May 2016

The new age of career discovery

by Zach DiSchiano

The successful matchmaking website eHarmony.com recently unveiled the beta version of its next venture, Elevated Careers. Utilizing the same predictive algorithmic technology currently employed for matching individuals, the new site matches job seekers with prospective employers and vice versa based on the skills, culture, and personality of each.

According to the site, users complete a profile and answer a questionnaire to create a Compatibility Scorecard. The questionnaire comprises users’ information about their current company as well as data eHarmony received from other employees. This allows them to provide a Compatibility Profile for the company. Once completed, the profile shows how compatible users are with the job and the company based on skills, experience, values, company culture, and personality.

With the settling in of millennials as the predominant workplace age demographic and the rise of Generation Z (also known as globals), the mobile optimization, customizability, and efficiency of the concept makes sense in the evolution of the online career resource. What might make it truly revolutionary is if the website cultivates the same high compatibility rates achieved by its forerunner, eHarmony.com, which claims responsibility for 4 percent of daily marriages in the United States.

While millennials have encompassed a great deal of the space dedicated to how we sell, communicate, manage, and hire people over the last decade, globals are quickly taking their place in our collective consciousness. Generation Z, or those not quite 20, have known nothing but smartphones for the vast majority of their lives and are much like millennials in their preference for quick access to information, short forms, and not waiting in line.

With their many similarities, new job search concepts like Elevated by eHarmony are sure to pique the interest of globals. Even more importantly for HR, this changing landscape in recruiting, mixed with the fact that these groups will be the target audience for at least the next decade, signals the time to adapt.

If new concepts like Elevated by eHarmony are indeed the future, HR may find itself needing to do more than just understand the expectations and challenges of these growing demographics to remain competitive. Moving forward, it may need to tackle the problem of something completely new like how to create and maximize the district’s compatibility rating.

As for recruiting, there are some differences worth pointing out between millennials and Gen Z. Interestingly, Generation Z, unlike millennials, prefers imagery and video over text and classify things like Facebook, instant messaging, and email as “distracting.” For them, the top three communication channels are Vine, Twitter, and Instagram, so if you're an HR department already struggling to keep up with your LinkedIn and Facebook accounts, this could be unsettling information. Is your online application process clunky and/or not optimized for mobile viewing? If so, you could be losing ground.

Image-rich branding and marketing messages appear to be essential keys to success. While tweeting your next job opening might seem superfluous today, building an image-based online marketing plan now and gaining followers over time can only keep you ahead of the game in the long term.

Not all technology is trending toward obsolescence. Old friends like email and telephone calls are definitely still an important part of the current work culture and hiring process. For Generation Z and younger millennials, just be prepared for a period of post-hire acclimation as they work to learn their more subtle nuances.