5 Strategies for Deciding Between Two Amazing Job Candidates

By Christine Ascher on February 6, 2018

Finding the perfect job candidate for a specific position can be tough; while it’s ideal if you find one candidate who stands out from all the others, that may not always work out. Though having several options is always better than having none, finding two ideal candidates for a position at your company can nevertheless put you in a difficult position. Once you’ve found two people who would be a great fit, it’s hard to decide which one to choose. If you find yourself in this position, consider some of the following strategies to determine who would be the best addition to your company.

Handshake, Suit, Offer, Businessman

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1. Think About Who You Mesh With

Once you’ve determined that your job candidates are well-qualified and capable of performing the desired tasks for the position, you can start to think about some of the other qualities that you’d like to see in someone joining your company.  Especially because you and your co-workers will be spending a lot of time with your new hire, it’s worthwhile to think about who you would best get along with.

Consider the personalities of each of your job candidates, and try to determine who would fit in best with existing employees. The better everyone gets along on a personal level, the easier it will be for them to work together, so personality can be a great way to evaluate your potential new hires.

2. Make a Checklist of the Qualities You’re Looking For

Even if you find two candidates who you believe would fit in well with your company and who would excel in the specific position that you’re hiring for, chances are that each person will bring something a bit different to the job.

A good way to sort out which candidate most closely meets the criteria that you’re looking for is by taking the time to write out a list of the qualities, experience, and skills that you would prioritize in a job candidate. Then, for each person, go through and check off all of the traits that they meet. Once you’re done, you’ll be able to objectively evaluate your candidates by seeing which one of them checks off more boxes.

3. Think About the Long Term

When you’re hiring new additions to your company, you should be thinking beyond just the job at hand. Trying to find candidates who will stay at your company long-term and will move up in seniority rather than leaving to find another position elsewhere will save you a lot of trouble down the road when you need to fill more senior positions, and will also help you foster loyalty to your company.

For these reasons, it’s a good idea to consider which candidate is more likely to stay with you long-term. If one of the candidates mentioned company loyalty or asked about opportunities for advancement within the company, these are good indications that they’re thinking about the job as a long-term position, rather than a short-term position on their way to another company or area of interest.

4. Consider Who Wants It More

Regardless of how qualified both of your candidates are for the position, they’re likely to have different goals in mind that will affect their reasons for applying for the job. While for one of them this may be a dream job, for the other it may simply be a stepping stone. Consider which of your job candidates seemed to show more enthusiasm for the company and the specific position. Often, the person who wants the job the most will be more motivated to work hard and go above and beyond in their responsibilities once they’ve been hired.

While there’s not necessarily a foolproof way to determine which candidate wants a position more, you’ll probably be able to get a good idea of their level of enthusiasm by their demeanor during their interview and by the questions that they ask you. If they seem to have done a lot of research, that’s a good indication of their interest. It can also be helpful to ask each of your candidates why they want the specific job, as this will help to differentiate those who are considering the job solely from a practical point of view from those who are truly passionate about it.

5. Introduce Them to Other Members of the Company

If you’re having trouble deciding on your own between two amazing job candidates, one great way to deal with this problem is by introducing each candidate to as many members of the team they would be joining as you can. Let their potential co-workers weigh in on who they think would be a better fit and who would add the most to the company. Consider bringing in each candidate for a full-day interview during which they could meet and speak with various employees, and use the feedback that you get to make your decision.

While there is no perfect way to determine which candidate shows the most potential when you’re deciding between two who seem to have everything you’re looking for, using some of these strategies can help you get a better idea of which one will be the best fit. Fortunately, regardless of who you choose, you know you’ll be getting a great new employee.

By Christine Ascher

Uloop Writer
Hi! I'm Christine and I'm currently a senior at the University of Southern California, where I study English Literature, Economics, and French.

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