Could a dating website making hiring better?

eHarmony has matched 600K married couples since its inception. Meanwhile, the hiring process in America is a bit of a mess right now. Could eHarmony get into that space — after all, it knows the algorithms that draw people together, right? — and make it better. Well, let’s hope — because it’s apparently their next business venture.

Here’s how Fast Company breaks this one down:

It’s an interesting proposition. The Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that the typical worker in the United States stays with his or her employer for 4.6 years, and eHarmony wonders why that couldn’t be longer. “The goal will be to help people get a job where they really belong,” eHarmony founder and CEO Neil Clark Warren tells MarketWatch.

Look, the hiring process is a bit of a joke. I’ve talked about it many times, including here, here and here. Can it be fixed easily? No. There’s a lot of issues that go into this, from passed-down job descriptions to the role of HR to the communication between HR and the hiring manager to how people post and search for jobs to geography to jeez, a million other things. It will never be a perfect process. But — if you want to make it a better process, which should ultimately be the goal, then you do need to involve data in some way. Hiring straight-up off of gut leads to (often) bad matches from the jump, because people tend to prioritize elements of an interview that are easier to bias, or remember some things greater than others (for example, you mentioned an author that the hiring manager loves — that can color everything away from “perhaps you don’t have the exact skill set to do this job”). This stuff all does happen.

I’m not sure eHarmony is the answer to this question — and it is a big question if you study employee engagement statistics and the like — but it’s interesting to see them get into this space. I’m hopeful their matching algorithm can help, although it clearly would need to be tweaked a bit. I mean, do you look for the same stuff in your significant other as you might look for in a boss? Probably not.

Some don’t seem that excited by the idea:

Whereas some understand this might be a missed chance for LinkedIn, which has similar programs but doesn’t seem to roll them out with a real “data” flair:

(Some additional thoughts on LinkedIn’s ability to improve the recruiting process here.)

Ted Bauer