MONTREAL, February 22nd, 2023 – In an age of Bumble, Tinder and Hinge, the dynamics of job hunting can feel more like dating – with job seekers swiping left and right to find that perfect professional pairing. The similarities between dating and interviewing are nothing new, but when it comes to courting – new findings show that corporate Canada can take a page from the online dating playbook.

Randstad Canada, a leader in the HR services industry, recently surveyed 1,500 job seekers to better understand what attracted them to a job posting, and what got them to go from courting to commitment. 

imilar to dating profiles, the Ipsos Advice For Attracting Job Seekers survey revealed that word choice stood in the way of candidates pursuing a position. Eight out of ten job seekers said they were turned off by job postings with certain terminology, while one in three found such terminology like duties may vary, must be willing to take on leadership responsibilities (26%), industry specific experience is a must (26%) a red flag. Attracting candidates through language can feel like a mundane process for employers, but the findings echoed their importance. Recent immigrants to Canada were most turned off by certain terms and expressions (with 41% of those who immigrated within the last 14 years steering clear of this kind of terminology). 

Words were also a barrier when it came to wooing a youthful and/or more diverse talent pool. Job postings with predictable and tired catchphrases like we are a family had younger candidates running for the hills (29% of ages 18-34); while more traditional descriptors like duties may vary had job seekers of colour taking a pass (40% vs. 29% white respondents). Candidates of colour also thought twice about applying to companies that didn’t mention a diverse, equitable workforce (20%).

“Like a dating profile, a job description is all about making a good first impression,” says Nick Montesano, Executive Vice President of Central Region at Randstad Canada. “We’re in a competitive market, so postings need to stand-out; and language can be that difference maker in attracting top talent.”

Job postings without a salary range or workplace location also had job seekers swiping left – with more than half of potential employees (51%) less likely to apply for a job posting that didn’t mention a salary range. Forty-seven percent were also dissuaded from applying to jobs that failed to mention location – with proximity to the workplace a significant factor for women (51%); while surprisingly, Québec candidates were less worried about salary and more interested in travel time - with most looking for employment within an hour’s commute. 

The findings also highlighted the importance of workplace culture. With employees wanting to feel connected to their colleagues and company’s core values, job seekers are looking for a positive environment that can allow them to thrive. Detailing corporate culture in a job description was the deciding factor for the majority of applicants - not having a clear organizational culture defined in the posting had more than 40 percent of candidates (42%) deterred from applying. 

“Job descriptions provide potential candidates the company’s personality on the page – the more a company can build itself up, the better the applicant pool,” says Montesano. “Showcasing their passion, mission and opportunity in a well-written and well-thought out post not only grabs attention but also makes a lasting impression in overall job hunt.”

Whether on the hunt as a job seeker or employer, online dating and candidate courtship offers similarities – but to be successful in either case, good content needs to be at the forefront.