How do you choose between two strong candidates?

If you are ever in the fortunate position to have interviewed two great candidates for one role, how do you choose one? This is an enviable dilemma but makes the decision no less difficult to make.

Long-term

Whilst you might feel under pressure to hire someone as quickly as possible this is not best practice. It’s worth considering which of the two candidates suits the long-term plans of the company, consider succession planning. For example, did one of the candidates demonstrate good leadership potential? Or did one of the candidates have skills where there is currently a gap, which could help to grow the business?

The best fit

Consider which of the candidates will fit in well with the team and thrive in the company’s working environment. There are several ways that you can do this, you could consider a psychometric assessment to give you a better idea about their personality and cultural fit. Another method you could try especially if the interview process has followed a more formal approach with a panel interview, is to offer them a more relaxed meeting, this will help to see more of their personality. Try introducing them to the team before extending to an offer. You could do a meet and greet to gauge how they fit in with the team and how the team responds to them.

Interest and enthusiasm

During the recruitment process and interviews did one of the candidates seem more engaged? Did they ask lots of questions about the company and role, and were they quick to follow up with you after each stage of the process?

Still undecided?

You could look at all the projects that have been put hold as the current team doesn’t have the capacity to take them on. Does one of the candidates have the skill set to drive these projects and initiatives, or to take on the workload of employees who are becoming overloaded with work? Ultimately you will need to make a decision and in a timely manner, the last thing you want is to miss out on two great candidates because you took too long to make a formal offer. If you have had to choose between two strong candidates, then make sure that you give good feedback to the candidate who on this occasion hasn’t been successful. Keep in touch with them and connect with them via LinkedIn, you might be able to hire them in the future.