August 23, 2016

By Tim Bonansinga J.D., SPHR

Hiring failures, due to a bad fit and poor matching of job requirements to candidate’s profiles is far higher than it should be. The failure in this sector of business wouldn’t be tolerated in any other sector. The damage can be serious and long-lasting for both employer and candidate. I caution that career builders never enter the job search market without an expert guide who uses a proven multi-sided matchmaker business model.

What do I mean by Multi-sided matchmaking? I’ll cover the details in a bit, but it may help to imagine a scenario of an extremely disappointed job seeker. Let’s call our bummed-out candidate “Tom.”

He is both experienced and competent as a “logistics manager”. He had several years on the job with his former company but was passed over for promotion. He thinks that was unfair.

That’s why he is in the job market. In anger, he quit without notice or a new job. He believed his former supervisor personally disliked him because of their frequent personality conflicts. He was just plain tired of the bullying and disrespect and couldn’t stand another day.

So Tom dusted off a ten-year-old resume. He added his last job to the simple chronological list of previous jobs on the resume. He saw a lot of companies were looking for people with experience just like he had. What could go wrong?

Tom’s research and preparation involved searching the Internet and classified ads. He wanted to know what was available and how much more he could make. Tom hit his first obstacle and began to dimly suspect what could go wrong. Virtually all the classified postings and website job listings were simply titles of jobs with long lists of “requirements” a candidate must have to even be considered for an interview. There was almost nothing about “Why anybody would want to work for the company” in those postings or ads.

Nevertheless, he is an organized person. He made a spreadsheet list of 100 companies who posted jobs whose titles looked right. That’s when he discovered different companies appeared to call the same job by different titles. He sent 100 resumes to the contacts listed and then waited for the phone calls and letters to come. He waited and waited some more.

After three weeks he was worried and frustrated. He started calling into the HR departments of companies where he sent resumes. But he usually got the receptionist “gatekeeper” on the phone. Most had no clue who he was, couldn’t locate his resume, but promised to let somebody know he called. The very few times he was transferred to someone who was working the job said they had already filled the position or had cancelled the job search. They simply didn’t have time to notify everybody who sent a resume.

After four weeks he received a call from an in-house recruiter of one company and after six weeks another from a third party recruiter working with a nationally franchised staffing operation.

The in-house recruiter wanted to do a telephone interview on the spot. The recruiter’s questions seemed unscripted and without any logical connection to what he knew most jobs in that category required. Tom felt ambushed and was totally unprepared to answer questions coherently.

Tom’s response to the question “why did you want to leave your last position without a job” felt shallow and unconvincing to him. When he attempted to find out specific information about the job, he realized that the in-house person didn’t know a thing about the real essential functions or the expectations for the posted job.

After about ten questions the recruiter cut the interview and directed Tom to an online psychological testing site along with a password to access the test.

Tom again failed to hear anything. When he called to inquire about his status, he was told the company was looking at “more qualified” candidates. Nobody was prepared to tell him why.

The other call after the resume blitz came from a recruiter working with a franchised staffing company. He said his client was a company that had posted one of the jobs for which  Tom applied.

He also wanted to do a telephone interview immediately. Again, the big question was why Tom quit his former employer. Then he wanted the name and phone number of Tom’s former supervisor so he could compare Tom’s answer.

This person did talk about compensation but stated that his client was firm about starting salary and would not offer as much as Tom made in his last job. The role was also for what amounted to a less than lateral position for Tom.

Tom attempted to talk about why he should receive  more money and a better role, but he had no list of quantified accomplishments with which to make a persuasive argument for his potential value to the company. It was obvious that this third party recruiter was operating off a “job description” he did not understand. Tom felt personally insulted and said “no thanks.”

What should “Tom” have done?

