How to make a decision between two great candidates

How to Choose Between Two Great Candidates

It’s a great position to be in when you’re recruiting; you’ve narrowed down CVs, interviewed your shortlist and narrowed it down to two fantastic, eager candidates. However, with this scenario, comes a difficult conundrum – which one do you hire?

Now don’t get us wrong, at a time when skilled workers are in short supply, there are worse problems than choosing between two great potential employees. However, as recruitment experts, we also know the importance of getting it right – your team are, after all, your most valuable asset and most important investment. So here’s our advice on what to do when you find yourself having to make a difficult recruitment decision.

Interview Again with Curveball Questions

It may be time-consuming, but arranging a second or third interview can be a great way of finding out a little more about your candidates and who would be a better fit for the role. Throw them a few ‘curveball questions’ these can be very telling and reveal a lot about their ability, suitability and personality. Here are some ideas of the sort of questions you could ask:

  • What’s the best job you’ve ever had? Why did you love it so much?
  • Give an example of a time in your last job when you had to go above and beyond to get a job done.
  • What type of people do you like to work with?
  • What changes would you have made in your last role?

Be honest, and explain the situation to them: “We are currently torn between you and another great candidate – why should we choose you?”

At Proactive, part of our recruitment process is to ask candidates to prepare a presentation for their second interview. This is a great way to assess their dedication, preparation skills and confidence when presenting or ‘selling’ themselves or a service/product. This can be especially telling for sales or managerial roles.

Introduce Them to Your Team

Hiring someone that fits-in with your company culture and your team is one of the most important considerations when recruiting for a role. Someone can have all the skills required to do the job, but if they don’t gel with your current employees, the new recruit is unlikely to last. A great way to check their suitability and compatibility with the team is to do a ‘working interview’. Introduce them to the people they will be working with and get them to ‘test drive’ the role for an hour or so.

Afterwards, consult your current staff – their opinions are invaluable as they have first-hand experience of the team dynamics. Ask them which of the candidates they got-on with best and who they felt would work best within the environment.

Take a Chance

If you’re lucky enough to have two fantastic candidates to consider, why not hire them both? Discuss further expansion plans within the team or potential opportunities within another department. If your company is in the position to recruit twice, doubling-up on superstar staff might just be the best decision you ever make!