Nearly every hiring manager has faced the conundrum of trying to decide between two great candidates for one job. It can be heartbreaking. Yet, time is precious, so one of the candidates needs to move forward while the other is rejected. How can a recruiter make the right decision?

If you are faced with this issue, here are some ways to determine what to do.

Move beyond the emotional factor

Number-one rule in recruitment: Never get emotionally attached to a candidate. Make sure as you review each candidate’s qualifications that you leave out the immediate emotional response you have. You may like one candidate slightly better than the other, but it’s not about your opinions. You need to choose the candidate who offers the most to the company and the job itself.

Ask both candidates to come in for a second interview

If you are stuck between two candidates who look great on paper, you will want to invite them both back for a second interview. This time however, have a couple members of the team the candidate may be working with present in the room. Give them each an interview question to ask. After the interviews are over, compare notes and see if either of the candidates stood out more than the other.

Conduct an extensive background check

Take the time to thoroughly screen the backgrounds of each candidate, including work history, education, professional and personal references, a drug test, and a criminal background check. You may find something questionable in one of the candidate’s background that will eliminate them.

Assess both candidates for work skills

Sometime in the interviewing process, set up a candidate assessment test which will measure the skills, knowledge, and personality of each candidate. When it comes down to the wire, you can use this information to make your final decision by hiring the candidate who scored the highest. Focus on culture fit and knowledge, two factors that spell success.

Assign a contract project to both

If you are still on the fence about two great candidates, you could also offer a contract assignment to both candidates. Give them a similar project to accomplish by a certain deadline. The most interested and suitable candidate will be happy to complete this, and you can gauge performance from this task. Hire the candidate who does the best work.

Hire both of the candidates as temps

Contact a staffing agency in Jackson MS and explain your situation. The agency can contract with the candidates and offer them both a temporary assignment with your company. At the end of the contract (usually in 30 to 90 days) you can evaluate them both and choose to hire one or both of them. This gives you time to decide.

Use the above tips to choose between two equally great candidates. They are hard to find in this competitive market, so you may want to hire both of them before another company snatches them up.


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