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5 things jobseekers are tired of hearing. No. 5: Nothing…

This is the last entry in my five part series of five things jobseekers are tired of hearing others say about their job search.  I appreciate the feedback I’ve received from people who unfortunately identify with my experiences and frustrations with current recruitment models, both traditional and online versions.

Throughout the previous four posts I highlighted some of the reasons my business partner OraRuth Rother and I have started For Direct Hire which is currently in private beta and due to launch very soon.  The genesis of the idea behind starting FDH was a rant I sat down and wrote one day about a year ago drawing parallels between today’s recruitment landscape and my days of dating prior to getting married.  I know that not everyone shares my somewhat unsuccessful dating history, but I’m sure you have a friend who has been through similar circumstances. Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink.

The waiting by the phone, the constantly checking email and text messages, the self-examination and doubt. You wonder what you did wrong: did I talk about myself too much, did I not ask the right questions, did I bring up my ex-girlfriend/boyfriend, was I not funny enough, did I chew with my mouth open, do I have one ear lower than the other, etc…

In dating terms you know exactly where I’m coming from if you’ve ever left a message that goes something like this: “hi, it’s (insert your name here) just wanted to make sure you got my message / text message / email / flowers / singing cupid gram a couple of weeks ago”. In job search terms you get it if you’ve ever left a message that goes something like this: “hi, this is (insert your name here) just wanted to make sure you got my voice mail / follow up email / second voice mail / message that I dropped by your office / third voice mail / carrier pigeon messages in the last month”.

When there is a lack of a communicated reason your mind is ridiculously adept at making them up.  When you sit and think about it, the comparisons between dating rejection and job hunting rejection are eerily similar.

A list of rejections in dating terms and their external recruiter translations:

It’s not you, it’s me = I’m going to call companies to “pitch” your CV/resume.

We have nothing in common = I know nothing about your industry.

I’m not ready for a relationship. = I don’t really have the “in with the company” I claimed I did.

I’m getting back together with my old boyfriend/girlfriend = The company has hired internally.

We should do this again some time = I can’t get ahold of the company. See also: my contact is on holiday.

But one rejection has the same translation and the same result:

Hearing absolutely nothing = Hearing absolutely nothing.

I’m not ashamed to admit it, but there were more than a couple dating experiences that ended with promise (at least in my mind), but resulted in no further communication. Then along came internet dating, which I started using in 2000 while I lived in Atlanta, GA.  By matching people based on their actual personal criteria (mutual interests, location, age range, etc.) online dating has literally changed the way people find and meet each other.

It allows members to browse possible connections based on their actual criteria, and in effect, be more selective and increase their chances of a long term relationship.  Each system uses various matching methods, but the ultimate aim is to deliver valid matches and ultimately decrease the chances of rejection. For me, though, the best feature was the built-in communication tool which allows members to let each other down gently if the interest is not mutual. Ok, maybe I appreciated it most because it was me being let down gently, but you get my point. Even a polite “no thanks” without a reason is better than hearing nothing and being left wondering.

Fast forward to late 2008, the start of my nearly year long job search. I heard it all from external recruiters: you don’t have any UK experience, you’re overqualified, the position has been put on hold, etc. If you’ve been through a job search in the last two years these excuses are nothing new to you.  However, I was actually ok with most of that. It was the absolute cut off of communication that drove me crazy. Hearing nothing, whether in dating or job hunting is a horrible experience that magnifies any small amount of self-doubt you possess.

My “aha!” moment struck, dating and job hunting are very similar in that they both take mutual interest from two parties to be successful. They are also very alike in that when one party is not interested and fails to communicate their disinterest the other party is left searching for answers.

Online dating helps take away some of the unknown by matching people based on personal criteria, and in some cases, scientific based matching. Why has no one done this with recruitment? Why can’t employers and jobseekers connect directly based on similar personal criteria and scientific assessment? Why leave it to a third party (dating service/external recruiter) to determine a fit based on their own subjectivity? Why can’t there be a system with built-in tools which increase communication when there is not a mutual interest so neither party is left wondering?  The answer to all these questions is www.fordirecthire.com and our powerful HireMatch and automated recruit-management systems.

Online dating matching methodology in a recruitment model puts the power back where it belongs: in the hands of hiring companies and jobseekers.

Stay tuned…

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