Two Equally Great Candidates? How to Choose Between Them

April 15th, 2016

It’s a good problem to have.

Two equally qualified candidates have made the cut for your final hiring decision. But, this doesn’t change the fact that your success or failure as a hiring professional could rest on decisions like this one. Flipping a coin is not going to work. So, challenge yourself to find out more about your two potential superstars. Then, you can make the right choice when it comes to the perfect match.

How to Break the Tie

There are a number of factors you can consider as you decide between Candidate Number One and Candidate Number Two: their track record, their past history, the quality of their professional references and, perhaps most important of all, whether or not they will be a good fit in your organizational environment.

What is their potential to grow within your company?

If an individual has consistently been promoted within their current organization, you may have found the right professional who will be a future leader at your firm.

Cultural Fit Can Be a Tie-Breaker

Growth potential is often – but not always – linked to cultural fit. Many candidates may have the requisite job skills, but the deciding factor in hiring a person – or not – often comes down to cultural fit. For instance, if your company has a strong culture of independent-minded individuals, then a team-oriented collaborator may struggle.

  • Blend the science and the art of hiring. The “science” of choosing the right candidate comes down to skill requirements. The “art” involves assessing for cultural fit. Ideally, you need both. But remember: you can train for skills, but cultural fit can neither be taught nor bought.
  • Which of the two would you rather hang out with after work? You can usually get a good sense of who to hire based on your gut reaction to this question. Some companies have “social interviews” where they take a candidate out to happy hour or a similar event to help them decide.

Keep Candidate Number Two Informed

Never burn a bridge. Keep the candidate you decide not to hire informed of the process and your decision. If you offer the job to your top choice and they reject it, you have left the door open to call your second candidate back and say you want them.

At the Select Group, Inc., we’re passionate about connecting you with top talent – and we’ll partner with you throughout your successful hiring process. To learn more about how we can custom design your talent management strategy, read our related posts or contact us today.

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