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Swipe Right for a New Job: Online Hiring Looks a Lot Like Dating

The pandemic and a tight labor market have pushed job hunting online, creating a new dynamic for applicants and hiring managers.

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Illustration: Emma Erickson for Bloomberg Businessweek

Your coffee date doesn’t show up, an exciting person ghosts you, everyone is flaky, and you feel like a piece of meat. You must be job hunting.

The dynamics of modern dating, ushered in by apps such as Tinder and Grindr, are moving into the labor market, where candidates and prospective employers now weigh dozens of humans at once and sometimes ghost the rejects. Dating and interviewing have always had their similarities, but the pandemic and labor shortages have moved the hiring process online, making the two more alike. Online hiring lets employers court candidates aggressively, even as those same candidates are booking 5 to 10 job interviews in a week, snagging the most enticing offers as they appear.