How to Decide Between Two Quality Candidates

How to Decide Between Two Quality Candidates

by Phil Sheridan

High-quality talent is hard to come by. If you’re lucky enough to have two equally qualified candidates competing for the same role, you’ll need to act fast if you’re going to secure your top choice.


Choosing between two equally qualified candidates

Although there are plenty of tried and tested interview techniques, being torn between two job candidates means you’ll have to use new ways to assess what a ‘good fit’ looks like.

1. Look at the long-term

Immediate needs may feel more pressing, but don’t forget to look to the future when choosing between two candidates for a job. Businesses are changing rapidly to negotiate the digital shift, so it’s worth considering which candidate suits your business’ long-term plans. Assess which candidate displays a wider range of useful technical skills, an interest in learning and development or good leadership potential.

2. A company culture fit

Finding the right fit for your company culture can mean the difference between an employee who stays until that ‘new job excitement’ wears off, and one that integrates faster, performs better and stays longer.

Our research into happiness at work showed that employees who felt they had good relationships with teammates were 2.7 times more likely to be happy on the job. From this perspective, the right candidate will bring a healthy mix of appropriate temperament to the team dynamic, as well as skills.

3. Interest and enthusiasm

When you think back to your meetings with both candidates, which of them seemed the most engaged throughout the process? Who asked questions and seemed the most inspired? Which candidate was the quickest to follow-up with you after the interview? Recalling details like this can help you gauge which candidate wanted the position more.

Still can’t decide?

If you’ve used all these assessment methods and still can’t decide which candidate to hire, then you might like to consider hiring both.

Due to a depleted candidate market, finding two great candidates is a rare opportunity to grow your business with quality talent. If the decision to hire both are supported and sustainable long-term, ensure that you differentiate each role, making them independent from one another, so each employee feels like their contribution makes a difference.

Once you’ve made your decision, take a few extra steps to really impress your preferred candidate to get them on-board swiftly to ensure they don’t opt for a competing offer.

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