You’ve gone through a long process of interviewing candidates to fill an open position in your company. Now you have a challenge − there are at least two impressive candidates and only one position. What do you do now?
There are various options to consider in this type of situation.
Select the Better Candidate
One useful way to help determine the best person for the job is to create a point scoring system where points are assigned to various criteria such as the candidates’ experience, ability to do the position, fit within the office, salary, etc. The more important the criteria to you, the higher the points you assign.
Other criteria you can use to determine who to hire are:
- Which candidate has the greatest upside?
- Who is the greater risk to your company?
- Can one person better help the company make/save money or time?
- Does one candidate show more interest in the position/your company?
- Who is a better long-term fit for your organization?
- Which candidate will require more training?
- Who responded to your contact requests on a timelier basis?
- What did the references say about each candidate?
- Can you find anything online about either candidate − positive or negative − that may help you reach a decision?
- If the interview process dragged on for days or weeks, which candidate stayed the most positive?
A client I knew years ago interviewed four candidates for one position and all were so good that the company hired all of them. Obviously this is an exception rather than the norm.
But perhaps you can find a way to hire both candidates by reallocating some of the existing responsibilities within your organization, creating new projects or work that would allow both to be hired. Perhaps a new position could be created if the company budget would allow for the hiring of two people.
It’s difficult at any time to find one great candidate, let alone two. Biting the bullet now could save you recruiting costs later.
• Don’t rush on a decision − have the candidates come back for another round of interviews if necessary. If you do take time in your process, explain why additional interviews are required.
• Notwithstanding the previous point, don’t delay too much. Quality candidates are usually in demand by other companies and have other opportunities on the go. Additional delays could turn them off your opportunity. However, the candidate that really wants your position will generally wait for your decision.
• Get a second opinion. Have others in your organization meet the candidates if you haven’t done so already and ask for their views.
Having two candidates and only one position to fill can sometimes result in healthy dialogue and debate within an organization. Be respectful and keep candidates in the loop regarding the status of the search. You want to ensure that you don’t lose a good quality candidate to another opportunity because the process has taken too long.