How to Decide Between Great Candidates

Congratulations! Think about it: Having two awesome candidates to choose between for a position is a nice problem to have. It’s often hard to find a perfect hire, so having a choice is rare. However, when you do have this problem, it’s a very difficult choice.

Now’s the time to ask yourself some difficult questions.

Focus on True Need

What do you really need for this position? Make a checklist of all the qualities and skills needed for the job with levels of importance. This will help you determine who has the most important qualities and will help you decide.

Gauge Their Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm is what will initially drive and motivate the candidate upon being hired. It’s incredibly important that the chosen hire is excited about the opportunity and you can most definitely tell who is most enthusiastic based on how they overcome obstacles during the interview process.  Great candidates will do whatever it takes. Consider any obstacles they faced this far in the process, such as great commutes to the interview(s).

360 Degree Interview

If it’s truly tied between the two candidates, then you may need to bring them both in for a more in-depth interview. This is where you can have them interact with current employees to help you determine their cultural fit. Cultural fit is an important deciding factor because without it, even the best candidate won’t do the job successfully.

Social Testing

By now after completing the above tips, you should have an obvious choice. However, if both candidates still have valid arguments behind them, then it’s time to ask yourself this very important question: “Who would you rather have a drink with?” If your company policy would allow it, you can even invite them out to happy hour with a few members from your team and see how they socialize outside of work. This type of comradery may not be high priority, but it’s important for a team to work well with each other.

Hiring is a Two-Way Street

It’s important to consider whether you can get them. By this point in the process, they’re excited to potentially get the job, but there’s more at play on their side. Because they both are incredible candidates, they are most likely interviewing with other companies and possibly receiving job offers. You must think about what it takes for you to get them to accept an offer from you. Do you have the means to fulfill their demands?


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