Do you suffer from analysis paralysis?

April 8, 2019

Do you suffer from analysis paralysis? We all know the feeling. Faced with a big decision, we’re overwhelmed. There are too many options, there’s too much information, and we’re scared of making the wrong choice. It can be tempting to tell ourselves off for dithering, but sometimes this inability to make a decision can really stop us in our tracks – and in fact, there’s a name for it: analysis paralysis. This means overthinking things to a point where we end up unable to make a decision or take any action.

It’s one thing if analysis paralysis strikes when you’re trying to order a sandwich or choose a hotel for your summer holiday – but if it affects your career, it starts to feel more serious. So how does this tricky situation manifest itself in the workplace?

We can often identify analysis paralysis because it goes hand in hand with procrastination – we’ll find ourselves tackling the easier tasks first in order to avoid facing the more complex ones, even if the complex ones would save us time and effort in the long run. But even when we know how to spot it, analysis paralysis can really get in the way of our best intentions.

For instance, have you ever put off hiring a new team member because the process seems too complicated? You might find yourself wondering:

• How to make sure you get the right person?

• How to ensure they’re a good fit for your team?

• How to offer a package that will match their career expectations?

• What’s involved in the recruitment process?

• Where should you advertise the position?

• How many applications should you expect?

• Do you know what to look for in a CV?

• How should you conduct interviews?

Likewise when candidates are looking for work, even the most motivated jobseeker can be put off by huge, impersonal jobs boards with seemingly endless listings. For every position that looks promising – an interesting job description, an attractive salary or a company with a great reputation – there can be so much additional information to deal with. From software packages and specific responsibilities to requirements for certain qualifications or years of experience… No matter how enthusiastic the candidate might be, it’s easy to become fatigued after a long day of information overload.

With all these very reasonable concerns and challenges, it’s understandable if you hold off on making a decision or taking any action. The decisions seem too complex, the next steps seem too overwhelming, and before you know it – analysis paralysis has set in.

But the action still needs to be taken, and so the decision hovers in the background, constantly demanding your attention. So how do you cure analysis paralysis? At Time, our key tips are as follows:

• Take small steps – you don’t have to have someone fully trained and ready to go by close of business tomorrow. Break the decision up into smaller blocks and start with the basics. Do you need someone full-time, or part-time? Do you need an office manager or a receptionist?

• Have a clear objective, with a set a time limit – for instance: you need to recruit a new full-time receptionist by the end of the month.

• Clear the decks – if you find yourself endlessly researching example job specifications online, or clicking through profile after profile on LinkedIn, step away from the computer! At this stage you don’t need more information; you need more focus.

• Get another perspective – discussing the situation with someone you trust can be incredibly useful; you benefit from them sharing their more objective viewpoint, acting as a catalyst to spur you into action, and providing a level of accountability that makes it more likely you will see the decision through.

At Time Recruitment, helping our clients and candidates with this process is second nature. From our initial discussions of the company and the job specification, through the process of reviewing applications and conducting interviews, to the final decision about making the all-important job offer, we work in partnership with our clients and candidates to move things forward, overcome hurdles and achieve objectives.

Entrusting your recruitment to Time means overcoming analysis paralysis, because we support you through a constant process of narrowing your options down, helping you to focus in from a wide range of choices to find the right solution for you. So if you have some recruitment decisions to make but you’re struggling to make the leap from planning to action, we can help. Please get in touch with us at carolineburns@timerecruitment.co.uk to discuss the progress we can make together towards achieving your recruitment goals.


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