Many hiring managers dream of being in this position: You have narrowed down the search to two outstanding candidates. Both of them have the expertise to thrive in the position and would make a strong addition to your company’s culture. Which do you hire?
Although finding two strong candidates is a plus, having to choose between them can be tough. Here are six questions to ask yourself to help break the tie:
- Which candidate showed more enthusiasm and passion? The candidate who shows more passion and enthusiasm for the work is more likely to hit the ground running – and to share that passion with co-workers, giving the entire team a boost in motivation and productivity. Passionate candidates also tend to be more creative.
- Which candidate is more self-motivated? Take a look not only at the candidate’s work, but at their out-of-office activities as well. A candidate who volunteers frequently for a cause he believes in, or who is training for yet another of her favorite competitive sporting events, demonstrates an intense internal motivation that likely spills over into their work.
- Who do you picture as the company’s next leader? You’re (probably) not hiring this person to lead today. But a great employee today is one who will make a great leader tomorrow. Picture each candidate in a leadership role in the company. Which one seems most comfortable, passionate, and effective there? Which one appears to be most likely to maintain and contribute to the company’s vision?
- Who does the team prefer? Don’t hesitate to ask for feedback from the employees who will be the new hire’s co-workers. They will be working with the new hire on a daily basis and will need to build common bonds of communication and trust with one another. If the team has a strong preference, you should give it a great deal of weight – it could mean a boost in productivity for everyone.
- Which candidate was more organized and communicative? Did one candidate consistently follow up, or follow up more promptly than the other? Did one of them show up to each interview with spare copies of her resume or with his portfolio impressively displayed? The candidate who put in the “extra work” during the interview stages is more likely to do so once the offer is made as well.
- Does either one have a credential the other does not? By the time you are making a hiring decision, you know that both candidates have the education, qualifications, work experience, and skills required to succeed in the job. If one of them has completed a professional credential the other did not, however, you may be able to use this fact to break a tie.