You’ve sifted resumes, conducted interviews, checked references, and weighed the value of each candidate. Now, you’re ready to make a hiring decision. Except, there’s a problem: you can’t choose between your two top candidates. The result of your long, intricate hiring process is a tie.
In many ways, this is one of those “good problems.” You win either way. You’ve got two great candidates to pick from. But, as with any tough decision, the selection comes with anxiety. How do you know you will choose the right one?
Well, before you resort to a coin toss, there are some considerations you can use to make the optimal choice. Here are some steps to take and some subtle traits to look for when you have to choose between two top candidates for an open position:
Figure Out Points of Differentiation
Your two top candidates may seem equally good. But they likely aren’t good in exactly the same way. Look at the factors that make the applicants different and weigh the value of those particular attributes. You may find that one has the edge in an area of greater need.
Look at Soft Skills
Your two top candidates might seem equivalent on a hard-skill basis. But how do they stack up when you start looking at their soft skills? The question might prove decisive. Considering talents like leadership, teamwork, and communication might point to the best choice.
Conduct Another Interview
You might need more information to make a decision. Even if it wasn’t part of your original recruiting plan, you might have to schedule another discussion with your remaining candidates. This can take the form of a phone chat, a video interview, or an in-person discussion (social-distancing circumstances permitting).
Come up with some key questions to ask that will help you make the final choice. You can then judge the ultimate result based on your applicants’ answers.
Bring In More Voices
You’re having problems choosing between two closely matched candidates. Maybe you should bring in some tie-breaking votes. By asking other people to add their input to the conversation, you might get perspectives you didn’t expect. The answer might be obvious – you just don’t happen to see it on your own.
Make Culture the Ultimate Tie Breaker
Hiring someone isn’t about finding a drone capable of performing certain tasks. You’re also inviting someone to join your organization and to become your coworker for the foreseeable future. You want them to live up to the values your company strives to embody. For that reason, make culture a key part of your decision.
If both candidates are truly special, you might consider bringing them both into the fold. Team building should represent a long-term process. Given the opportunity to bolster your staff with two amazing candidates, you should consider grabbing it. You might need to reconsider your near-term budget. But, in the right circumstances, the additional hire should pay for itself (and more) in the long run.
Even if you can’t offer both candidates a full-time position, you still have options. For example, you might offer the runner-up additional part-time or contract work. At the very least, you should maintain a relationship with the applicant who lost out this time around. They will likely represent your first choice for the next open position.
Choosing between two top candidates presents a complicated challenge. Still, facing the dilemma is much better than not having a qualified applicant at all. Make sure you have top talent to select from. Partner with a top-flight staffing agency, like PrideStaff, to attract the best candidates to your open positions.