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Hiring Decision: 5 Ways to Choose Between Candidates

Posted by Megan Blair on Wed, Feb 20, 2013

Hiring Decision Deciding Between Two Candidates resized 600
You’ve gone through the whole interview process – congratulations!  But the hard part might not be over.  You’ve got it narrowed down to two great candidates who both exhibit the strong qualities you are looking for and have similar work experience.  Now you’re in a predicament.  How do you pick one great candidate over another?

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to decide (unless you flip a coin or eeny, meeny, miny, moe it which for the record, I do NOT recommend).  But here are some things you should consider if torn between two or more great candidates:

Consider the Culture
If you didn’t establish in the interview what kind of environment your candidates work well in, a little Googling about their previous employer should tell you (reference checking will do this as well). Company culture is more than just one of those corporate jargon buzzwords. According to Forbes, 89% of hiring failures are due to a poor culture fit.  So determining which one of your candidates most fits into your corporate culture is probably one of the most important decisions you need to make.  Don’t hire someone who likes to be left alone in their office to work if your environment has foosball tables and promotes collaboration between employees.

Consider the Manager
Maybe you’re the manager this position will report to or maybe you’re hiring for someone else.  Either way, you should consider the managers’ style and the candidates you have in front of you.  Perhaps from the interview you’ve gathered that one of your candidates prefers some hand holding and constant direction from their manager.  And perhaps the other prefers to work with needing little direction, on their own.  Determine the managerial preference of each candidate and pair that up with your managerial style (or the person that you are hiring for).  A good fit between the manager and employee will make this hire much more successful in the long run.

Consider their Want
From interviewing your candidates you should be able to determine how badly they want your job.  One candidate might be at a job currently and doesn’t really need to make a move.  One might have been looking for months and this is the perfect job they've been waiting for.  Perhaps your company is in an industry that is a hobby or interest of one of your candidates.  The bottom line is, someone who wants your job is always going to work harder for you than someone who just wanted to get away from his or her current job.  Make sure you know why your candidates are applying for this position and what their current job situation is.

Consider their Connections
While hiring based on talent and experience comes first, knowing whom your candidates are connected to is never a bad thing.  Your company is in business to grow and succeed and if your new employee is connected to people that can help make that happen, it’s a bonus.  Check out their LinkedIn profile to see if they are connected to any business leads you have. If you have a big project coming up and will need Project Managers, see if they're connected to any. You should never hire based solely on connections (unless it’s for a sales position, perhaps) but this is always a good thing to know and consider.

Consider any Bonuses
You never can tell where a new hire might end up.  Making a good hire might result in you hiring a future VP of your company.  The goal is always to nurture your employees and help them grow in their careers with your business.  So look for any skills or experience that might not be necessary for them in this current job, but could potentially allow them to move up in your company someday.  Skills like knowing another language, certain software programs or having different certifications or education are all things you should consider a bonus.

Candidates who are looking for a job aren’t going to stay on the market long (especially great ones)!  The faster you can make a decision, the more likely you are going to hire a great new employee for your company.  Don’t make a decision in haste though!  Considering the current state of your needs and what this person could bring to you now and in the future is very important.  After taking into account all of the above, you’ll rest easy knowing you made the right choice.  

Hiring Guide

By: Megan Blair 

Megan Blair: Marketing ManagerMegan graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 2007 with a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing. After college, she started her career in event coordination in Chicago planning corporate and personal events. Her career took her down a corporate marketing path where she gained experience at the leading GPS vehicle tracking company, Navtrak. Megan started with Synergis in 2009 and is enthusiastic about search engine optimization, social media and the IT staffing industry.

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Tags: Job Interview, IT Managers, Human Resources