Are recruiters missing a trick with dating apps?

Are recruiters missing a trick with dating apps?

From Bumble to Tinder, in today’s world it’s rare to meet anyone between the ages of 20-35 who hasn’t an entertaining story to tell about the time they swiped their way onto a date. However, would you have coupled up these apps with the ability to find work?  

Well, an increasing number of Millennials are using these networking apps to find work, leading to several market players relaunching a secondary service to embrace this shift.

For example, Bumble Bizz – a professional spin-off from dating app Bumble - now has 17million new matches a week and 64,000 new users are joining each day. Louise Troen, Bumble's Vice President of Marketing, says they launched this service after noticing people were using their profiles to network with others – The Telegraph reports.

"We noticed that our users were ‘hacking’ [the app] to connect in business," she said.

"So they were saying 'Hi, I'm Sophie, I'm from Surrey, I'm looking for a part-time producer to help me on this documentary I'm doing'."

"Someone would swipe on her and say 'hey I'm actually a producer, I'm a freelancer, let's get together'. They were forming these friendships that were also business relationships."

The opportunity these apps provide - instant access to people and potential gigs - has also been mirrored by latest developments in the hiring space. With swipe-type apps coming into the market left and right (and centre), including Debut and Shapr, alongside more established jobsites adapting, it’s clear to see the impact modern dating and technology are having on the sector.

Sinead Bunting, VP Marketing Europe at Monster, tells us that it is a sign of today’s world and the industry needs to keep up. “Millennials are a mobile first generation, turning to their phones for dating, shopping and now to boost their careers,” she said.

"Today’s jobseekers expect to be able to view jobs seamlessly on their mobile devices and to be able to apply for them quickly and easily. Our research shows that 32% of people start out searching for a job on their mobile phones and 26% use a job search app.”

She says that at Monster, they’ve worked hard at removing the barriers to applying for jobs, so users can simply swipe their way to their dream job – exactly like finding a date on Tinder.

But, how is this shift benefiting recruiters, if the apps are cutting out the need for middle-men? James Tindall, Director at Ad Idem Consulting, believes that there is an opportunity for recruiters to ‘hijack’ the apps to discover valuable opportunities or people.

“On some apps there has been an increase in people mentioning their jobs and I know employees of mine would certainly more than likely swipe someone that has a HR title as if there was no spark, there’s a potential network chance,” he explains. “I have also seen and heard recruiters using the high-end exec dating sites to meet the more senior people that would not be on a ‘dating app’ but maybe a plush introduction service.”

In addition, Jo Fleming, owner of Yorkshires Staffing Services and GBIT Recruitment says that, whilst dating-style apps in recruitment can help to hook potential employees, you can only tell if someone’s right for a job by meeting them in real life. “A good recruiter will always take this extra step to ensure the employee is right for the client,” says Fleming.

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However, Bunting believes that recruiters need to reflect this desire for quick and easy applications in their offering through, “building well designed and functional apps to attract talent, allowing candidates to follow the application process through on mobile from search to job acceptance seamlessly,” she advises. Otherwise, they risk losing the attention of the next generation of talent.

Tindall, on the other hand, believes that whilst firms should look at ways to make it easier and quicker for people to take the next step, there might be a downside. For example, they could lead to a lazy mindset for candidates, with technology preventing personality and a personal connection being made. But time will tell.

Regardless, it’s also another way to stand out within a crowded market. “At least the online app way of ‘putting yourself out there’ is much easier as one can be brave behind a keyboard,” Tindall explains. “In this current market standing out and making yourself seen is crucial and these cohorts are massively using it to their advantage. It is just another method to be noticed. It only takes the right person to see it.”

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