Big Data and the Paradox of Choice in Recruitment

BY THE TALENTDASH TEAM | November 30, 2016

Hiring and dating are similar in many ways, but one commonality that stands out is: in both cases, you are looking for The One.

Thanks to the advances of technology, our society’s dating culture has evolved into swiping through networks to find someone who fits what we are looking for.


The search for talent is not much different — hiring managers rake through sites like LinkedIn, looking for the talent that fulfills what they are looking for.

With the information and vast network that is available online, we are spoilt for choices. How do we find The One? And when we do find The One, how do we know that we are not settling; that there isn’t someone better who is out there? How long can we keep searching while delaying decision-making?

Barry Schwartz, author of the book The Paradox of Choice — Why Less is More, shared in his 2005 TED Talk, that “All of this choice has two negative effects on people. One effect, paradoxically, is that it produces paralysis, rather than liberation. With so many options to choose from, people find it very difficult to choose at all.”

Schwartz has a point there. Imagine a hiring manager painstakingly checking out LinkedIn profiles for a Python engineer, finally chancing upon one profile that meets his/her requirements on a scale of 9 out of 10.

9 out of 10! That’s quite the catch! But… What if there is someone out there who is 10 out of 10? Should s/he spend more time searching for The Perfect One, or should s/he quickly make a move with the current candidate, before s/he slips away?

The struggle is real.


Schwartz’s talk did not just end there, of course. He went on to conclude that “There’s no question that some choice is better than none, but it doesn’t follow from that that more choice is better than some choice.”

So, in essence, while having more options gives us more freedom to make decisions for our own happiness, too many options, paradoxically, takes away that freedom.

In recruitment, we want to know who is the best person to hire — or in the case of dating, the best person to settle down with, for life — without dragging on the search. Thanks to the new HR technology that is out there, the process for candidate search is a lot simpler and quicker for higher quality results.

Talent-mapping platforms are the perfect solution for the paradox of choice — they gather all available data out there and aggregate it according to your requirements, so that you will be presented with a finite pool of quality matches. By doing so, the platform essentially saves you the dilemma of being faced with too many (and most of the time, irrelevant) choices, and instead, providing you with a smaller, but more concentrated pool of high-quality candidates.

Are you facing a paradox of choice when acquiring talent? TalentDash can help you refine your talent pool in a matter of days! TalentDash-Sign_Up with us (for free!) now to get your first 10 candidates!

Share Me:
Skip to toolbar