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Understanding decision-making in recruitment: Opportunities and challenges for information technology

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Article number242
Number of pages22
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction
Issue numberGROUP
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Although the composition of individuals can strongly affect the success of professional collaboration, organizations often struggle with their so-called social matching decisions. For example, when recruiting new people to an organization, the decision-making is often reduced to intuitively matching individuals based on vague descriptions of projects or positions. The role of technology in recruiting is typically confined to gathering and presenting simple candidate profiles. We argue that many issues in recruitment boil down to lack of understanding the process of decision-making from social matching perspective, covering aspects like identification of relevant selection criteria and choice of the most suitable candidate. To better understand the appropriate roles of information technology (IT) in this domain, we interviewed 21 expert matchmakers, such as HR specialists and headhunters. Based on qualitative analysis of their experiences, we provide a bottom-up framework of the decision-making stages in recruitment, focusing on the pertinent challenges from the perspective of social matching. The findings indicate that, particularly, the epistemic asymmetry between the recruiter and candidates regarding the expected qualities calls for deliberation throughout the decision-making process. Matchmakers also struggle between contradictory ideals of agility and holistic decision-making. Based on the findings and relevant literature, we propose six roles that IT could play in social matching decisions in recruitment.


  • Collaboration, Decision-making, Head hunting, Human resources, People recommender systems, Recruitment, Social matching, Talent acquisition, Working life

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland