How to Get a Matchmaker to Shut Up or an HR Director…

I do not like matchmakers.  I consider they busy-bodies who interfere in other people’s lives without being willing to take responsibility for their actions.

I would usually get them to leave me alone by asking them what they would do if the first date did not work out.  “Well, if you’re so certain that we would be ‘a perfect match,’ will you pay for the first date?  Refund the money if the date does not go well?  And if the marriage does not work out what type of liability will you assume?”

To be perfectly honest, they always walked away thinking I was nuts.  I needed to come up with something new.  I did!

The first question I ask now is, “What’s her credit score?”  Almost always the response is, “I don’t know how much she makes.”  I immediately respond that a credit score has nothing to do with wealth but with a person’s financial responsibility.  The second question is, “Whose her physician?”  The response is always a blank look.

I then summarize:  “So you have no idea if she is financially responsible or healthy.  You could be setting me up without someone who would destroy my credit score and who could be dead in six months.  You really don’t know anything important about her, do you?”

And that ends the conversation.   So how do you end a conversation with an HR director, a CEO or an owner who is trying to convince you that their company or organization is the place where you want to work?  (Remember, interviews are two-way streets.  You not only have the right to ask questions, asking good questions can land you the job just as asking poor questions can cost you the job!)  Ask two questions:  What’s your turnover rate and what’s the average tenure of an employee?

If on average 15% or more of employees leave every year, you may want to reconsider working at the company.  Average tenure is a different matter.   Junior staff should leave after a few years.  That shows that the company is a good place to learn.  Middle staff should remain much longer.  That’s a sign that it’s a good place to grow.  Senior staff should stay the longest – over 10 years.  That means the company is stable and a good place from which to retire.

Of course, if they can’t answer the question that means that they don’t care.  It could also mean that they know but don’t want to tell you.  That also tells you everything you need to know…