In the business world, people skills are often paramount. You have to understand your customers’ needs, assess their habits, and know what they want — sometimes better than they do. Matchmakers have long mastered such skills. This ancient profession has made countless people’s lives better by following a simple creed: Find out what people want, and give it to them.

As Fortune.com said, “Being a skilled matchmaker in any industry requires a solid understanding of all potential parties as well as the ability to equally represent both sides to a connection without bias.”

Similarly, successful businesses must have an intuitive understanding about human nature and appeal to the unspoken desires that drive consumerism forward. Forward-thinking companies have to bridge the gap between what people want and what they can attain. In short, business leaders have to be good matchmakers and introduce customers to goods and services they can’t help but love.

Over the last decade, matchmaking techniques have positively impacted a variety of industries, including the automotive industry, the job marketplace, and nonprofit work. Read on to learn about prominent matchmakers working outside the dating industry.

1. Uber Pairs Eligible Riders With Available Drivers

Matchmakers are facilitators. It’s not about providing something the client couldn’t get on their own — it’s about providing such value more efficiently and speedily. Instead of wasting time looking for a date, the client can get right down to business.

In the same way, Uber makes it much easier for driverless people to get around by creating a mobile network of able and available drivers around the world. “What is Uber if not a matchmaker?” remarks an Entrepreneur article. “It creates mini-weddings between people who can provide rides and people who need rides.”

Screenshot of Uber's homepage

Uber arranges millions of meetups between local drivers and folks in need of a ride.

In 2009, Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp founded Uber because they were sick of standing out in the snow in hopes of catching the eye of a passing cab. Now Uber empowers people to transport themselves wherever they need to go with the click of a button.

2. Job Search Engines Forward Résumés to Employers

Finding a job can be as difficult as finding a date, so matchmaking technology has the potential to shake up this process and make it less stressful and arduous for all involved.

Online job-hunting marketplaces, including ZipRecruiter, Monster, and Indeed, have established international networks of job candidates and job openings, so no one has to go on a blind search for that perfect fit. Instead, users receive a catered list of applicants or opportunities based on their requirements and preferences. Matchmaking algorithms make spot-on recommendations for job hunters and recruiters everywhere.

As Fortune.com said, “Matchmakers have become increasingly important when it comes to connecting millions of people looking to pair talent with jobs, buyers with vendors, tenants with landlords.”

“I can only say that I am more than relieved,” said Rob H. in a review of ZipRecruiter’s job-matching system. “With ZipRecruiter, I was able to tailor a search to my specific needs, and get to the right person, at the right time.”

3. Matchmaking Tools Connect People With Furry Friends

In April 2014, AllPaws took the concept of swipe-right matchmaking apps to the world of pet adoption. SNAP Interactive — the same team that created FirstMet, The Grade, and other dating platforms — pursued the idea that an app could build a love match between potential pet owners and furry friends.

AllPaws currently has over 200,000 pet profiles for people to browse, sorting by breed, size, distance, gender, coat length, and other important factors. By using the app, individuals can find adoptable animals, including dogs, cats, and rabbits, and apply to get a new cuddle buddy.

Screenshot of AllPaws' website

AllPaws offers an online directory of adoptable pets for anyone in the market for a cuddly companion.

Sarah Brasky actually took this concept one step further and offered her personalized services as The Dog Matchmaker in New York City. She meets with clients and finds the furry friend they desire based on her experience and intuition as a devoted dog lover.

“Every match I facilitate holds a special place in my heart,” Sarah says on her website. “I have assisted over 1,000 families and individuals in their adoption processes.”

4. VolunteerMatch Delivers Able Volunteers to Nonprofits

Since 1998, VolunteerMatch has connected 13.5 million volunteers with opportunities to get involved and make a difference. It has a network of over 119,000 nonprofits, which post information about volunteer events, programs, and other opportunities. The portal allows altruistic individuals to search online and find a cause they believe in and want to help.

If visitors give VolunteerMatch their email addresses and areas of interest, the matchmaking service will deliver curated opportunities to meet individual needs.

“Now nonprofits can say what they need, and people can find them,” said Vicky Hush, Vice President of Engagement and Strategic Partnerships. “That’s what spurred VolunteerMatch, and we’ve been so proud over the years to help nonprofits have a really great volunteer program.”

5. Thumbtack Gives Folks Access to Professional Services

Active in all 50 states, Thumbtack is on a mission to bring credibility and transparency to the service industry. This networking platform connects prospective customers with independent businesses that can get the job done. Any job. Thumbtack hosts professional carpet cleaners, dog groomers, moving companies, locksmiths, nutritionists, DJs, and thousands of other service providers.

According to Entrepreneur.com, “Thumbtack is probably the most ‘all-encompassing’ of the online-matchmaking business models.”

Screenshot of Thumbtack's homepage

Thumbtack helps people get the job done by finding skilled professionals in a variety of industries.

Businesses pay for the opportunity to appear in Thumbtack’s search results and post quotes for various projects. The website and app’s pay-to-join system, which is similar to that of a high-end matchmaker, has attracted many high-quality service providers who want to raise their profiles and attract business opportunities on a legitimate platform.

After a job, customers can provide feedback on the service provider and search for a pro on their next home projects, events, or other big jobs. “I’ve used Thumbtack a few times to hire service professionals,” said Teri G. in a review with the Better Business Bureau. “It is quick, easy, and stress free to get quotes and find the best provider.”

6. Car Matchmakers Simplify the Car-Buying Process

Oftentimes people looking to buy a car can face a wide knowledge gap. They may know what they want, but they don’t know how to steer their way to a sweet ride that meets their specifications. That’s where AutoTrek’s Vehicle Matchmaker comes in.

This innovative company has taken the matching process to the auto industry and become a go-to online consultant for car buyers in need of guidance. Since 1996, the auto brokerage firm has acted as a go-between in vehicle purchasing and vehicle maintenance, offering time-tested expertise to credit union members as well as the general public.

Through its revolutionary Vehicle Matchmaker tool, individuals can get custom vehicle recommendations from people who know what they’re talking about. Potential clients simply fill out a questionnaire — which asks everything from driving habits to price ranges — and then they will receive a complimentary consultation with an auto expert by email or phone.

The Colorado-based company prides itself on knowing what makes and models will fit the lifestyle and budget of customers of all walks of life. AutoTrek offers free vehicle matchmaking as a good-faith gesture with no obligation to buy. If the client decides to make a purchase, he or she can then enlist the auto consultant to talk to the car dealership and get a fair price.

Just like matchmaking firms, AutoTrek offers free advice and only charges if the client wants to pursue its recommendations and take advantage of the company’s hands-on services.

Knowing What People Want Is a Winning Business Strategy

Matchmaking is among the oldest professions in the world, and it has stuck around because a lot of consumers want someone to put them in touch with the right people, the right tools, or the right places to help them reach their goals.

Such resources save people time and effort in multiple areas of life. Need a ride? Click a button. Want a car? Consult an auto expert. At the end of the day, most people don’t want to tackle personal or professional issues alone — they want an algorithm or an expert to pick up the slack and provide customized recommendations and step-by-step solutions. That’s the genius of the matchmaker business model, which has effectively simplified and streamlined a variety of industries.

As the Entrepreneur article said, “The strength of your business depends on your ability to market the services of the people who sign up with you and provide an honest, informative and user-friendly experience for everyone involved — both the service providers and clients.”