Industry News: eHarmony’s Elevated Careers for Sale

Elevated Careers is up for sale! Elevated Careers was intended to be a matching platform for candidates, jobs, and employers, and was created by online dating company eHarmony. eHarmony is known for its use of algorithms to match potential partners, and they presumably sought to apply similar methods to recruiting and job search.


Elevated Careers was launched in April of 2016, and featured extensive questionnaires and employer branding. Last week, Matt Charney reported that an email was sent to prospective buyers of Elevated Careers, with a slide deck explaining that the product was better in the hands of a company focused on business-to-business, rather than business-to-consumer (as eHarmony has traditionally been).


Being kind of nerdy about recruiting platforms, we at Careerleaf were eager to take a look at how it worked. We had much the same response as Jeff Dickey-Chasins did:


ElevatedCareers stumbles where so many have before – it takes too much time from the candidate. Thirty minutes…forty minutes…I bailed at forty-two. This is, I think, where job hunting is not like dating. In the latter, if you’re high-minded, you’re looking for a life partner (and if you’re low-minded, you are trying to fill a basic physical need) – and this means you are will to spend a lot of time inputting data. (Or maybe not – Tindr’s swiping model seems pretty darn popular).


What I found frustrating was when I took a break from completing the questions required of candidates and later returned to it, it had timed out and not saved any of my work in the process.


In a similar vein, Joel Cheesman points out that it’s not just Elevated Careers that may be the problem, but the overall format inherited from eHarmony that underpins it:


On Sept. 12 of that year, Tinder launched, and dating hasn’t been the same since. Built for a mobile-first consumer, the app turned meeting people into a game, swiping right or left based on location and visual appeal. The service was and still is (mostly) free today.


The days of filling out long questionnaires and creating lengthy profiles in order to find a mate are numbered. As such, eHarmony’s days are ultimately numbered.


While I’m cautious about drawing too many parallels between recruiting and dating services, there is a point to be made for the success of Tinder over eHarmony in recent years.


Todd Raphel writes about how customers of Elevated Careers have made use of the platform:


eHarmony’s fairly small number of customers didn’t all end up using the tool the way you might have expected, in a sort of “let’s-have-candidates-and-employers-screen-each-other-like-potential-dates” sort of way. Some are using it for branding, surveying current employees and job candidates (like those who didn’t take a job) to figure out how people perceive a company; in other words, its employment brand.


One customer’s trying to transform its workforce and its brand from one thing to another, and is using eHarmony in that shift; e.g. we want innovative people; is that who we’re employing? Is that who we’re attracting?


Elevated Careers may be better suited as a screening tool used by recruiters or hiring managers once a candidate has already been screened. Then again, there isn’t a lot known about the quality of matching that Elevated Careers provides. Automation of pre-screening candidates is a complex task, and it’s difficult to know where and at what point personal or unfair biases may enter the equation and prevent great hires from happening.
Whatever platonic ideal the recruiting industry has in mind about job matching, it strikes me that efficiency in the recruiting process is still the most effective tool for both recruiter and candidate. Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see how the tool is used and marketed by any future owners.

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