In the digital age, eHarmony wants to match you up with your spouse, find you the perfect job, and settle you down in your ideal neighborhood. Ok, so maybe the neighborhood part is still up to Zillow. But the matchmaking site with more than 777,000 paying subscribers is hoping to branch out from orchestrating Friday night dinners and move its expertise into the office setting.
eHarmony boasts a high success rate, with only 3.8% of the 600,000 marriages from the site resulting in divorce, MarketWatch reports. But despite its success, advertising and operating costs reached the $90 million mark last year, founder and CEO Neil Clark Warren told the publication. “It’s really tough to make a lot of money and attribute all that ad expense to one product,” he said. So to branch out, Warren and the eHarmony team are beginning a new venture — pairing up unhappy employees with bosses and jobs at a rate that will hopefully mirror the success they’ve had in matchmaking romantic relationships. “If we can do that for jobs, we will save companies enormous amounts of money, and save the person a lot of strain and stress, too,” Warren said.
People are becoming more comfortable with the idea of online dating sites and using technology and algorithms to predict compatibility. Not everyone is sold, as MarketWatch reports, but 66% of those who joined dating websites actually went on dates with people they met first online, according to a recent Pew report. That’s up significantly from the 43% who went on dates using the sites in 2005.
At the same time, people continue to be deeply dissatisfied with their current positions at work. Less than one-third of American workers are engaged in their jobs, according to the 2014 “State of the American Workplace” from Gallup. About 51% of employees were not engaged, and 17.5% were “actively disengaged,” meaning they were vocally discontent while at work or otherwise obviously unhappy. Believe it or not, 2014’s data was better than 2013 and had the highest engagement levels since 2000, when Gallup first began tracking the information. That doesn’t bode well for the contentment of employees in the United States.
It does, however, bode well for the potential of job matchmaking sites like the one eHarmony would like to launch, which it has dubbed Elevated Careers. The site won’t be fully functional for another few months (the release date has been pushed back a few times, with predictions now between December 2015 and early 2016), but employers and potential employees are able to register now.
“Nobody has really matched personalities in terms of the applicant and the supervisor. That’s not something that LinkedIn or Monster do,” Warren told Reuters in an interview. “(The career market) is such a big market that we do expect it to grow faster than our core product.” Within three years, eHarmony expects that the Elevated Careers branch of the company will be generating 60% of revenue.
According to the article, eHarmony plans to use more than 100 variables in its algorithm to match up company supervisors and potential employees. The formula will take into account skills and experience, but also the variables that eHarmony is more familiar with, such as personality and work, cultural, and social values.
Though people of any age might be willing to give the job-matching site a chance, even if they don’t trust it with their love life, it makes sense that younger employees might seek this out more frequently. Millennials are the least engaged age group in the Gallup study each year, and are the most likely to hop from job to job. Coincidentally (or not), they’re also the most willing to use online dating apps or websites. Pair that together, and eHarmony has a solid chance of capturing a strong base of young employees who want to find a better career match.
eHarmony is obviously in this venture to pad their coffers a little more, but the philosophical idea behind it is that if people are in jobs they like, their relationships will thrive, too. “If people come home and they’re unhappy with their job and boss, it puts a lot of tension on a marriage,” Warren told MarketWatch. Plus, characteristics in relationships carry over into the job sector, too. The ability to adapt, the presence of conscientiousness and honesty, and skills in conflict resolution will all determine whether someone will click in a relationship — whether it’s romantic or career-oriented.
On top of that, the $6 billion online career and job search industry offers more business potential than the $2 billion online dating sector. For the sake of the bottom line, all’s fair in love and the job search.
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