The Future Of eHarmony

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The online dating industry is booming, but there's a dark cloud lurking on the horizon. For users, a successful stint of online dating ends in meeting a match and no longer needing a dating site. But for the dating sites themselves, business success means retaining customers and keeping them coming back for more. Clearly, there's a conflict of interest. Houston, we have a problem.

eHarmony may have the answer. While some dating sites are developing products for couples in order to remain relevant in users' lives, eHarmony is taking a very different approach.

With 565,000 marriages under its belt so far, eHarmony now plans to expand from the marriage market to the job market. eHarmony vice president Grant Langston says the company will launch a service to match employers with job seekers in the U.S. in June, followed shortly afterwards by a launch in Canada.

"We've seen indicators that 60 to 65 per cent of people are unhappy with their jobs, whether or not they are actively searching for new ones," Langston says. Expanding into the job market is a natural progression for eHarmony, he believes, given the company's extensive research into habits, desires, and personality types.

The typical hiring process is driven by employers, who ask a series of questions and evaluate potential employees' skills to assess suitability for the position. eHarmony's approach to hiring will look a little different: employers and employees will complete extensive questionnaires focused on culture to determine whether they're a good match for each other.

"When employers post a job on eHarmony, job seekers in the database will be matched to that job and both parties will be notified," reports. "They can review each others' profile and communicate online before meeting face-to-face."

Research agrees that the eHarmony approach to job hunting might be more effective. In December of last year, an issue of the American Sociological Review reported on a study of the recruiting practices of over a hundred professional service firms that found that applicants and employers with similarities in experiences, hobbies, and personal appearance made the best matches.

Langston is confident that the idea has a future, but acknowledges that there may be a few bumps along the way. eHarmony plans to allow for a year to iron out the kinks in the new service, and hasn't ruled out purchasing an online job board that can be combined with existing matching services. To date, there is no word on who will pay for the service or how much it will cost.