Get More Success by Treating Executive Search Like Dating

The Jobs Market Doesn’t Have to Be a Numbers Game

I’ve got a question I’d like to ask you. What do executive search and dating have in common?

The answer is human shopping! I know, it’s a weird concept – but stick with me here.

How old were you when you started to consider dating? Reasonably young probably, and almost certainly it would have been on your radar by the time of your prom.

When you first started trying to get a date, you were probably told by a few well-intentioned friends that getting a date is a numbers game. The more people you ask for a date, the more dates you’ll get.

Yet there was always that one person who seemed to get a date without putting any effort in. How did they do it? The answer, of course, is by making themselves the most attractive ‘candidate’.

At Lincoln Group we believe that if you can mirror what you know about the dating  into the way you approach executive recruitment, you will have a much greater chance of success.

What’s so different about looking for a candidate to fit your team or looking for a new team to fit you as the candidate? The truth is that it is still human shopping.

From Applicant to Candidate to Employee – The Staggering Numbers

If you play the numbers game in hiring and being hired, you’ve got a lot of work to get through. Research from TalentWorks shows that for some occupations:

  • It can take 200+ applications to get a job
  • There is only an 8.3% chance of getting an interview from a single job application
  • It takes 10 to 15 interviews for an offer to be made

The reason for these staggering statistics? Hiring managers and candidates have been conditioned to treat the jobs market like they used to treat dating – as a numbers game.

How Do We Search for a Soulmate?

There are a few ways we now search for that elusive soulmate, but the two most popular today are speed dating and online dating. With both, you’re still playing the numbers game.

·      Speed Dating

You get a range of people and hopefully the same number of potential partners in a room, roughly age-matched. They spend two minutes with a prospective match, getting to know each other, before moving on.

In theory, it sounds great. In reality, according to, the odds of meeting your long-term partner in this way is 1% – not very inspiring.

Recruiting and looking for a job using traditional methods such as generic advertising seems a bit like speed dating.

You advertise. You then must sift through loads of resumes to look for a few potential matches. Then comes the arduous interview process. You already know you don’t want this person, but you must pay lip service to allow equal opportunity. Wash, rinse,  and repeat.

It feels like a shot in the dark with Cupid’s arrow. You may get a hit, but probably not. Boy, what a huge waste of time and resource. (We could say something here about your hourly rate and knowing your worth, but that’s probably for another blog.)

·      The Dating App

With technology the way it is, online dating is the norm. You look at someone’s pic and profile then swipe left or right – human shopping.

You add your details with a nice smiley photo and some benign facts about yourself that make you look fun to be with. You tell the app what you are looking for and it uses artificial intelligence to suggest potential suitors. And so, the swiping begins.

The odds are slightly better at finding a match (8% this time) but, again, hardly a person-centered approach.

Similar programs exist in staffing. You upload your resume, and the A.I. matches you to jobs that it ‘thinks’ suit you. Alternatively, as a business looking to recruit, you are shown potential candidates with a vague connection to your industry, usually because of keywords the candidate has added to their resume.

Have you seen LinkedIn do this, offer you potential jobs that they have matched you to? It’s like they have a ‘love language’ of their own.

There’s a Better Way to Hire and Date

Now, think back to when you were at school. How was it that the most popular boy and girl were never short of a date? Apply what you know now to hiring, and you begin to understand what you should be doing in the job market.

·      Marketing

Market yourself or your vacancy in the right place. If you don’t drink you are unlikely to find your soul mate by sitting at the bar during cocktail hour every night.

Where do the people in your industry hang out? What are their regular haunts? Using a specialist employment agency with established relationships in your sector will increase your hit rate significantly.

·      Use Your Friends

Statistically, you are 39% more likely to meet your perfect match if you are introduced to them by a friend. The classic blind date. Better odds than the dating app, but still not great.

At Lincoln Group we pride ourselves in getting to know you and your company culture. We aim for a perfect match every time. No blind dates here.

We meet with all our candidates and get to know their personality and career goals intimately.

When we recommend a candidate or a vacancy it is a recommendation based on research, knowledge, network, and intuition. Something that neither Cupid nor A.I. can put claim to.

·      Be Appealing with a Killer Profile

It’s great to try to look cool and sexy on a dating app, but in business your resume is your profile – make it stand out. First impressions do count, and you definitely don’t want a left swipe.

At Lincoln, we know how to dress to impress and get that all-important interview with a standout profile and resume.

If it’s a role you are filling, make it appealing – what is your ideal candidate actually looking for? Be clear, be concise, be honest, but be real – after all, you want this to be a great, long-lasting marriage.

·      Remove First Date Nerves

Safe to say, most of us have been on a first date. A job interview is not much different. The hiring company and the candidate want to know all about each other. Each is also desperate to only show their best side.

Yes, we coach our candidates for interview – it would be like not brushing your teeth on a first date if we didn’t.

The thing is, before we present anyone for consideration, we have already taken the time to know they are a good match. Think about it – they have already passed the ‘meet the parents on a first date test’.

Lincoln Group – The Perfect Job Dating App!

What does all this mean for you in today’s highly competitive jobs market?

It means that, given time, you probably can find the right job or the right candidate. But as the saying goes, there are going to be a lot of frogs before you find your prince or princess.

Human shopping is time-consuming and laborious but frankly, we love it!

What’s even better, is that we are uniquely talented at finding your ideal partner. No swiping left and right here.

Stop wasting time, let us find you that perfect executive match. Whether your heart desires a new stellar job or the ace of cosmic recruits, it’s time for something different.

It’s time to contact Lincoln Group.

Related posts