Does the world really need a “Tinder for Jobs” ?

May 7, 2015
Vote on Hacker News

switch+image+with+woman

It’s not uncommon for startups to describe themselves as “N[Something you know] for X[a new space].” ‘Airbnb for X’ has become shorthand for ‘a peer-to-peer marketplace for X,’ while ‘Uber for X’ has become shorthand for ‘a marketplace of freelancers grouped around a certain common occupation.’ There are varying opinions on the practice of creating a connect between an existing solution and your own, which could be debated; however, more recently I’ve been raising my eyebrow at solutions that call themselves “Tinder for X” – Tinder for Jobs, Tinder for Recruitment, Tinder for Events, Tinder for whatever.

I believe the meaning that is being sought refers to the UX – swiping left/right through a list of options – and well as the mobile-first approach; however, the implications go a bit deeper. Looking specifically at “Tinder for Jobs,” I’ve had a few different startups –  SelfieJobs, Cocoon  & Kudoz – that have come across my path in recent months (and I’m sure there are 100s more), that have had me scratching my head.

I’m not a big Tinder user; however, I ask a lot of friends & colleagues about their experiences, and my general understanding of the online dating world is that ‘finding a long-lasting relationship’ is a minority among the use-cases. It exists, but even Tinder’s CEO has said that it’s not their goal, just to put people in touch.

I think that those same people would say that they have a different relationship with Job Opportunities: most people are looking for very long-term commitments, and a one-night stand in the professional world is not something to brag about.

Looking more closely at the matter, applying the Tinder experience to recruitment doesn’t seem like it would work in the highly skilled labor market – the process is inherently a long & personal one, so the time gained from ‘swiping’ is diminished by the interview process; however, temporary work solutions, or even Pole Emploi, could probably help companies fill temp positions in real-time pretty quickly. Tinder for Jobs feels to me like the online equivalent of picking up day labor out in front of the Home Depot – “You, you, you & you” – anything short of that, and the added benefit of the swiping means nothing. A selected Candidate wants to be all-but through the selection process, while recruiters need to be able to make a hiring decision based off of one screen of data.

I have yet to see one of these solutions produce figures about the number of recruitments that can be linked to their platform, which seems to me (as someone who organizes a recruitment event) to be the only metric that counts. The number of candidates & the number of job offers are irrelevant, if candidates aren’t getting hired, and if recruiters aren’t hiring candidates. Recruiters have SO many tools today to find candidates, and candidates who are really looking for a job are putting themselves on every network to optimize their odds. Adding one more channel only matters if that channel works, and allows recruiters to get to talent quickly, before they get picked up by another company.

Join us later this year for HIRE, our half-day conference dedicated to recruitment of top talent professionals. Attendance is free for all Paris Startup Job Fair recruiters, going on the same day.