The Paradox of Choice

When a client is ready to hire a new staff member, the possibilities often seem limitless. If they begin with a candid conversation with their recruiter detailing the kind of household, the scope of work, and the type of person they envision, they’ll be ahead of the game. The more details they can provide, the more likely our job description will attract the right candidates so we can fill the position promptly. Sounds pretty straightforward, right?

But, ironically, as your recruiter begins to fill the client’s inbox with profiles of excellent candidates who all have the skills and background they require, the abundance of possibilities can actually become a problem. Scientists have identified this as the “Paradox of Choice.” Instead of providing maximum satisfaction, the paradox of choice sometimes leaves clients dissatisfied, unsure if their choice was the best, or if an even better choice was just around the corner.

This can have a devastating impact on making the right placements. After successful interviews, candidates eagerly await next steps. If several days go by with no job offer or request for a trial, they rightfully begin to turn their attention to other opportunities. Even more so if they have completed a satisfactory trial and are kept waiting for an offer.

In today’s highly competitive job market experienced, skilled, trustworthy candidates often field several job offers. I have had to break the news to more than one client that the candidate they actually liked the best has accepted another position. The client’s “analysis paralysis” has cost them a great new employee while they were continuing to look for someone even better.

Our goal for our clients is to bring them the satisfaction and joy of adding someone terrific to their household. We never want to disappoint or add to their stress. But great candidates can slip through our fingers if clients are sluggish in their responses. So if a new candidate sounds like a good match, we urge our clients to schedule an interview as soon as they are able. And if their interest develops, our best advice is to stay engaged, schedule next steps in a timely manner, and be decisive in making an offer. It can make all the difference!

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