How to Decide Between Two Exceptional Candidates

Rex Lau
Employers often struggle to find candidates that excel in their applied position, as great talent are always in short supply. However, there will be cases in which job openings are incredibly competitive, and that two great candidates going for the same position is not rare. On an occasion where two exceptional candidates make it all the way to the end of a company's recruitment process and are neck in neck, the hiring team must make a fast and efficient decision as to whom to hire. The team has to think carefully and weigh each candidates pros and cons. This has to be done effectively; causing candidates to wait for too long could spell disaster, as they may leave for another employer. There are a few key points that hiring teams should consider when having to decide between two great candidates.
Take a Long-Term View
While companies may be hiring to address a short-term problem, they should look at the future. While both employees have excelled in the recruitment process, one candidate may possess better skills for leading the company down the right path, or the other has better potential in expanding skills that would prove to be handy in his position of work. Such factors will play into how a hiring team chooses between two great candidates.

Which Candidate will Fit Better within Corporate Culture?
Even though candidates may have the skills and qualities to exceed company expectations, one's ability to fit in and thrive in their company environment may be a decisive factor in choosing between two candidates. One strategy to help candidates ease easier into a company culture is to introduce the prospects to the office team, like a meet and greet, before deciding on whether to recruit the candidate. This strategy is also beneficial to the work team as they can give their opinions on the candidates to the hiring team. Another strategy is to do "the beer test". Apart from the candidate being committed towards company objectives and adapting to its culture, they must also be approachable and social in off-work settings. The beer test asks employees which candidate they would rather have a beer with after work. This is usually done by taking the candidates out for happy hour with the work team and testing their social skills. This can give HR a good perspective of how candidates act off of work, which may reflect their social behaviour after the "fresh-work-environment" stage of work.

Seize the Rare Opportunity

When all considerations have been taken place, and the hiring team still cannot come to a consensus as to who to hire, sometimes the best option is to hire both of them. Having a candidate that is considered a great talent by the hiring team is already a rare occurrence. Having two, is borderline miraculous. Even though the company was initially looking for one candidate to fill in a vacant position, having good people work for the company can only be beneficial. Companies should make sure that by hiring two candidates, that the company can sustain both as employees and contribute efficiently to company objectives. One place to start may be to assign them to projects that have been pushed backed due to the vacant position, or logistical reasons. Hiring two employees instead of one can also reduce the workload of other employees that may be struggling.

Choosing between two great candidates can be a head-scratcher. One must weigh all factors and decide which candidate truly fits the company the best. While only one candidate may be hired, it is recommended to keep contact with the other candidate and get updates from him or her. That candidate may just be the ideal person for another position.
While companies may be hiring to address a short-term problem, they should look at the future. While both employees have excelled in the recruitment process, one candidate may possess better skills for leading the company down the right path, or the other has better potential in expanding skills that would prove to be handy in his position of work. Such factors will play into how a hiring team chooses between two great candidates.



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