When Finding Work's Like Finding Love

At Climber, the aim is building lasting relationships

By Katy Nelson
Jul 31, 2007

At first glance, work and romance would seem to be at the opposite ends of life. But they're not really all that far apart.

We look for certain things in a mate and we also look for certain things in a job, and often they're the same things: a sense of being wanted and appreciated, a potential for personal growth, the sharing of experience.

Which brings us to, a recruitment web site that treats the job hunting experience as, in a sense, a search for love. Its motto: Dating for jobs. seems to have come upon something. Founded only in April, the site reached 1.13 million unique visitors by June, and it now ranks at No. 10 on the Nielsen//Net Ratings list of the top 10 career development sites.

In the exploding area of online classifieds, recruitment is among the fastest-growing, and as that growth mushrooms, there are the huge general sites, such as, but also an increasing number of job sites that either serve very specific fields or offer a unique, almost boutique, approach to finding a job.

Job matching is a hot growth area these days. is one of a dozen career development web sites offering recruitment matching, including, founded in 2000. Even industry leader, Nielsen’s No. 1 career site in June with 16.1 million unique visitors, has added a candidate matching and screening site called

For's founder and CEO, Mike O’Brien, the model was the dating site eHarmony, because of its very personal approach to bringing love interests together.

His aim is to do the same with worker and employer. It's about building long-term relationships. Says O'Brien: “People visit when they want to find a life partner."

The result, argues O'Brien, is more productive employees and happier employers.

That comes about by pairing job seekers with employers based on shared values.

In the interview process, one similar to that of eHarmony's compatibility test, job seekers are asked to rank the importance of such things as pay raises and stock options as compared with social responsibility and career/life balance. The quiz is actually a computer algorithm that creates what Climber calls a career fingerprint. Companies are quizzed on their company DNA.

Matching sites also offer an additional value: anonymity. That comes in handy for people who are not actively looking but are open to hearing about new work opportunities. An interested employer can send a query to that person, and if there's any interest, the person can respond. Only then is the prospective employee's identity revealed.

"Unless you’re doing matching, you’re not really in web 2.0. Otherwise you’re just doing a text search," says Job Network CEO Marc Wilson. Wilson compares recruitment sites that don't offer matching to blind dates, and he says, “Blind dates are a waste of time.”

More sites like and Job Network can be expected to emerge with the ongoing shift of employment ads from newspapers to the internet. Last month the number of help-wanted ads in U.S. newspapers fell to their lowest level since 1958, according to the Conference Board. Morgan Stanley Research estimates the internet recruiting industry will generate more than $2.4 billion in 2007.

Meanwhile, in online ratings for the week ended July 22, the top five parent companies were Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Time Warner and News Corp. Online for the 25th straight week. The top five brands were Google, Yahoo, MSN/Windows Live, AOL Media Network and Microsoft for the 14th straight week.

Low Rate Source was the top advertiser with 5.88 million impressions, followed by No. 2 NexTag at 5.38 million. With 30.57 million ads served, Yahoo was again the top advertising site, well ahead of No. 2 MySpace at 5.49 million.

Sessions per person per week were even to last week at 16, with domains visited per person also up one to 40. Average PC time per person per week was down 1.45 percent to 16 hours and 58 minutes.

About, a division of, is a ground-breaking online recruiting partner for today’s highly diverse, talented professionals and the companies who seek to employ them. Through its innovative recruiting system, has created double blind system which pairs companies and passive job seekers based on their CareerFingerprint™ (a proprietary environmental fit assessment) and in-depth profiles. This reduces the applicant pool and improves the chances of a candidate being Qualified, Available and Interested (QAI). Climbers (passive job seekers) benefit from the reduction of recruitment spam.

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