What Tinder, Grindr and Co can teach us about sourcing?

romantic fantasy with much love and some blood

A good friend of mine, an exceptionally talented young sourcer, let’s call him Bobby Curaçao, is present on almost each and every dating site. Well, these are not websites, as I was corrected by Bobby, but mobile apps with usually no (or not too developed) desktop applications. Who knew? It is, as he calls it: true love straight into your pocket.

Now, I must admit, in the last, say, fifteen f61688f19df951b2e9a3ad075497d24byears, I have totally lacked any reason to try out these apps (and btw I AM still lacking, ok?), so all the things that Bobby recently showed me were quite new and surprising. Wow!… these present days must be very pleasant and interesting to a twenty-something years old guy…

Anyway. We are not here to talk about love (and btw you should never talk about love, as Bobby often reminds me, ha!).

We are not here either to talk about who Bobby is after – that certainly stays his secret. We are here to talk about (guess what!?) sourcing and all the things that one can learn from Bobby thanks to his great contribution on Tinder, Grindr, Happn and the like. Oh yeah…

Spending some time with Bobby and his special apps will make you better understand some of the greatest dilemmas of sourcing. You get them being analyzed from a truly different angle (of course). Those pitfalls and typical mistakes that we quite often make in sourcing all occur in the same (or a very similar) way when dating a future husband, a wife or a whatever partner in crime.

Looking for the best of the best

Searching in a dating app is not any different than searching within monster’s CV database. It’s all about using the right filters in the right way. With the filters you basically set the parameters of the “ideal candidate” and then a “CV” screening process begins.

According to Bobby, there are three potential pitfalls when searching via filters:

  1. it will bring positive and false positive results (for instance, the body type ‘average’ can mean so many things for different people),
  2. there may not be a filter for everything (say, you are after blue eyes and not greens but this is something you cannot set in the filter area) and
  3. finally – let’s face it -, some fake information, occasionally, may appear on a profile, too, hence the need to carefully check every pre-selected profile one-by-one.

Sounds familiar, right? It’s the very same on LinkedIn or in a job board database.

Now the interesting bit is here. After setting the filters, Bobby checks the profiles and makes immediate yes/no assessments based on the very few (key)words he reads (and based on the profile pictures, obviously). Interestingly, during this short-list creation, he is not only acting as an amoroso but also starts to behave like a sourcer. He builds a list of best and second best and third best choices and starts to feel good when getting closer to the potential, the big match. He is happy and excited (and his palm is already little sweating as he scrolls down the iPhone) and thinks he’s got them, again, the perfect candidates, look at these!, are just in front of him. He’s falling in love.

For a second, Bobby already imagines his wedding. Imagines that nice light grey suit that will be perfectly fitting to his ocean blue eyes. One more second and he envisions holidays spent together, the beach, the sea, those pizza margaritas and then, suddenly, he is seeing three happy children riding on his back. Bobby thinks he’s gonna find his partner now. Right now. He is absolutely sure that one of these three will make the game. The Bobby-game and for a lifetime.

Look at him – this is a very happy Bobby-boy! My good young friend, Bobby Curaçao!

The drama of a young sourcer

But there are some sourcing lessons here to learn.

Every search you run will always contain the best of the best profiles as being “best” is simply relative. It’s just the matter of the pool size that you consider for a certain search. If you are looking for the partner of a lifetime you may not wanna search only within that tiny pool of currently online users, right? It’s that simple. No best exists. Closest does and then the enormous work you need to do with them. Forget this best-candidate-bullshit and give better definition on what exactly you are after and how big the pool is you still fancy to review, assess and wait for. And this is, certainly, true with any Hiring Manager.

Bobby, the efficiency of your search filters, your keywords, Boolean syntaxes and other search parameters is limited. You may think your inner sourcing ninja can find every good candidate, however, this will never happen. It HAS never happened with any of us in the industry. In the dating/sourcing industry, I mean… LOL Not only can’t you find everyone but also you can never be 100% confident that your looking-very-good-on-paper candidates will indeed be the right ones. There is a serious need to have further assessments on these “almost perfect” prospects. Phone screens, chats and other interviews must be thoroughly done before making a… match, so try to manage your excitement when a search brought up some good potentials.

If your best-best-best candidate is rejected, when your top favourite reaches the 10th rendezvous and then withdraws from the process, you stay calm, Bobby, as this is the very nature of sourcing.

Sourcing is a game with potentials only. It’s like betting. There are only odds in this world. It’s nothing else than the fragile balance between trying to shape and run ultimately perfect searches and getting then, most probably, poorly imperfect results.

Some final thoughts about the mystical relationship between love and sourcing

Listen, sourcing is a way too hot exercise. It does feel good, Bobby. It’s like the warm red blood slowly circulating up and down in the body. Top to toe and then bottom up. Successful sourcers will always remain passionate – but all of them have had to learn the lesson: don’t fall into love too early with a candidate prospect.

The last guy who had luck with making true love through a profile picture was Tamino. He’s a sourcing grand master! Excellent guy! But the rest…? Us? We all need to follow the regular screening procedure.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlazHiSE8UE&w=560&h=315%5D


Your love is the love of a hunter and not the love of a lover. When you finish a search, passion usually touches you, correct? and you might even be little well exhausted. You feel warm inside, good satisfaction and fulfillment. But all this good is coming from the action and not from the results. This is the cause and not the effect. Not the destination but the journey itself. The long walk or the run. Whoever you’ve got in the search results, all those prospects need further assessment (as we discussed above) so they are not the reason why you feel that good. Don’t love them yet! Don’t trust yet their case! Don’t think they will surely make it! Nope – stay cool, stay always suspicious. Stay smart. Keep the distance.

Sourcers are like Cherubino (hope you don’t need to wiki it but if so…) we are in love with love – and not in love with the subject of love.

That’s the real blood of a hunter, Bobby.

Hope you will soon find your partner.

[Photo credit: here]

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