Finding (e)Harmony between Candidates and Companies

recruit_jobharmony_blog2For 14 years, eHarmony founder and CEO Neil Clark Warren has stood against a white backdrop on our television screens to discuss compatibility.

And while his white hair, suit, and glasses make him look a little more like Orville Redenbacher than a matchmaker, the proof is, well…in the wedding cake.

Since its inception in August of 2000, eHarmony has yielded 600,000 marriages with a divorce rate of only 3.8 percent – a fraction compared to the national average.

So what’s eHarmony’s next move? Matchmaking in the career space.

When eHarmony launches Elevated Careers this December, matching candidates with companies will be like finding soul mates. And like any serious relationship or marriage, Warren wants people to find companies they connect with on multiple levels. He wants candidates to find companies they will stay with for years to come. 

For Millennials, the idea of working and retiring with the same company — gold watch included — is more of a pipe dream than the American Dream. Since graduating from college in 2010, I’ve worked for three different companies (including Zoho) and never gave it a second thought. 

Turns out, I’m not alone. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the average worker expects to stay at his or her job for 4.6 years, and for Millennials it’s even lower. Ninety-one percent of workers born between 1977 and 1997 expect to stay at their job for less than three years.  

So when Warren says something like, “We have very specific ideas about how we can be a successful participant in [the careers] space… We think we can do it better than some of the other companies like Monster and LinkedIn,” I’m interested.

Warren emphasizes company culture first and foremost. He says you must match someone’s personality with a company culture that will nurture it if you want a meaningful and lasting work experience.

Seems basic enough, but can Warren and eHarmony revolutionize recruiting the same way they revolutionized online dating and matchmaking? Is cultural fit the keystone in creating a lasting business relationship?

The Importance of Company Culture

It’s no surprise one of Warren’s pillars for company matchmaking hails from the pedigree of company culture. It’s essential to career happiness the way shared values are essential to long-term romantic relationships.

“The first thing that a person needs in order to have a meaningful job experience is he or she needs to feel that the culture of the company in which they’re working is a very good fit with their own sense of cultural idealism,” Warren told Business Insider.

This idea isn’t revolutionary. Matching the principles or beliefs one stands for with a company that follows suit should lead to a strong relationship. But in the wake of the recent recession, many individuals have looked past this principle in exchange for job security and a paycheck.

eHarmony CEO Neil Clark Warren

Where eHarmony has gone beyond the normal recruiting game is in their detailed inquiry about the companies themselves. Elevated Careers by eHarmony will first take a short inventory from every employee at a company to see how they perceive the company culture.

Next, they will ask for the company’s organizational chart. That way, if a person wants to work in a certain department of the company, Elevated Careers knows the required skills and experience.

This is an important step. Whether you are recruiting internally or with a staffing agency, you have to keep company culture in mind when filling an open position. Find out about the company inside and out. Talk with current employees and get a vibe on what type of personality will best fit in that environment.

Your reputation as a recruiter not only depends on finding quality candidates, but also finding candidates that fit with the company’s culture and who hopefully, stay with the company for many years.

All of this points to the idea that an employee will have a better experience and increase the company’s productivity if the personality of the applicant matches the personality of his or her co-workers and even supervisors.

How Careers are Like Relationships

Warren’s aspirations for someone’s perfect job are quite remarkable. And as a recruiter, looking at matching a candidate and company through the lens of a matchmaker can open a whole other realm of possibilities.

Think about your own relationships — romantic or platonic. Why do you spend time with and get along with these people? Why do you love your significant other? It’s because on key levels, the two of you get each other.

Warren and eHarmony mastered this principle with their dating service, so it’s no surprise it has dispersed to Elevated Careers. Warren’s second pillar for finding someone the perfect company is ensuring a relative closeness in IQ and education between employees and managers.

“I always say you can’t have one really bright person reporting to someone who’s not bright or vice versa,” Warren said. “Education usually needs to be well-matched.”

He learned this by watching his parents. His father was a “genius” but his mother was not. And while he says they treated each other with respect and had a long marriage (70 years), it wasn’t a great marriage because their personalities weren’t cohesive.

The same goes for job matching. An employee may stay with a company for many years, but if the relationship isn’t great or mutually beneficial, it will lead to lower quality work from the employee.

“If we can [get positive results] for jobs, we will save companies enormous amounts of money and save that person a lot of strain and stress too,” Warren told MarketWatch.

This may be the one area of career matchmaking that Warren and Elevated Careers could struggle with. Matching candidates and managers with similar brain capacity or IQ levels is a lofty and likely romanticized goal. A goal that might leave candidates with fewer companies or job openings to choose from.

Only time will tell how instrumental this area is in company-candidate matchmaking. I think there are many other factors that would ensure job happiness and fulfillment than whether or not you and your manager can be on the same pub trivia team or bond over Walt Whitman together. 

That being said,  if eHarmony’s proclivity for long-term matchmaking translates to the career field, it has the potential to reverse this trend of moving from company to company — solidifying eHarmony (Elevated Careers) as an archetype for personality matchmaking across multiple walks of life.


2 Replies to Finding (e)Harmony between Candidates and Companies

  1. Thoughtful article, and well written. It will be fascinating to see if this concept of match-matching will be successful.

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