It happens in every hiring manager’s life: two great candidates present themselves for a single job opening. This can be quite the dilemma because it’s growing ever more difficult to find the best people for certain positions and so if two come along it’s like striking a goldmine. But, the company must make a decision and hire the best person for this particular job.
Here’s how to decide whom to hire, when presented with this type of scenario.
Review the Actual Job Needs
After you’ve conducted the interviews, go back and review the actual needs of the job itself. Are there any special skills or experience that one candidate has a little more than the other? It’s easy to hire general candidates to fill jobs, but you don’t want to hire another “warm body” in this case. Make sure you carefully weigh each candidate’s unique skills, knowledge, and past career achievements against the job you are hiring for.
Get a Second Interview Lined Up Now
If you are unsure of which candidate to hire, ask each candidate back for a second round of interviews – onsite or through your preferred staffing agency. This time, however, ask another member of the work team or a staffing manager to be present so you can get another person’s feedback on the candidates. This can help you to avoid hiring someone based on emotion or first impressions only. Base your interview on a short, fun behavioral activity following some more in-depth interview questions.
Conduct a Thorough Background Check
Things can often be revealed with conducting past employment reference checks and background screenings. Take the time to do this well, carefully asking questions that probe a little more into each candidate’s suitability for the job. Write down your notes and go over them privately to make a better decision. You also have the option to let your staffing agency handle this part of the process so you can hire the best candidate.
Test the Candidates with a Contract Project
If you are still at a conundrum after going through the above steps, then you could up the ante by offering a paid contract project, afterwards you will decide on who to hire based on the results. Try to find a project that will challenge each candidate and enable them to show off their skills, while being related to the actual job they are vying for. Work with the management team to come up with a suitable project and offer a generous payment for the project once completed.
Hire Them Both if They are Perfect for the Company
If you are still not sure which candidate to hire for the singular job, why not create another position so you can hire them both? This could be a win-win for your business, because you get two amazing candidates at once. Develop a plan for onboarding both candidates with your staffing agency. One candidate may be willing to consider a slightly different assignment that will meet your business needs so they can get a foot into your company. Be open to this option, or at least consider one for a later hire.