Two Great Candidates? How to Pick


It’s the classic rock and a hard place. Which is worse, having no good candidates for your open positions, or having two candidates who are equally qualified, with neither a clear winner for the job? Choosing between two excellent job candidates doesn’t have to put you in a tight spot if you’ve got a few extra interviewing techniques in the bullpen.

Ask Your Candidates What They’d Do

It may seem counterproductive, but when you’ve got to choose between two job candidates, sometimes the best advice can come from the candidates themselves. Let your candidates know they are up against some excellent competition, and ask them why they’d be the better choice. The answer you get may surprise you, but whether it’s a pleasant surprise or a disappointment, it may be just what you need to make the choice.

Be Honest

No hiring manager would purposefully mislead a candidate about the nature of the job he’s applied for or the corporate culture — right? Wrong. Just as job candidates sometimes overstate their experience or claim job availability they may not have just to get a foot in the door, an interviewer may fudge a little on details in order not to scare away a great hire. That’s a lose/lose situation. Be upfront with job candidates about the challenges he can expect to find in your workplace, whether it’s unusual schedules, difficult working conditions, or just a team that’s a little less than welcoming to newcomers. When you’re painfully honest, a candidate that seemed perfect may give you subtle or overt clues that he is not the right fit. It’s one of the most effective ways to decide between two candidates who otherwise seem equally qualified.

Get a Second Opinion

Even if you have a team of interviewers who screen each candidate, when you just can’t decide between two potential hires, a fresh set of eyes can give you additional insight that may help you make the decision. Have a person who had no part in screening or interviewing take a look at resumes and cover letters, and if you’re still not sold on either candidate, maybe arrange an additional phone or Skype interview. Someone who will actually be doing the job the candidates will be doing is one possibility; someone working in the same conditions may see potential — or potential problems — that hiring managers or HR don’t pick up on.

The best judge of potential job candidates may not even be in your building — Staffing Partners staffing experts are the best at helping you find the best candidates for all of your temporary and temp-to-hire positions. Our staffing professionals have experience screening and interviewing candidates in almost all industries, ensuring that you get only the best talent in your field. Don’t waste another day drowning in a sea of resumes and applications; call us today!

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