7 Strategies for Choosing Between Two Qualified Candidates

Recruitment is hefty work not just for recruiters, but for the hiring manager, the team, and the candidate! By the time the process nears its end, everyone involved is ready for a decision to be made – including you! The trouble is, there are two candidates who are just too right for this particular role, and you’re going back and forth trying to make a choice. What do you do?

When two candidates seem equally educated, experienced and qualified, and you like them both the same, there are some specific factors that can help break the tie:

  1. Suit Your Culture
    Which of your equally amazing candidates is going to more closely embody the mission and values of the organization during and outside of work? Who would more accurately represent your brand at a networking event or online?
  2. Meet the Manager’s Needs
    Even if it’s you personally, the direct supervisor for this role probably has some specific check boxes in mind needed to balance the team, meet objectives, and spark new ideas. Inversely, the new hire will have a management style preference which should be considered, as well. Try to fit both candidates into this relationship and see who would mesh better.
  3. Assess Candidate Desire & Excitement Level
    Which of your candidates had more gusto going into and coming out of recent interviews? Is one on the verge of starting a business, or another venture which will have them jumping ship too soon? Who’s in it for longevity?
  4. Consider Candidate Connections
    Does either candidate network frequently within your industry? If so, does one have more notable or useful connections than another – for example, connections to company affiliates, potential acquisitions, or future clientele? Hiring a candidate just for their network is like dating a person just because they have great friends – it should not be your only deciding factor However, tiebreakers like these can be seen as an investment in the organization.
  5. Consider the Future
    Does one candidate have more VP potential? Who has more leadership capabilities or a more broad awareness and understanding of the future of the industry and the organization?
  6. Consider Needs First
    What are the top three most important qualities or proficiencies this hire must have? Rate both candidates on those factors in isolation to determine a better-in-the-clutch fit.
  7. Involve the Team
    The new hire will be an integral member of a team. The current members of that team should have a say in how the team is modified, and multiple perspectives may eliminate bias and help establish balance.

If you’re stuck deciding between two excellent-fit candidates and you can’t find a spot for both in your organization, the pressure can feel enormous! Follow these seven steps to make things easier. To be sure you’re always hiring the best employee for any vacancy, work with the staffing experts at Malone Workforce Solutions. Check out our services to get started!


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