How to Decide Between Two Great Candidates

By Jezabel Southard

Posted on May 29, 2015

It’s every hiring manager’s favorite nightmare: two eminently qualified candidates are applying for one position, and you just can’t decide which candidate deserves the job. They’ve got comparable education backgrounds, similar track records and both have solid references. How do you choose?

Before pulling out that quarter and flipping it, take the following factors into account.

Fill In Your Weak Spots

Going on the assumption that both of these candidates adequately fill the core requirements of the position, consider what other skills or perspectives they bring to the table. If one candidate brings a useful secondary skill set or background to the table, while the other’s overlaps with those of your current employees, don’t hesitate to round out your team.

Consider The Cultural Fit

The biggest factor in choosing between the two candidate should be seeing which one fits better with your company’s existing culture. If you run a collaborative outfit that focuses on finding creative solutions, a traditional, self-motivated candidate – even one with a fantastic résumé – might not be your best option.

Personality Counts

If all other things are equal, simply ask yourself, “With which candidate would you rather hang out and share a cup of coffee?” You and your existing employees will have to work with this person on a daily basis, so it only makes sense to hire a person who will make the workplace a more enjoyable place to be.

You could also choose to see how each candidate gets along with your current team, either in a social context or in a provisional “test run.” You can then solicit input from your employees to see who they felt was a better fit.

Plan For The Future

Always consider your company’s next steps when evaluating candidates. If your company is considering international expansion, you may want to give weight to a candidate who is fluent in that language. A strong understanding of technology could be key if more of your business is done online.

Check Your Gut

If all else fails, trust your instincts. You may find a personal connection – you attended the same school as one of the candidates, or lived in the same neighborhood at different points. Maybe you share a hobby or are both fans of the same sports team. Or you might just get a feeling that one person was more truthful and enthusiastic in their interview.

Award-winning TERRA Staffing Group is the leading recruiter in the Pacific Northwest, where it has operated since 1983. TERRA also recently opened an office in Phoenix to meet the staffing needs of area companies. To see how TERRA can meet your staffing needs, talk to us today.

Categories: HR and Management Advice, Staffing Tips & Recruiting Trends

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