that it’s more the rule than the exception that singles are using it to kill time, date hunt, and/or boost their egos. Since so many people have started using it it has obtained the momentum that the creators of any online products are dreaming of and the positive spiral where many users generate more users becomes reality.

Why did Tinder succeed in the rather established industry that online dating has become. Well, the element of gamification made the app equally entertaining as it is useful. There is much less investment from the user, both in terms of creating a sufficient profile, as well as vulnerable exposure of the state of singleness and consequent search for company. When I signed up the first time it was done in less than a minute while accompanied with rum and cigarettes and convinced by a friend who claimed that he hadn’t signed up due to an outdated OS version on his iPhone – jeez (!). So because it had to be on my phone that we tried it out, I was the one signing up. Within minutes the first match was made, and quickly the first chat was received. That is efficient stuff. And since it’s possible to claim that its only a game there is no risk of finding friends amongst the faces that pop up.

Dating vs. job searching
So why the link bait headline? Well, since I’m contemplating whether it’s possible to transfer this gamification element to the recruitment industry. It’s no news that a substantial part of job searching has moved to mobile, and even job application via smart phones is gaining momentum. Additionally, companies and recruiters share job opportunities via social media like there’s no tomorrow, so summing up evidently results in the conclusion that engagement between employers and candidates is everywhere, and consequently never further away than those 85 cm down to the smart phone in your hand.

Could we imagine that candidates (I’m not using the term job seekers, since this may even appeal to passive job seekers) would ‘swipe’ career opportunities, with similar possibilities as on Tinder, where you can see a few key characteristics on the first page, tab on the suggestions that seem relevant, and get a bit smarter, perhaps with the full job description distributed across 5-6 subpages? Would these candidates be able to make a meaningful choice as to swipe right or left?
Of course this depends on the amount of info that’s put into the job post, so let’s imagine that they would do this.

Kickstarting a yin yang dependency
As with any two sided market place we need both parties to engage, and if one part initially does the other one has to follow quickly in order to avoid any ghost town feeling. So I’m pretending I’m a recruiter, and I can browse candidates that fit my criteria – education, degree level, certain universities, language skills, work experience etc. Only profiles that match will be shown to me, and initially I’ll see their business portrait along with a tagline. If I tab them, I can see a summary, and if I read on I can see a limited part of their CV. If I like it I swipe right. If not I swipe left. And nobody ever knows, unless I swipe right, and they swiped right to my job ad, and it results in a match. If I were to recruit for my company right now that actually sounds pretty interesting.

Recruitment as entertainment, entertainment as recruitment
Okay, so where are you guys going to attack this concept? That it’s extremely superficial and that the candidates’ looks become pivotal in getting matches? Yes, but I’ve seen plenty of job posts, where pictures are requested upon application – and don’t a lot of recruiters search on Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn to get a glimpse of the applicant anyway?

Is this idea idiotic since no employer who takes itself seriously would use anything resembling a game in its search for potential employees? Well, L’Oreal, Danone, and Thales have each made computer games where you among others things play a virtual trainee at the company, and solve puzzles [see videos]. Furthermore, many companies arrange case competitions where hopeful candidates compete for the chance to impress the HR staff of the host company – there are several annual event at my old business university, Copenhagen Business School.
I’m aware it’s not the same, however recruitment has become entertainment, and vice versa.

Perhaps recruitment staff are too busy to ‘play’ the recruitment game, as their time is spent sifting through piles of applications since we are currently experiencing a major youth unemployment. That would make sense – however I would claim that if the ‘swipe feature’ was not necessarily a fancy mobile app (for the employers, that is, it should still be for candidates) but integrated into the existing application tracking system (ATS) it could easily be a funny little feature that was actually used, as opposed to overflowing our LinkedIn news feed with algebra puzzle answers and posts of clever quotes. Voila, the second part of the ecosystem is activated, and the viral element could kick in [fingers crossed].tinder match2

Matching that pretty girl
I definitely think that the concept holds, and if the user experiences for both recruiters and candidates are designed well enough, with the preconditions that each part naturally has, the feature could succeed. As the hunt for talent forces recruiters to move as fast as the candidates in relation to the preferred platforms and tools, all that matters is wether qualified candidates pick it up. And as Tinder shows – even the pretty girls have profiles, simply because they want to know what the fuzz is about and BAM – there’s a match!

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