The Internet has enabled us to gather information from wide and diverse sources and has made us smarter. Prior to the Internet our ability to gather information was limited to a local area or to a small group of friends and colleagues who could write to each other or share books.
In recruiting, our pool of candidates was limited as was our ability to communicate with candidates or to learn more about them. Making decisions with limited information is partially why there are so many bad hires.
Multiple Inputs are Often Better than Single Inputs
People are complex, often act in unpredictable ways, and perform differently depending on the context of the work and the nature of their workgroup and leader. One individual observing or even working with another has a limited perspective on their behavior, personality and work quality. This is why it is so important to gather inputs about people from a variety of sources and at different times. The accuracy of our appraisal of someone improves as we add more observations, get a picture of the person in different circumstances, and solicit inputs from diverse people who have interacted with them and are free of any social pressure to have authentic judgement.
By soliciting input from a wide variety of sources and uncovering all the data we can about a candidate we have a much better chance of hiring the right person.
The articles below explain the power of collective intelligence and offer some ideas on how to better harness its power.