All Is Fair in Love, House-Mate Hunting and Recruitment

So just to be clear, I’m not all that familiar with Tinder. Obviously, I’ve heard of it but full disclosure: I had to Google what swiping left and right meant. So, when I came across an article on Tinder For Recruitment, I was intrigued. Working in recruitment we are always on the lookout for new ways to source and find talent. How can you create a pool of talent that is selective enough while ensuring you’re not competing against everyone around you? If we are all targeting the same network, how can you find the best talent out there?

It made me question how similar the recruitment process can be to dating. Everyone is looking for the perfect match; there’s a concoction of attraction and rejection which can either be a recipe for success or disaster. Recently I’ve found myself in a position where I’m looking for a new housemate. It’s much like finding the perfect candidate; there’s a brief (except the list of demands is higher), an interview process (this is not fun by the way, never knowing who will walk through your door) and then the final decision making element (by far, the hardest part).

On the quest to find the perfect fit for our house, it became clear to me that when it comes to making a decision I have the idealism of a Millennial in terms of how much I spend on activated charcoal quinoa at brunch and the expectation of a Gen Y when it comes to how the interior of my house should look. This combination does not make for an easy task ahead. Similar to when recruiters hear “I have an entry level role and I need them to have lots of experience”.

So what did I learn from this?

You don’t need to settle

Definitely not for something that’s less than what you really want. And that goes both ways. According to the co-founder and CEO of Workey, job hunting is now more of a passive activity. People aren’t necessarily looking for a new job but are permanently open to their next career move. These advances in tech are allowing candidates to be specifically matched to opportunities they’re interested in, by asking them a series of questions that identify what they are looking for. For specialist roles, this is a huge advantage; recruiters can approach individuals with specific, hard-to-find skills for niche roles that were previously challenging to fill.

If you can’t be bothered selling yourself, why should anyone be interested in buying it?

A badly written profile has the same impact as a badly written resume. People who stand out from the crowd do so because they have taken the time and effort to be memorable. For the first interview, everyone is on their best behaviour. Nothing says I’m adaptable and easy going like a first interview.

  • I’m fully house trained! = I once lived with someone for 8 months before they asked me how to use the vacuum
  • I don’t have much stuff = compulsive hoarder
  • I’m pretty low key during the week =  out still 3am on a ‘school night’
  • Always pay bills on time! = doesn’t

The list goes on…the truth is that in most cases people present the best version of themselves and that’s usually what they think you want to hear. The thing about selling an image that isn’t really you is that you’re going to be the only one that suffers when you’re in a job you don’t really like, or with housemates you don’t click with. An employer can talk up their office culture but until you’re in it, you won’t know if this is true for you or how you will feel once you’re amongst it.

Timing is everything

Don’t make the assumptions you’re the only person your applicant is seeing. As discussed by my colleague in her blog: When you have the perfect candidate, why do you need a comparison? If you have someone who would be the perfect fit, don’t wait to see if you can do better because someone else will snap them up.

Plenty more fish in the sea

If there’s a saying that’s more irritating for someone that’s just lost out a person they’re interested in (romantically or other-wise) I’d like to hear it. But from the perspective of someone that’s offering rational advice: it’s true. There really are plenty more fish in the sea. When you’re sourcing talent or searching for a housemate from a narrow pool, or at least one other people are fishing from, then you need to re-think your tactics.

Plenty more fish in the sea is true enough, but particularly when the one you nearly caught was impossible to catch.

Good on paper, not great in person.

You read a profile, and you think this person is perfect! They tick all the boxes but when you meet, something isn’t quite right. Sometimes nerves get in the way of making a fabulous first impression, or it could be that the chemistry isn’t right. If we’re talking about an interview, the first face-to-face might demonstrate that a candidate doesn’t quite live up to their resume. Meeting face-to-face is a vital step in any recruit. You wouldn’t let a stranger rent your room; we wouldn’t let one work in your company.

When you know, you know, you know?

Like sunshine on a cloudy day, you’ve found the right person. The one! They’re the missing piece of the puzzle; so how can you ensure you don’t lose them? Firstly, don’t make it too obvious that they’re your perfect person…before it’s a done deal. Cover the nitty-gritty of the arrangements first: rent, bond, contract, references. It’s easy to let excitement take over, but crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s will prevent misunderstandings once the honeymoon period is over. The memory of the first interview is often quickly surpassed once the person moves in, just as culture fit can only be experienced when your candidate is immersed within your team. How will the team respond? How well will they do their job? Only time will tell…

Once you’re living with someone, that’s it. I really wish there was a three month probation period that we could enforce on impending housemates.

Until then, wish me luck!


By Jenny McKenna,  Rusher Rogers 

If it takes your fancy, you can peruse more of our musings here.

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