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How I decide between two awesome candidates



At the end of the day, having two seemingly perfect candidates and only one role to fill is really a good problem to have. It’s often hard to find one star hire, let alone multiple, and either way you decide you’ll probably end up with a great new employee.

But, well, it’s still a problem.

When it comes to deciding between two people you really want to hire, it’s time to ask yourself some tough (but telling) questions. Your answers will give you more clarity regarding their skills, their fit with your organization, and the administrative issues that might impact the hiring of either one. There are many elements to think about, recruitment can be expensive and you don’t want to regret your decision in a few months’ time.

In this article, I give you my top tips on how to ensure you are choosing the best candidate for the job.

The candidates’ most important characteristics are their fit for the role they will need to perform. As a hiring manager, you’ve probably already considered each one’s skill overlap with the job description. And since they’re neck and neck in the final round, they probably both have a good number of those skills.

So you need to go deeper than just seeing how many boxes they check off by weighing the importance of the skills.

Here’s a few ideas that can help YOU too:

     1. Meeting in a relaxed setting

Seeing a candidate in a relaxed setting will also show you more of their personality, which isn’t always easy to determine in a formal interview. If possible, incorporate the team into this; this will give you a good indication how the candidates will work with other members of your team and how they’ll fit in with your culture. By meeting the team, you are getting them on board for whichever candidate you choose and they may even have a favourite too.

     2. Identify the More Enthusiastic Candidate

Search for the person who seems the most eager to join your team. Did one applicant research your company more thoroughly, send thank you notes faster and/or make genuine connections with colleagues? Does the other seem hesitant to commit and/or nitpicky about compensation? Sometimes you do need to convince a person to take a job, but someone who is excited from the start may prove to be more dedicated down the road.

    3. Take a long-term view

You are hiring to address an immediate need at your firm, but don’t ignore the future. Look beyond the requirements for the open position and examine each candidate’s potential to grow at your firm over time. For example, does one candidate’s leadership potential stand out more than the other’s? Or does one of the candidates have knowledge or skills in an area that isn’t essential for the job at hand but could nonetheless add value to your business?


The good news is, when you’re starting with two great candidates, you’re likely to end up with an awesome hire. So, if you’ve weighed the skills, cultural fit, and offer considerations and still aren’t sure, go with your gut. (Or, well, take them both out for a beer.) Then rest assured that, whoever you choose, you’ll be welcoming someone great to the team.


You need help bringing on board your next awesome hire? Contact us for an amazing recruitment experience and best fitted candidates for your job opening!


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