Q: How do you get to a Goldilocks executive recruitment decision that's just right?
Jumping in too early with an offer has a FOMO feel. Time is not our friend - we can't take forever to hire the best person because delays cost us.
Good old Maths has found a way to optimise choices in the shortest possible time. How?
Let’s say Mum needs home care. There are 19 Home Care providers in your area. You don’t have time to research all of them.
Optimal Stopping Theory tells us we need to research 37% of our choices (to baseline) and then stop researching. Now decide on the NEXT best relative option.
If you research 7 / 19 Home Care providers, you can decide on the 8th or later.
If hiring, review 37 / 100 resumes before shortlisting suitable candidates thereafter.
After the first 37%, you stop observing. Then ask: “relative to the ones I’ve seen, is the next one the best one to commit to?”
The maths catch is - each provider or candidate is reviewed in random order and you can’t backtrack (... perfectionists are having melt-downs right now).
At least mathematically, you can be satisfied you've seen enough to decide and take action.
Trouble is, humans get in the way. Ever heard of love at first sight?