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  • Marc Baloch

Behavioral Economics & Recruitment - Lessons from Online Dating

Whether you know it or not, you are entering a dating game when you look for a job or a great employee.

In this series of posts, I will share some observations from my (personal) studies around behavioral economics, social psychology trying to absorb books from BE experts like (especially) Dan Ariely, Peter Sapolsky or Robert Cialdini.

And if you follow my thought then you better know the rules of the game. Furthermore be aware of the knowledge that comes with the game and players, there are ways to bend these rules to your advantage, using BE.

Rule #1

Use Cognitive Dissonance to your favor, or translated... PLAY HARD(ER) to GET!

Dan Ariely, one of the best in this field shared an experiment done to showcase how Cognitive Dissonance works.

People were asked to screw bolts into boards for several hours.

One group were paid $1 per hour, the other were paid $20 per hour.

Each group was asked how much they like it, whether they would recommend it to another friend and so on. Now, the people who got paid $20 said, “The task was boring, I got paid a lot, that’s fine.” The people who got $1 said, “The task was boring, but I got paid a dollar. So why did I do it?”

You can’t really change the facts what you’ve done, you got $1... It is not nice and it creates a dissonance: “I did it for an hour for no money, how can that be?” And then the wheels in the brain started saying..., “It must mean that the task is quite interesting.” Therefore, they elevated their understanding of how interesting it was to justify their actions.

So Ariely concludes that if somebody plays hard to get, at some point you say to yourself, “How do I feel about them? Look at me, I’ve been chasing them for such a long time, I must really love them.”

For job seekers out there, this means, do not send immediately your resume when you are approached. Make the other party work harder to get you. If you are seen too eager, your position of strength in negotiations is diminishing, and... you are not longer an object of desire that is hard to obtain/get.

If one dating party is for instance more attractive then the other one, Ariely suggests in one of his talks, then the cognitive dissonance also kicks in by saying, "This is not an easy chase, so it must be more worth the "pain".

There are of course quite a bit of risks involved with this strategy and it is a fine line as always to succeed but the base line here is:

If you are able to create a desire in the minds of the other side, by making it harder to get, there is also a higher chance to get selected...

In the next blog next week I will share more about the following rules:

Rule #2 In order to get THE ONE you need to be THE ONE

Use the Halo effect....

Rule #3 Focus on the Beginning & the End.. the middle is not (that) important

Lessons from the hospital...

Hope this resonated and you enjoyed!

Marc Baloch

Founder & CEO Resonance Asia

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