Looking at the logo currently assigned to SAP SuccessFactors in the Apple App store, if you weren’t an industry professional like me, you might be misled into believing that it’s a dating application.  A heart with two ‘people’ nestled inside.   Success would be finding the perfect mate.  This comparison is maybe more apt than it initially seems.

HR solutions aim to provide many things for employees, but interestingly many of these features have an apt comparison to the kinds of things a dating app might also provide.  Dating apps have come a long way technologically, and intellectually in the past 10 years.  So why can’t similar technology be used to help companies tap into top-quality talent and to help job seekers find the right organization to work for?


So why can’t similar (to dating apps) technology be used to help companies tap into top-quality talent and for job seekers to find the right organization to work for?


Talent Acquisition:

  • Recruiters can scan lists of potential candidates and evaluate skills, background, likes and dislikes and more to determine if they should take the next step
  • Dating apps provide much the same, a person’s profile being their ‘resume’ and you taking the recruiting role evaluate a person’s fit, then …
  • Recruiters invite people to an interview, where initial impressions are made and everyone is on their best behaviour. The recruiter will either ‘swipe right’ or ‘swipe left’ on your profile given how well you do.
  • Dating apps aim to get you on a date, where initial impressions and best behaviour are key to success, and your potential date will decide if they want things to progress.


Succession and Career Development

SuccessFactors and other HR Solutions include match making for many purposes:

  • Matching to Mentors for career development
  • Matching to existing roles using skills and competencies
  • Evaluating what skills you have and using algorithms showing you a career path


Dating apps mirror these features by:

  • Matching you to potential mates for relationship development
  • Using your interests and background to match you to groups of people with similar interests and backgrounds
  • Instead of skills and competencies, likes and personal preferences can be used to facilitate matches


As silly as this seems on the surface, there could be lots to learn from dating applications when considering a good HR solution.  Does the solution just treat applicants, or hopeful matches as numbers to crunch, or is there a ‘human’ dimension that allows for more nuanced evaluations, highlighting the ‘soft’ attributes that candidates, or successors should possess for a successful match?  Does the HR solution provide an easy way to find matches, with enough personal information to get a good feeling for the individual, but not so much that their privacy is threatened?  This article does a decent job of outlining some of the important aspects of a candidate or person selection system in describing a solution called  OnSkil.


Giving these very clear parallels, it is important as a job seeker or internal candidate to take some lessons from the world of dating applications (whether you use, or have used them or not):

  • Keep your profile up to date! If your last post in Tinder was from 5 years ago, potential matches will see you as not progressing, or doing anything with your life. Not an attractive date.  Recruiters and organisations looking to fill roles might feel the same about your 5 years out of date LinkedIN profile.
  • Think carefully about the messages you put out there. Referencing too much personal information can be detrimental on a professional resume or career site when it comes to portraying your skills and qualifications.  Stick to the facts that make a difference whether dating or job hunting.  Choose personal information that will help you and present you in your best light.  You don’t need to include information about EVERY previous relationship, for example.


To round things out, it’s clear that there are lessons to be learned on both sides of the game.  Job hunting and career progression are both endeavours that share a lot with the world of online dating and could provide valuable insights for both.  Thinking professionally about your personal life and how potential dates will see you is just as beneficial as thinking about perception when advertising your skills and qualifications to a potential date … err, employer.  Good luck out there!