Is Tinder the Future of Recruitment?



Tinder is one of those technologies that made millions of people think “why didn’t I come up with that?” Create your profile, indicate what you’re looking for in a person, and the app uses GPS to show potential matches within a set geographical radius. It only launched in 2012, and is worth a billion dollars.


For obvious reasons, Tinder doesn’t enjoy the most wholesome of reputations—but that doesn’t change the revolutionary nature of the idea. The combination of sheer numbers, filtered data, and the power of proximity is a potent one. It can start conversations, create face-to-face meetings, and make an impact in the real world.


What if a job search could be similar? Is it possible to leverage the principles of Tinder for the common professional good?

Rest assured, developers everywhere have been seeking a profitable answer to this question since Tinder took flight. A number of “Tinder-for-jobs” services can already be seen—including inspHire, Jobr, blonk, Switch, and the now defunct Emjoyment. Each of these allows recruiters and job seekers to quickly swipe through potential matches, and tap a button to make contact.


But does it work? Is it the future? Will it truly revolutionise the way recruiters and candidates find each other? Some professionals say ‘absolutely,’ while others remain skeptical. I think the answer lies somewhere in between.


Quantity Over Quality


Writing for LinkedIn, Matt Buckland makes an amusing argument that the strength of Tinder-for-jobs apps is also their achilles heel. Sure, it’s easy and time-saving to flip through candidates and jobs like potential dates—but does this constitute a more superficial approach to the process?


In other words, the same things for which Tinder is criticised—a heavy focus on appearances, and results that are often trivial—could prove equally problematic in the realm of recruitment. The traditional ways (phone calls, paper resumes, follow-ups) may be cumbersome, but they also lead to a deeper mutual understanding between companies and candidates. Using these methods, the candidate must learn about a company, spend time on its web site, and consider how that company’s identity aligns with his or her own. Likewise, the recruiter is compelled to give each candidate more attention than a mere glance at the phone and swipe of the finger—even if it means swiping a real resumé into the “yes” or “no” pile.


The real question to which recruiters and job seekers want answers is this: What is the ideal balance between speed, efficiency and quality? All are desirable, yet one is indispensable. Too much speed and efficiency can lower the barrier to approach, which may prove less efficient overall. Each candidate, each job opportunity becomes a blip on the radar, another piece of information to like or dislike.


When it comes to professional relationships that form the heart of businesses, many recruiters are turned off by such a “flippant” approach.


On the other hand, the more old-fashioned you are, the smaller the net you may cast. There is a vast pool of talent out there, and getting access to the right people is the heart’s desire of recruiters everywhere. The various Tinder-for-jobs apps, all of whom are competing for your recruitment and job search efforts, understand this. They’re using every angle they can to find what works.


Having worked with recruiters and job seekers in many sectors, my feeling is that these new services will succeed only if they can deliver quality connections with good consistency. LinkedIn may remain the gold standard of online professional networking, having struck the right balance between effort and ease. Or perhaps one of these new apps will break through and become the next strange word in our modern dialect. Either way, the Tinder revolution has given us much to think about in terms of recruitment, job seeking, and what really makes a quality match.


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