eHarmony, the hugely popular international online dating website that matches single men and women for long term relationships, has announced that it will be moving into the job search market in 2013, using its effective matching algorithms to find the perfect employee.
Using algorithms that match beliefs, values, emotional health and skills, eHarmony has focused on compatibility, matching people’s core traits and values to replicate the traits of happy couples rather than matching up hobbies and interests.
This is what sets it apart from other employee-to-company, listings-based sites. “We want to pair people,” says Grant Langston, VP of customer experience at eHarmony. “Typically in the hiring process employers evaluate only three superficial traits before making a hire: can they do the work, will they do the work, and can you stand them?
Sites like LinkedIn and Monster do this job well enough. But we want to give you 40 data points. We want to give you a much deeper connection,” he says.
Sound a bit far out? One-on-one personality matching is already happening in the business world. A recent study published in the American Sociological Review showed that managers most often look for “enjoyable playmates” when hiring new employees. The study also showed that cultural fit was one of the most important elements that influenced hiring.
Dating vs hiring
Cultural fit was ranked in the top three selection criteria by participating hiring professionals, with more than half saying it was the most important factor, trumping analytical thinking and communication skills. The author of the study, Lauren Rivera says, “In many respects these professionals hire in a manner more closely resembling the choice of friends or romantic partners.
When it comes down to it, interviewers tend to prefer, and are even willing to make exceptions for, people who they feel most resemble themselves.”
As for eHarmony algorithm for the perfect employee, “We reverse-engineered 800 marriages to figure out what made some good, some bad, and most importantly what made them last long-term. That’s going to be the challenge going forward: We’re going to have to do the same sort of process for the employer-employee relationship,” Langston says.