Headhunting, dating and marriage

Headhunting, dating and marriage

For over 20 years I have been an executive recruiter, aka a Headhunter. If I had been born 100 years ago I might have been a “Yenta” or been arranging marriages for young couples. I’ve made a healthy living as a single parent, I was able to pay my mortgage, put two kids through college, and enjoy many interesting experiences.
Today, as I was perusing LinkedIn to find some young professionals for a client, I realized with a start that the emails I was sending were just like the emails you send when you are doing online dating. On Match.com or OK Cupid, when someone’s profile or picture attract your attention, you have some options. You can wink or notice them. You can highlight them to save their profile for later. Or if you are really bold, you can write a cute, interesting but light email to a specific person, in hopes that they will respond to your note.
It’s the same thing when you are using linked in as a recruiting source. You see a profile, some have pictures and some do not, the missing photo is less important for jobs then on dating sites. Then you have to come up with a few snazzy lines to entice someone to respond about a position. Yes, there are definitely similarities to recruiting, dating and marriage. And that’s what made me think of an old comic strip that used to hang in our Executive Search lunch room.
First frame was filled with, “What’s the difference between a first interview and a first date”?
The next frame had young woman sitting in a chair in front of a big desk, dressed in a killer dark suit. The interviewee was responding to the question, “What are you looking for in your next opportunity?” A well turned out businessman, listened to the response with raised eyebrows, seated behind the desk. If the comic strip was animated, the interviewer might have been nodding his head in agreement or the interviewee might have been gesturing with energetic hands. The last frame in this series would be concluded with a business-like shaking of hands.
The following frame had a couple sitting at a table having a glass of wine. The man was sitting up straight, neatly dressed with his hair combed back from his forehead. The young woman had on a flowery dress and she was also sitting on the front portion of her seat, avidly listening, but with no physical contact. They were smiling, the captions above the woman’s head said, “What do you do for a living?” The man responded laughing and then asked the woman, “Where are you from?”
I imagined if there was a second frame in this part of the series there might have been some eye contact as the wine warmed them up, and maybe a spark of interest, that might have encouraged a casual brush of a fingertip against the other person’s hand.
Final frame, “Cause on a first date someone could end up naked!”
I’ve placed professionals successfully into amazing opportunities where they have experienced career growth. I’ve introduced several couples, most are still married. And after being on the dating circuit for several years and now having luckily found my honey, I’d say headhunting is much easier. There is chemistry involved, but no sex that I know of, on the first interview.

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7 thoughts on “Headhunting, dating and marriage

  1. Great post over again! Thanks;)

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  4. Hi,

    If the parallel you’re making here is available for Americans, it’s absolutely not for we French. The dating American people are firmly heading to a matching process clearly aimed to find “the One”, which explains all these codified stages where the candidate to holy matrimony is kinda asked his résumé, and feel like evaluated by some examiner checking all the proper boxes before he can be said “good to go.”
    We French don’t date, “nous sortons ensemble” (we go out together) and that’s a big difference, because when a story is starting we don’t have a precise goal for it in mind, from the simple flirt to the little sensual adventure or the love story leading to marriage, we just don’t know at first what it will be (and we don’t wanna know) so we’ll live whatever good it might contains, just leaving to the particulars of the story itself to tell us if some serious match was there or not.

    PS: I address this topic and many others about our cultural differences in my book “Being French!” see my URL about it.

    • mavmel says:

      Thanks for sharing Frank. The more casual style of going out in groups sounds a lot more sane and relaxed. What’s nice about already having kids, is that marriage becomes much less important. It’s always interesting to compare and contrast how different cultures do things.

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