It's one of the most important HR questions of all time: how do you choose between two candidates with similar qualifications?
In cases where two strong candidates stand out, many HR professionals struggle to choose the best candidate for a job opening. This is especially true if the two candidates have similar qualifications.
Nevertheless, a decision must be made, especially if hiring two of them is impossible.
Ways to choose between two great job candidates
Regardless of how many candidates make it to the final interview, hiring managers can use various methods to find the best candidate.
With these methods, you can answer the question: how would you choose between two individuals with similar qualifications?
Conduct another round of interviews
Another round of interviews, possibly with a new approach or emphasis on certain aspects, might help HR managers decide between two candidates with similar qualifications. It is during this new round of interviews that the right candidate starts to stand out.
Compare their soft skills
In addition to their hard skills, hiring managers should use soft skills to evaluate candidates for an open position.
Candidates’ skills, such as communication, creativity, and empathy, are all important skills for a job. Having these extra skills can set one of the final two candidates apart from the other in cases where they both have similar qualifications.
Consider a culture add
HR professionals may prefer a culture fit — someone who fits into the company’s culture. While this may be ideal, a culture add may be best for your organization.
Culture-adds or contributors are candidates that, once hired, will bring diverse traits, values, backgrounds, and new energy. All these traits may be what the organization needs to drive innovation, while also making your workplace more welcoming and inclusive for future candidates.
If a new round of interviews doesn’t help choose the best candidate, HR managers may consider putting the last two candidates to the test. A practical test can help determine how each candidate will handle real-life situations once hired.
For example, suppose a HR manager is looking to hire a public relations coordinator. In that case, they may administer a writing test to see how many words the best candidate can type per minute, if they can write newsworthy content within a set timeline, and how well they proofread their content before submission.
Take your time
While a lengthy hiring process may not be the ideal thing, it’s also crucial for HR managers to take their time to find the best candidate.
Taking a bit more time to evaluate the characteristics of the final two candidates may be precisely what most HR professionals need to identify the characteristics of one prospect that make them stand out even more.
Whatever candidate HR managers choose, the other candidate must be kept in the pipeline.
This is because if one of them declines your offer or another opportunity comes up later, you've already found the best fit.
Choosing between two outstanding candidates is difficult! However, employing these tactics and posing challenging questions can help you find the best choice for your business. The ideal employee is priceless!
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