‘Going on a date’ has long been one way that people get to know one another, either for romantic or social reasons. The practice has waxed and waned (in my day, one-on-one dates were ridiculed, and we instead went places in groups). But the reality is that most people, at some point, will want to get to know someone else more closely – and a date is one way of doing that.
But…if you’ve dated at all, you have probably gone on a ‘date from hell‘. What am I talking about? Putting aside those dates that form the basis for horror films, I mean: discovering that your date actually does not know how to listen. Finding out that your date is a member of a group that you dislike. Learning that your date didn’t actually want to date you at all – they were more interested in your friend. And so on. What might have been a pleasant couple of hours, or even a springboard to a deep friendship, instead becomes a nail-biting, second-by-second round of survival. You can’t say goodbye too quickly.
Now, consider your job board or recruiting site. Each time a new candidate interacts with it, they are essentially ‘dating‘ it. After all, what is a job search but an initial conversation? The candidate asks a question – cleverly or clumsily – and your site responds with an answer. Based on your site’s answer, the candidate starts to form an impression, such as ‘Gee, this is exactly what I wanted to see’, or ‘This job board is stupid! Why doesn’t it know what I want!!’. If you’re lucky, your site will get a few more chances to get it right. Maybe the candidate is willing to cut you some slack, because her friends told her that it was where everyone found work. Or maybe the candidate is extra-critical, because he’s been burned by other sites in the past.
But again…the clock is ticking. Is the time flying away, unnoticed, as the candidate discovers one great opportunity or company after another? Or are the seconds dragging by, with the candidate’s (already short) attention span beginning to waver? Ask yourself: what does my site do to get to know the candidate? What is my site doing with that information to help the candidate? Am I blabbing away, or am I paying attention?
Are you giving a candidate a reason to go deeper? Maybe get into a serious relationship? Or have you – unknowingly – become your candidate’s date from hell?
The only way you’ll find out how you are doing is to ask the candidate. Believe me – if you ask, they’ll tell you!
Maybe you’ll find out how to stay off the candidate’s ‘do not contact’ list. Just an idea.[Want to get Job Board Doctor posts via email? Subscribe here.]. [Check out JobBoardGeek, the Doctor’s podcast!)