How to Choose Between Two Perfect Candidates

Having to choose between two great candidates to fill an open position is a good problem to have, but it’s still a problem. Like any decision, you could end up making the wrong choice.

For instance, you might hire one candidate only to see them leave a few months later for a job with a competitor. Or, you might hire someone that had all the right skills but wasn’t able to fit in with the rest of your team.

Below are a few ways to reduce the guesswork and increase the odds that you’ll be able to make the right choice in this situation.

Consider entire skills sets

One approach to decide between two great applicants is to look beyond the basic requirements of the position and assess their overall set of professional abilities.

Consider the breadth of each candidate’s skill set and weigh the significance of each of their abilities. For instance, Applicant A for a sales job has six out of seven listed qualifications, and Applicant B has four out of seven, but Applicant B also has experience with a valuable sales analytics tool.

If knowledge of that tool is valuable enough, you might consider Applicant B to have the better background. This candidate was technically slightly less qualified according to the job description, but having a unique skill actually made them the more attractive choice.

Cultural fit is key

Recently, many company leaders have been talking about the significance of cultural fit. This is a concept that includes how well someone gets along with coworkers and if their mentality complements the company mission. While companies need to be concerned about an emphasis on culture fit leading to hiring bias and group-think, there’s no question that hiring someone who will buy into the company vision and culture will lead to a better chance of them thriving in their job.

Beyond considering which applicant really ‘gets’ your business, is tuned into your mission and has career objective that match up with what the company can provide, you ought to think carefully about how each candidate might work on a day-to-day basis.

Can you hire both?

Good employees are hard to come by, especially in today’s tight labor market. So, when you come across two very qualified candidates, both of whom can make massive contributions to your company, you should investigate the possibility of hiring both candidates.

If you cannot hire both candidates, be sure to turn down the candidate you don’t hire as professionally and respectfully as possible. Then, connect with that candidate and maintain a good relationship through the social platform. As once a a position opens for which they might be qualified, contact them immediately.

Even if you don’t ultimately end up hiring the candidate you turned down, they could end up being a valuable part of your company network (or your own professional network).

At LTI, we provide hiring support for our clients to make their personnel decisions easier. If your company is currently looking for a talent acquisition partner, please contact us today.