How do you meet your next employee… swipe or match?

meet your next employeeYour department is way behind deadlines, and your staff is screaming for help. You absolutely have to get that new hire onboard, right away. You’re extremely busy, so you pull the standard job description, pulling any resume that remotely fits the bill. Since you’re in a time crunch, you scramble through the prospective candidates to arrive at a short list. You attempt to line up your people in your department for interviews, but everyone’s schedule is packed. You decide to just do a quick phone interview, but the only question you can think of is: “How quickly can you start?”

I don’t think I need to tell you what happens next, or how this new hire works out.

A bad hire is a big problem. According to Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, bad hires have cost his company well over $100 million. A standard industry estimate is that a bad hire can cost between $25K to $50K. That’s why Hsieh offers to pay new hires $2,000 to leave the company!

As a business owner, I know that I’ve made my share of bad hiring decisions (present employees excluded, of course). So why does this story sound so familiar?

Recently, eHarmony – the dating service – announced that they have adapted their “29 dimensions of compatibility” to the business world. eHarmony has an impressive track record for creating long-term relationships. According to an dating study of 20,000 people, 35% met their spouse online. Of those that used online dating sites, the results showed a higher satisfaction and lower divorce rate – only 6%. Imagine if you could achieve that level of employee retention?

But not all online dating sites are the same. When it comes to hiring, are you swiper or a matcher?

Swipe right

If you are a Swiper, the story at this beginning of this post is too common. You basically swipe through those candidates “around you” – those resumes readily accessible or from someone somebody knows. You scan the details, without much time to really focus. She looks good. So you “swipe right” and start onboarding. You might get lucky, but chances are you’ll end up $25K poorer, when you wake up in the morning.


If you are a Matcher, you may not have “29 dimensions of compatibility,” but you tend to follow a structured process, spending enough time to consider potential candidates, so you don’t make a costly mistake. Hire slowly, fire quickly.

Here are some guidelines from Forbes that can help you make the best match:

1. Competent – start with an up-to-date job description. Does the candidate really meet the qualifications?

2. Capable – does the candidate also have the ability to grow into future needs?

3. Compatible – observe the candidate with your team. How well do the personalities meld?

4. Commitment – what type of track record does the candidate have for sticking with a company or seeing a degree program all the way through?

5. Character – you can’t train for character, so ask questions in the interview process that will help you assess the candidate’s character.

6. Culture – great companies thrive when they have a strong culture, so make sure that the candidate shares the values that make up your culture.

7. Compensation – if there is a disconnect on compensation, you might negotiate your way into a relationship, but how long will it last?

While following these “7Cs” is no guarantee for success, these guidelines can help you avoid swiping yourself into one-night stand. If you take the time to consider a match more carefully, this could be the start of a beautiful relationship.


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