matchmaker

Recruiting is For Lovers: Life as a Professional Cupid

By Kristen Harris

My reality television weakness is The Millionaire Matchmaker or the newer version Million Dollar Matchmaker. In case you haven’t seen it, Patti Stanger (The Matchmaker) runs a high-end dating service (Millionaire’s Club). Every week she and her team select two high-net-worth individuals, preview potential dates for them, set up a social mixer, orchestrate a “master date,” get feedback from both parties, then decide how to move forward. She’s from a long line of matchmakers and focuses on helping her clients find true love, not just a hot date.

Guess what? Recruiters are matchmakers too; we focus on work relationships instead of personal, but the premise is the same. Whether we’re filling a short-term project or a full-time position, we do all the same things. Select great clients, preview potential candidates, set up an initial phone screen, schedule an interview (or several), get feedback from both sides, then decide how to move forward. If all goes well, an offer is made because both the client and candidate have found true love (or at least a very strong like). When it’s not a match made in heaven for either side, we keep looking until we find the right fit.

Often Patti has to figure out what is “wrong” with the client. Why have they not found true love on their own? She identifies patterns, reasons they might be selecting the wrong people, or actions that turn off the kind of people they want to attract. Maybe they say they’re looking for one type of person, but all of the dates they choose are a totally different profile.

These are the same things recruiters do for our clients. We dig a little deeper to figure out what they really need, not just what they say they want. We ask questions to figure out what the real criteria should be. We identify what makes our client special so we can share those qualities with candidates. If we see culture, language, reputation, or anything else that may prevent our client from attracting the type of person they want, we try to help them resolve those issues. We help candidates see great qualities about the company that may not be immediately visible on the surface. We don’t let our clients settle for someone who is just okay, we want them to find the perfect match.

And we do all of the same things for our candidates as well. It’s just as important to Patti and her team that the millionaire’s date has a good time and feels a connection. If it’s not a great match on both sides, it just won’t work out in the long run—it won’t be true love. We think our client is great or we wouldn’t be working with them, but sometimes they’re just not a great fit for that particular candidate. We want to create long-lasting relationships, to help people find companies where they’ll stay and grow.

Recruiters are hopeless romantics. We truly believe every match we make is going to be perfect and, if it’s not, we always believe the next one will be. There is nothing more satisfying than knowing you’re the professional cupid that helped connect two great people. Celebrate and share the love!