Employers are becoming increasingly frustrated that they can’t find perfect job candidates. And they can’t get perfect information prior to decision-making. Yet there is an abundance of people and information. What’s up?
The Paradox of Choice is a book and a TED talk by Barry Schwartz that describes the downside of having too much choice. Researchers found that consumers presented with more choices in the purchase of jam reduced the likelihood they would buy any jam. The more mutual funds an employee could choose for their pension plan, the lower the rate of participation in the plan itself. In these abundant environments after we make a choice we end up less satisfied with our decisions. It’s too easy to imagine a world where we could have done better. It makes us miserable.
Schwartz recommends that we consider lowering our standards. The concept of “sufficing” is key; that we should make choices that are good enough to meet our needs. If you later discover you could have done better, don’t worry about it.
This attitude is critical to workforce analytics. Trying to get that one quick hit of novel information should be enough for now. Just keep the dream alive that you can make progress every day. Become a little smarter, make a slight improvement, do a fist-pump, and then move on. Lower your standards, cover more ground, and always move forward.