Recruiting and Networking: What Does Business Speed ​​Dating Bring?


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Speed ​​dating is nothing disreputable: As a method at conferences and business events, it is a simple and efficient way to make new contacts. This also works in recruiting.

Recruiting and Networking: What Does Business Speed ​​Dating Bring?

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisher, German Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.

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Flirting methods in business?

Speed ​​dating is actually known from flirting. The idea behind it is simple: it usually takes just a few seconds to decide whether we like ours or not. If the chemistry is right, you can arrange to meet again. If not, you can say goodbye after a short while without looking rude or enduring an annoying date all evening.

The concept sounds so plausible that it has meanwhile found its way into everyday work: Even large corporations use company speed dating to recruit potential employees, for example: HR managers and applicants each have a few minutes to talk to each other in a handful of rounds per event sniff. If the chemistry isn't right, you just let it go.

Speed ​​dating as a recruiting method

But is it even possible to do that with speed dating, so can you get a reasonable impression of the person you are talking to in just a few minutes? For the recruiting speed daters, that means five to eight potential new employees in around eight minutes Company to inspire, in which he reports on his own tasks and exciting projects and outlines the various development opportunities in the company.

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For potential applicants, this means reporting to the future boss about challenges they have already mastered and asking the questions that they have always wanted to ask about the employer. But it can also be different.

The perfect impression in just a few minutes?

I was admittedly skeptical - until I took part in a business speed dating myself: at a media conference in Edmonton / Alberta, Canada. The objective there was exactly the same, only it was about media partnerships, not about recruiting: Our event in Edmonton was a little more generous: A huge room, more than 1000 companies and journalists and 15 minutes for each conversation. Five minutes between the individual conversations to get to his new conversation partner, which could degenerate into real stress due to the size of the room alone.

In traditional speed dating in small groups, the participants take turns, in Edmonton that was simply not possible due to the size of the event. For this reason, both media representatives and companies had selected the most interesting from a pool of potential interlocutors in advance and the meetings were neatly recorded in a schedule.

Sometimes the chemistry just isn't right

That was about 30 meetings per person. At the end of every conversation a gong sounded as a signal to leave. He often came way too early because the conversations had been so interesting and sometimes, surprisingly, much too late because my counterpart got lost in bland marketing junk. Or as an English colleague Jools Stone describes it so aptly:

“As with regular speed dating, sometimes it's obvious that the chemistry just isn't right. My notes clearly reflect this. Some pages of my notebook are almost completely covered by my messy scribble, others are blank. "

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What exactly does speed dating bring to business?

But what does speed dating bring in the business sector? The answer: Much more than I would have believed. I made a lot of interesting contacts and developed some exciting ideas in the short space of time. A complete success as and highly recommended.

The meetings, which are short but take place between only two interlocutors, are probably much more efficient than group meetings or lectures in which individuals present their ideas in the auditorium. Because the advantage of speed dating is that you can't even doze off in between when it gets boring: You have to concentrate fully on your counterpart, there are no excuses.

Conclusion: efficient, but stressful

Of course, this is also a disadvantage: the quick dates are also much more stressful at the same time due to the increased concentration - not only did I notice that, but this was also confirmed to me by various interlocutors who I asked for their opinion. And for the organization, too, such a speed dating event is of course much more time-consuming than simply “renting” a room with a speaker.

Nevertheless, I find an event like this much more suitable for exchanging information. Personally, I would like to see more events and, above all, the countless haphazard meetings organized as structured speed dating.

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