Social media has changed how people find love and marriage: about 22 percent of U.S. couples now meet online. Now, an Internet dating website is betting its matchmaking techniques will help people find the perfect job.
In March 2016, eHarmony plans to launch Elevated Careers, an online employment service that will put the compatibility-matching techniques it has used in pairing couples to the test in the career market.
If they get it right, recruitment and human resource management experts say the approach could transform the recruitment industry.
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"It could be a game-changer," says Michael Haberman, a human resources consultant and founder of the Atlanta-based Omega HR Solutions. "I would think in today's world of big data that it certainly would have a potential for working."
eHarmony uses questionnaires and algorithms to match couples. Its website claims that 438 people get married everyday as of result of its compatibility matching.
Dan Erickson, director of special projects at Elevated Careers by eHarmony, says it will take job recruiting to the same level, matching compatibility by skills and background, personality and culture.
"We are trying to take that matching compatibility expertise that eHarmony has developed in the online dating world and bringing that to careers," he said.
Elevated Careers will use predictive algorithms and dozens of variables based on features within resumes and profiles and the firm's job listings and corporate culture to find a professional match.
"The methodology is the same," says Steve Carter, vice president for matching at eHarmony. "We are approaching this as social scientists saying, 'Can we improve decisions people are making?'"
It plans to match a job seeker with the hiring manager or supervisor to improve employee satisfaction and engagement, reduce turnover and increase productivity. The average turnover rate in U.S. companies in 2014 hovered around 16 percent, according to compensationforce.com.
Haberman thinks the compatibility component is the key.
"If you get people who are deemed to be more compatible with your organization, be it the company or the particular manager that they are being hired by, it certainly lessens the chance of losing that employee early on," he explains. "It reduces the potential for turnover."