What do dating and company culture have in common?

Published on 27-03-2017

The same ‘click’ you have with your one true love, you will also have with your (future) employer. Dating and relationships have much more in common with finding the right employer and company culture then one can imagine. MARK Magazine spoke to Bjorn Veenstra, CEO and founder of CompanyMatch, about the five points dating and company culture share. This interview was first published in MARK Magazine #21 in April 2016.


  1.    It has to ‘click’

“In my last job in the marketing and advertising industry I kept catching myself employing applicants based on their character and personality. Even though their CV’s and skills were also of importance, their personality and interpersonal ‘click’ were just a little bit more relevant for me.” says Bjorn Veenstra, CEO and founder of CompanyMatch. CompanyMatch is a business which specialises in identifying the ‘Cultural Fit’ between employer and applicants. “This ‘click’ can most certainly be compared to a relationship. If you feel ‘attracted’ towards one another then working together is much more pleasant.”

This is very recognisable in the business world. “Different studies show that 20% of all newly employed professionals leave the company within eighteen months. Often it has nothing to do with the actual job or the tasks at hand but more so with the ‘click’ just not happening the way it is supposed to or simply lacking.” Veenstra claims that it could well be that they perform the same job with a different company and it all works simply because the ‘Cultural Fit’ is much better.

  1.    It is scientifically proven

Dating websites always talk about scientifically proven tests and on TV you can watch factual entertainment shows such as ‘Married at First Sight’ where people who have never met each other are getting married after being scientifically matched. ‘Cultural fit’ also plays an increasingly important role in the business environment and recruitment processes. Using a professionally developed scan, CompanyMatch helps candidates to identify to what extend their values, drivers and motivators match those of their future employer. “Candidates often ask themselves: Which employer would I want to offer my talents to and where will it be utilised in the most effective and efficient way?”

  1.    Which type do you prefer?

Just like in your social life there are companies you could describe as being ‘your type’. The CompanyMatch scan will give you receive a percentage as a result which compares your ‘Cultural Fit’ with certain companies. “The higher the percentage, the higher your match” says Veenstra. The CompanyMatch, assuming it is sufficiently high enough (approximately 70% or higher), can then be added by the candidate to the job application. CompanyMatch currently supports more than 350 employers in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and the UK in their efforts to ‘Hire for cultural fit’.

  1.    Be the best you can be

When people are just getting to know each other they obviously want to impress. This should be no different for companies, ‘Employer Branding’ is becoming increasingly important and relevant. Companies want to show who they are, what they stand for and what they are looking for. Bjorn Veenstra explains how it is of the utmost importance for companies to show how and to what extend they differentiate themselves from others, and referring to the banking industry: “This industry has received a lot of criticism in the past couple of years. Most of it was directed at working practises but even in these areas interpersonal components are gaining more and more in popularity.”

  1.    People change, companies do too

People using dating sites are often looking for someone to be in a long-term relationship with. That is also the case for companies and employees. Veenstra believes that ‘Cultural Fit’ should in no way be an underrated topic. In many cases the long term preferences of candidates change and so do those of companies. “A new CEO, for example, always leaves his marks on the company’s strategy and culture, having a great deal of influence on the business itself. It can, however, often take a couple of years to come through.”

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