The 8 Stages of Dating a Recruiter

Recruiters are dedicated to their craft, their client and their candidates. We’re fast-paced, hard working, detail-oriented, and proficient at juggling any number of open positions simultaneously. This focus and effort is the direct result of our desire to change the lives of candidates, bring better talent to the organizations we serve, and to advance both our personal and professionals lives. The more I think about it, the role of recruiter reminds me of... DATING!


As a New York City-based recruiter and recruitment consultant with a number of single female and male friends in the field of talent acquisition (who frequently share their dating stories with me), I’ve identified eight parallels between how we undertake the recruitment lifecycle and what recruiters are like when entering the world of relationships – for example, introducing your “candidate” to the C-Suite, or should I say parents? Do you see the parallels? Let’s begin!

1. A Serendipitous Discovery… Or is it?
I’m sorry, but there is no serendipity or happenstance when it comes to a recruiter’s dating life. Your Recruiter Love Interest (RLI for short; as you know, recruiters love acronyms) has found and been vetting the perfect profile for some time. Your RLI has been putting out feelers, surveying the talent pool, tapping into their networks, and performing Boolean searches longer than your arm. And here we are, your RLI has found you – the PERFECT candidate... and they are over the moon about it.

2. Expectation Setting
Expect your initial interaction to be a discussion about what could potentially be on the table should you enter into a dating relationship with your RLI, and expect to cover the following. First, you’ll discuss your primary responsibilities or what you do on a daily basis. From here, the perks (i.e., your hobbies), culture and benefits (i.e., work-life balance, vacation time, meals, health, vision and dental; yes, they want you to know that they’re healthy, observant, and have excellent oral hygiene).


Salary may or may not be discussed, depending on the RLI’s style. Spoiler alert, your RLI totally knows how much you make having dug into your profiles prior to date No. 1 (no bragging about compensation, that’s a token “red flag”). Don’t forget to do your own research and ask questions. As you know, it’s often good for candidates to interview the interviewer!

3. Thorough Background Check
Spruce up your LinkedIn profile. Rethink that 3-4 year-old Facebook picture. Take a look at your Instagram past. Why? After (or before) your successful first date – a.k.a initial screening – your RLI will be doing some exploring.

4. Screening Questions (Excellent Ones)
Blessed with a natural curiosity and inquisitiveness, your RLI will be asking questions to determine if you’re a “jumper”. For example, do your relationships last just 6-12 months? If so, why? Was turnover voluntary, the result of relocation, or were they fired from the last experience? There will also be questions about your family (“What’s your background?”), friends (“Are you a team player?”), and, of course, your job (“Where do you see yourself in five years?”).

5. The On-Site Tour
If confident that you could be a fit based on your initial screenings, multiple dates (i.e., interview rounds) and background check, your RLI will invite you to see their place of residence and perform a skill assessment to find out your strengths and weaknesses – for example, perhaps you’ll cook a meal together, go rock climbing or pick out a movie to watch. Rest assured, they will be taking notes!

6. Time to Meet with Upper Management
Alright, you’ve aced the on-site tour. Great job! Now, it’s time to meet the executives (i.e., friends and family). Your RLI has prepared you thoroughly and even created a PowerPoint presentation, complete with pictures, bios and LinkedIn profiles for each person that you’ll be speaking with. You’ll most likely share lunch with the best friends before meeting the C-Suite: Mom and Dad. 


It’ll be a bit stressful as there is a lot riding on these interviews. But don’t worry, they’re going to love you. You’ve done your homework; you’re fully prepared. And if the C-Suite isn’t a fan, they’ll probably feign interest until post-meeting just to avoid passionate pushback from the RLI. Then they’ll share feedback with you through their recruiter. Positive or negative, be prepared for a post-interview debrief.

7. An Offer of Love
After several feedback meetings with the executives and senior leadership, your RLI has received approval to extend an offer of love. Should you accept, they will hope you can start right away. Should you request some time to talk it over with your current employers (family, friends), or to consider a competing offer (don’t even go there!), you run the risk of your RLI revoking the offer all together. Time kills all deals.

8. Title Promotion
Once you’re on board, expect recognition from your RLI in the form of a more senior title that reflects your integrity, drive, ethic, and all around wisdom in choosing to date a recruiter. Specifically, you’re no longer the right profile, target talent or perfect candidate; you’re more than that. You’re the RLI’s full-time, long-term SWEETHEART. They trust you, respect you and value you greatly. Expect to be showered with affirmation and appreciation. Well-deserved, at that.

Let the occupational romance begin!

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Career Advice

Grace Denoncourt

Based in New York City, Grace is a Recruitment Consultant who has been with WilsonHCG for about two years. With a background in sales, Grace is a people-person who loves interacting with talent and clients alike. She is bilingual in Spanish and English, and has lived and recruited in both North and South America. When not recruiting, Grace loves traveling and teaching young artists at her beloved Camp Meraki in Oakland, Maine.