How To Choose Between Two Equally Qualified Job Candidates

Hiring the right person takes time and effort. After you write the job description, you have to read resumes, interview candidates, and run background checks. Then through the process of elimination you have to pick the best person for the job.

Interviewer Choosing The Best Two Candidates Picture

Usually it’s easy to narrow down the field of applicants through interview questions, reference checks, and social media screening. But what do you do if you have to choose between two equally qualified job candidates?

Here’s the situation: There are two candidates left in the running. Both are equally qualified, but you can only pick one. It’s time to make a decision. What are you going to do? Which candidate is the best fit for the job? How do you choose?

Instead of beating yourself up, take a deep breath and consider the problem logically. In reality, you don’t even need to stress too much. You can’t go wrong with either candidate, right? In fact, this is one of the better problems that a recruiter can have.

When you need to choose between two equally qualified job candidates, here are a few things to consider:

  • Reevaluate The Job – You should already know what this job is all about, but dive deeper. Is there anything you missed? What skills and abilities does the job really require? Upon closer inspection, you may be able to pinpoint something that helps you make a decision.
  • Culture Fit – A big factor in an individual’s success at a company is how they fit into the company’s culture. Which candidate is a better match for your office?
  • Do Another Interview – When you meet someone again you will notice new things. Prepare different interview questions and see if this can help you make a decision.
  • Money – Ultimately hiring someone is a business decision. If you have two equally qualified candidates, but one will work for a lower wage, this is the better choice.
  • Trust Your Gut – When all else is equal, sometimes you just need to trust your instincts. They’re usually right.
  • Longevity – Hiring and recruiting is a time consuming, expensive, and stressful process. Ideally you don’t want to have to go through the hiring process very often. If one candidate is more likely to stick around longer, go with that person.
  • Plan For The Future – While both candidates may be perfect right now, which one will be more adaptable to your company’s needs in the future?
  • Connections – Life is all about who you know. Does one candidate have a stronger network? Do they have an internal recommendation? Do you have similar connections on LinkedIn?

It’s tough to choose between two equally qualified job candidates. Use this list to help you pick the right person. Job competition is fierce and as a hiring manager, you will likely be faced with this situation or something similar at some point in your career. It’s best to have a game plan that helps you make the right decision.

Good luck!

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