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How To Decide Between Two Exceptional Job Candidates

It’s taken a while, but now you’re down to two candidates. They are neck and neck for the role. The final hiring decision is a mixture of information and intuition.

First, let’s begin with the information part of the process.

How do I choose the right candidate for a job?

Picking the right candidate begins with having an accurate job description. Don’t use a generic or kitchen sink job description approach and expect to find an amazing candidate, unless you want to spend a lot of time weeding out applicants. The job description should include employee responsibilities and a list of critical skills with experience requirements.

If you are interested in finding out if the applicant has truly read the job description, you might try something like asking them to include a phrase or hashtag in the cover letter. Use a checklist for assessing each application and for each interview. For instance, it may be illegal to ask someone what their salary was in an earlier job.

Torn between two job candidates

By now, you’ve narrowed the field down to two amazing people. Their resumes are impeccable. They both did great on the interviews. They were able to answer behavioral interview questions in a confident and understandable manner. What do you do? Take a step back, recommends business expert and author Debbie Yarwood. Since you have two people who are a perfect match for the job, consider five things that you need them to get done in the first year. Can either or both of them do that?

Depending on the position, have you considered offering each applicant a trial period or test project? There is no set time for a trial period; they can last for several months. However, you must pay them for the work they’re doing. Variations on this approach include giving someone a project to complete or problem to solve as part of the interview process.

How to choose the best candidate for a job

Now we get to the intuition part of the hiring process. Take a look at their resumes and interview question responses. If they are a solid team player and have no interest in working solo, but your organization values employees who are forward thinking and comfortable working alone within wide guardrails, then will this person be a good fit?

What does your gut say? Is this a person that you would like to hang out with after work? Would this person be interested in hanging out with the rest of the team after work? Cultural fit is critical. The best, most experienced and knowledgeable hire will soon leave if they feel like a square peg in a round hole.

Gut feelings are not always reliable, though. Talk to the other interviewers, what are their perspectives? Ask the people with whom the prospect came in contact: what were their thoughts and impressions? Do you really want someone who is respectful of people in power and dismissive of people lower in a business hierarchy?

Congratulations! You are down to two amazing people. You began with a clear job description, then used the same checklists to assess each application and conduct each interview. You combined information and intuition to make your pick. When you call your second choice, remember to leave the door open. It is possible that your first pick won’t work out and you will have a good relationship to draw upon with candidate number two.

By Barbachano Staff

At Barbachano International (BIP), we know that talent is the most important asset a company has. When people shine, businesses light up. We help leaders and organizations unleash their full potential in Mexico, LATAM, and the US. Get in touch with us today at (619) 427-2310 or email us at Experience the BIP difference.

 If you are currently searching for a new executive position that would be a better fit, be sure to visit our job portal.

By Fernando Ortiz-Barbachano

By Fernando Ortiz-Barbachano

President and CEO of Barbachano International (BIP),

The Human Capital Solutions leader in Mexico, Latin America, and the USA, offering high-impact executive search, executive coaching, and outplacement.

At Barbachano International, we understand the importance of recruiting and the return on investment that top talent can deliver for you. With 27 years in the industry, we know firsthand how imperative it is for an organization to have the right people to achieve its business objectives. We help you avoid painful hiring mistakes and reduce turnover by identifying top performers for your team that result in long-term success.


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