Why Tinder for Jobs Sexualizes the HR Industry

Want to learn more about the HR technology industry? Check out my new book, The HR Technology Field Guide

The amount of PR email filling my inbox lately touting a HR technology and/or app as the “Tinder for Jobs” is in poor taste. The workplace community and HR demographic doesn’t relate to Tinder as a mobile app. While as human beings we, as in HR like sex, HR is not synonymous for sex. And I speak for the industry when I say I believe we don’t want to be sexualized. I don’t believe our job candidates want to be either. They just want to know that we are considering the application they placed.

Tinder for Jobs Sexualizes the HR Industry

Practitioners spend our work days filled with sexual harassment investigations, employee misconduct and other workplace litigation issues we would care to forget. Please stop sending me press releases saying you are the next “<insert trendy tech app name> in Jobs, Hiring or for Work.” It is unbelievably lame, ridiculous and downright silly unless you are down to sexualize our industry. HR is different than the rest of tech unlike the brogrammer industry. We are 85% female, and your sexualization just might not leave the lasting impression you are craving. That is unless me writing this blog post is exactly the type of typecast and discussion you were intending.

HR Tech Tag Lines to Avoid

While we are on the subject of extremely lame tag lines and descriptions to explain your budding HR technology, please also refrain from the following:

  • LinkedIn meets OKCupid. (Please see the bullet above.)
  • Uber for employment. Remember, their CEO resigned due to sexual harassment allegations.
  • Facebook for work. (Facebook currently has a product in development.)
  • DropBox or Snapchat for hiring. DropBox has a corporate product and Snapchat…well, please see my thoughts on Tinder. I am, however, a big fan of live video streaming.
  • Delightful modern payroll. (If payroll can really be delightful, I will buy this product. However, payroll was and always is the bane of my existence. Please prove me otherwise.)

On the flip side, taglines for tech can be a good thing. Taglines should be short, descriptive and not reference another popular product directly. Here are a few that I love in the HR space. If you are on the list of taglines I loathe, my apologies. Please change your tagline. If you are among those I love, congratulations! Gold stars and a round of tequila shots for everyone.

  • The marketplace for talent. 
  • Hiring automation made simple. 
  • Better hiring decisions. 
  • Expense reports on autopilot. 
  • Data driven talent management. 
  • Culture management software. 

Want to learn more about the HR technology industry? Check out my new book, The HR Technology Field Guide


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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.

Reader Interactions


  1. Dorothy Dalton says

    As I understand it this is a matching process, matching skills against employer requirements. This is an article I read on this earlier http://qz.com/320473/theres-a-tinder-for-jobs/ On one app there are no photos -which probably reduces bias. No idea how effective any of it is. I just can’t make the leap how it sexualizes anyone – unless they are scantily clad as in the picture on this post! But how factually accurate is that?

  2. Maddy says

    I totally agree on sexualized brogrammer language being out of place and winds up being de-humanizing in this context.

    But to be honest, I don’t really differentiate much between “Tinder for Jobs” and “eHarmony for Jobs”, except for their method of introduction. Tinder uses a phone’s GPS to put profiles in front of a user’s face, eHarmoney involves detailed profiles and then uses some matching algorithm mumbo-jumbo. At the end of the day, users make their decisions on those sites/apps partly or mostly informed by profile pictures.

    At its core when we talk about HR tech that shares similarities with dating tech, we’re talking about tech that facilitates introductions between two parties, such as two people who might date, or an employer and a candidate.


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