How Match.com almost ruined my life. Or something like that.

April 8, 2010

By Jon Baron

I recently had an experience that almost made me lose all faith in humanity, technology, dating, hiring, and everything else that we hold dear in this world. Almost.

It happens that I’ve started with a new company (you’ll get the link, don’t worry), in a new field (recruiting), and wanted to get some feedback from someone qualified, and whom I trusted. I approached a friend who’s a hiring manager here in Colorado for a megalithic tech company. Now, mind you, this isn’t an ordinary buddy. I’ve known this guy for 30 years, and while he’s all Rolex and Armani now, I knew him when…Well, let’s just say we go way back.

Woefully unprepared, I tried to slip into our casual phone conversation that I’d started with Teneotalent.com, and that we had an innovative model for recruiting, etc. He indulged me a bit as I fumbled through the bullet points that I’d jotted down:

- A new model for recruiting salespeople (we’re niched).
- We use in-depth assessment and matching to find a long-term fit.
- We help evaluate current culture and values, which can be a benefit to your existing team.

Blah blah…There were a few more, but when I came up for air halfway through my list….CRICKETS!!!

Finally, he broke the silence: “So it’s like Match.com for recruiting?”

AAARRRGGHHH. As if I hadn’t enough cause to curse that website for the $87 I spent on a tragic evening with “SmartFunny72”, now I had my old dear friend reducing my spiel – my newfound lifeblood – to a cliché, and a bad one at that!! I figured the first pitch might be a little outside, maybe low even, but I expected to at least be in the ballpark!

I hung up the phone thinking I’d failed completely. Yeah, he’d agreed to meet with me, and yeah he’d look at my printed material, but somehow I got the feeling that I’d never be able to overcome his preconceptions.

Then I got to thinking (the dangers of which will become evident shortly) that I’d take the concept to the extreme. What if it WAS like Match? What if the whole hiring process, nay, our whole way of interacting with one-another, had really just become like internet dating? Certainly if you squint a little, you see a similar way of doing things between the LinkedIn’s and the Facebooks and the Match’s of the world. What if we really had entered a Huxleyan future where our identities were just an amalgam of all the junk we’d entered in drop-downs and pop-ups? What if my whole freakin’ life was going to play itself out 140 characters at a time? Mister Wizard take me home!!!

And just like that, it hit me! My dear friend was dead wrong! And so was my cousin who’d stunk up a different phone conversation with talk that there were no jobs, no one would pay a recruiter, and everything one needed was available on job boards! And so were the hordes of people who’d given up hope of being hired, or hiring based on anything other than a bunch of zeros and ones.

Wanna know why? Well, I’ll tell ya! It’s because HIRING SOMEONE IS LIKE MARRYING THEM!! Ding ding! Match.com (and just about everything else on the internet) is most decidedly NOT!

You might go to Match to find a date, but what if (cue creepy twilight-zone music) you had to determine who your life partner would be based on three fuzzy photos from spring break circa ’92 and a bunch of drivel about looking good in sneakers and / or cowboy boots?! Would you sign up for that? Me thinky you’d want the information that would tell you whether that hottie would actually WANT to move to Mongolia with you because you heard it’s a great place to raise a family. Or something. A union such as this clearly involves some in-depth evaluation on everyone’s part.

BZZZT!!! Sorry pal, you have to choose right now. Sounds crazy right?

Well, that’s what a lot of people are doing. My resume might say that I’m a fire-eating yak-tamer, but does that mean that “VeganGoddyss2468” is athletic and toned? Probably not! Although yaks do like me, or at least my LinkedIn profile. But I digress.

Are you willing to bet “forever and ever, amen” on woefully insufficient information? Of course you ain’t!! And neither should anyone be forced into the shotgun wedding that is the hiring practice of most employers and employees.

And so….my friend has unwittingly provided me with the ammo I need to go out and win the hearts and minds of humans all over this great green earth! He’s shown me that since my company provides tangible information that can cut through the shock and awe of this crazy hiring dance and determine whether there’s a match (not com), that we’re providing a substantial service to both employer and employee. All at a fabulous low low price! Don’t believe me? He did.

Check it out for yourself: (www.teneotalent.com). Sorry, we don’t have a system for weeding out crazies on dating sites. Although….


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Melissa McFarlane April 8, 2010 at 5:56 pm

Kathy – or writing-whiz:

Did you write this? if not, which one of your new staff did? Terrifically written!

Congrats on the launch!!!


Kim McGinnis April 10, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Kathy… is this you? I agree with Melissa you are a terrific writer. You should write a book in your spare time! Or at least continue to write posts regularly here (I’d come back just to read them). Congratulations on your new site and the new look-well done!

Mikel King April 10, 2010 at 5:04 pm


I stumbled across this because of an announcement on LinkedIn in a LION group discussion. I do not normally follow a tangent off the site, but I must say that I am glad I did. You are absolutely correct, yet unfortunately I believe too many prospective employers are not looking beyond the 1′s and 0′s right now. It’s a very cold hiring climate right now. One posts their resume on the job boards or actually send it out to a listing and it’s like it was swallowed by a black hole.

Recently (only yesterday in fact) I received a rejection note from a hiring manager for a CTO position and was actually happy to receive it. Can you believe that? How crazy is that? I mention it because it is so extremely rare that a hiring manager whom I never met or even spoke to on the phone at least took the time to acknowledge that I took the time to apply for the position.

In any event I think you’ve touched on part of the problem with the current state of things. I wish you well in your new venture.

Mikel King

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