Tom should have researched the way the hiring industry works does and used the same types of recruiting processes. He would have discovered that there are several levels of business models operating under very different incentives. Four common examples:

  • Human Resources/In-House Recruiters
  • Universities, Technical and Vocational Schools
  • Single-sided Transaction Business Models
  • Multi-sided Matchmaking Business Models

Tom would have learned that the true candidate benefits come when working with hiring professionals who work with a “Multi-sided Matchmaker Business Model.” And he would have learned that there are three points of Power in the Multi-sided Matchmaking Process. For example:

  • Trusted Adviser Relationships Provide Access and preparation for an honest image presentation
  • Job Analysis Provides Understanding of Real Requirement and Abilities
  • Multi-sided Matching Processes Provide Right Fit and a much better Opportunity for Mutual Success

Trusted Advisors Build Relationships

Professional matchmakers who use a multi-sided business model must study their markets and establish relationships with the decision makers to sustain success with their business models. They decide to invest their time up front to understand needs and gain easy access.

Unlike those who operate from a single-sided business model and operate a “transactional” sales process the true matchmaker operate as a “multi-sided platform” where they must establish long-term trust over a life-time business cycle. They provide both the prospective employers and the prospective employee with what they want and need to know to make an excellent decision.

Here is how that breaks down. The matchmaker business demands that they maintain knowledge of industries and companies. Along with this comes the need for reciprocal trust with the hiring managers. They work hard to be considered “trusted advisors” and know how to present the candidate using the most honest and persuasive image.

Essentially Professional Matchmakers remove the friction and obstacles to connection with the right companies and their hiring decision-makers.

The matchmaker treats each project using a process and approach customized specifically to the assignment. This knowledge and process give them the power to analyze both sides of the hiring equation. As a consequence, their calls and emails are answered because they are considered trusted advisers.

Matchmakers Do Job Analyses and Create Candidate Profiles

The overwhelming majority in the Hiring industry fail to understand the essential functions and expectations beyond the “Job Posting” or “Job Description.

Professional Matchmakers know that thoroughly documented analysis beyond the “job description” is necessary to make a reliable decision.

Serious candidates Want and need information they can trust to make a wise decision about the next move in their career. Do they need reliable information such as “Why should I want to work at Company A? Of course.

No algorithm or transactional business model is going to provide the expert analysis based on an understanding of what is beyond the job descriptions. Job analysis is not easy, but it is critical. Many employers attempt to use generic forms for job descriptions, and on-line tests or algorithms to rank candidates based on poorly understood requirements. Simply matching keywords from a generic job description to words on a resume is an inferior process.

Matchmaking Using Multi-Sided Processes Offer Superior Benefits to Candidates

A candidate must research and ask questions of either the in-house recruiter or the third party recruiter who is attempting to sell a job they know littl . Establish that you can trust them before you put your future in their hands.

In-house recruiters operate from a single-sided model. They often are working under tremendous work-loads and demands. Their jobs depend primarily on filling hiring quotas. They owe their allegiance strictly to the employer.

What true quality matchmaking business models have in common is that they must maintain trust with both sides of the hiring equation. The fit must be right, meaningful and rewarding for all sides.

Professional matchmakers use proprietary information and processes to connect members of one group, like people looking for a next great move in their career, with another group, like employers looking for people who will be superior on their teams.

Immense Value to Candidates From Interdependence

The true Multi-Sided Matchmaking industry demands a very special understanding and discipline to succeed. For a candidate to entrust his or her career move to someone who is incentivized primarily to close search assignments quickly ignores this critical interdependence.

Life-time customer value is the essence, core, and incentive of multi-sided matchmaker business models. This mandates mutual satisfaction for both candidate and employer.

A professional employment matchmaker can create immense value on both sides of the hiring equation. I believe it is the only way to go for smart candidates in building their careers.



About Me: My name is Tim Bonansinga, J.D., SPHR. I’m a specialist in employment selection law and practices. I am co-owner of “Inter-connect Employment Services”, a recruitment and staffing provider located in the heart of the country with nation-wide reach and access to sophisticated hiring managers. Our company is composed of a core staff of life-long learners in the complex set of interactions necessary for building high reliability teams. We specialize in matching pivotal people to the right roles for mutual satisfaction. We adopted the multi-sided matchmaking process years ago. There is never a fee to candidates.

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