Will eHarmony Crack the Code of Career Matching?

I am totally into the idea that we need to find our right “fit” – in relationships, careers, professional partnerships, and cultures.

I even use the eHarmony analogy when I talk about my biopharma client-vendor matchmaking practice (Impactiviti).

It should be no surprise, then, that I was intrigued by this announcement in Fast Company: eHarmony Wants To Help You Find Your Next Boss.

Long story short – eHarmony is going to take its algorithm-driven approach to profiling and matchmaking, and try to help people plug more intelligently into career settings where they’re a best fit.

Long overdue, in my opinion. From a MarketWatch article on the concept:

It will launch a new company, ‘Elevated Careers by eHarmony,’ in December that will run a new version of its famous compatibility assessment — only this time for job applicants and their would-be superiors. The typical U.S. worker only lasts 4.6 years with each employer, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but eHarmony wants to change all that. “The goal will be to help people get a job where they really belong,” says the company’s founder and CEO Neil Clark Warren. eHarmony can’t say whether there exactly will be ’29 Dimensions of Compatibility’ for matching potential employees and their bosses, as with romantic relationships, but there will be some crossover. “We’ll have something like that to match people for careers and have had 10 people working on that for three years,” Warren says.

eHarmony careersHowever…I do have one main question about this. I don’t doubt that such a service can make it easier to match an employee with a specific manager; and, with smaller companies, it might also be quite beneficial with “culture” match as well. But many companies that are mid-sized and larger have a revolving door of management personnel. What might have been a good match of compatibility with one leader/manager may not carry over to another.

Are we matching employees to managers? Or to companies and careers? Where’s the overlap?

It’s not just a skills match when it comes to our careers – it’s the whole environment. I’m not at all sure that an algorithmically-driven approach can lead to longer-term hiring success if the management personnel are going to be moving around – a pretty common event. But then again, the particulars of how eHarmony is going to attempt this are still under wraps.

What are your (preliminary) thoughts? Do you see value in the approach? If I’m a small company with under, let’s say, 50 employees – and especially if I’m putting in place key leaders/managers – I’m thinking yes. But beyond that…??


Also on the blog: Culture Shock

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