Finding one great candidate to fill a much needed role can be a challenge. When you have two perfect candidates you may think yourself exceptionally lucky. Yet you still have to choose just one successor. Hmm…it may not prove to be an easy decision to make. So how do you select the best candidate when they are both so fantastic? Well, you will need to look beyond their ability to perform and ask yourself how they will fulfil other areas of the organisation’s needs.

Let’s firstly consider the company’s culture. So many candidates fail in their role because they don’t fit the organisation’s culture. In fact, nine out of ten unsuccessful hires are due to a poor cultural fit They can deliver on every one of their job responsibilities, but if they are not a team player and you have a collaborative culture, co-workers will soon revolt against their new teammate. In addition to the interview, you can establish the type of working environment a candidate thrives in through undertaking background and social media checks. Bringing other team members into the hiring strategy to identify how well a candidate engages with them can also help to gauge a candidate’s overall fit. Establishing early if the relationship between the potential hire and the existing workforce will be a harmonious one will save you much time and headaches if you can find the perfect match the first time around.

You may also want to take into account the candidates direct manager and their management style. People who work closely together on a daily basis need a high level of synergy. So if you determine that one candidate requires constant direction and the other is more intuitive and needs less supervision, then consider which will better match with the manager they will report directly to. A good fit will provide long term success to both the department and the company.

Now depending on the role at hand, you may also want to take into consideration each candidates network. We’re all familiar with the saying it’s who you know, not what you know. And this can be a very lucrative ace up one candidate’s sleeve if they can demonstrate that their connections would be of enormous value to your organisation. Are you a growing company? Are you looking to break into new markets? Can you grow your internal knowledge and expertise by tapping into their existing contacts? Perhaps you have a candidate before you whose value is suddenly heightened because of their existing associations. This information can be cleverly extracted throughout the interview, or through perusing their LinkedIn connections.

Of course you always want to know how badly a candidate wants to work with you. Gauging their level of enthusiasm may require you to ask a few questions. Are they currently unemployed? Are you headhunting them or have they come to you? Do they speak about the intricacies of the role with passion? A person who is interested in and wants the job will always work harder for you than someone who is escaping their current role. So understand why a candidate wants to work for your organisation and not another. You can gain an insight into a candidate’s motivations by asking them directly why they applied for the role on offer.

It pays to also ask yourself the future needs of your company. If you are looking to expand internationally then a candidate who is multilingual may be a huge asset. Perhaps the candidate has talents beyond the role that can support your company’s skill gaps in other areas until you can afford to recruit someone to fulfil this job aspect on a permanent basis. Have they come from a big corporation and can help guide your workforce to grow into a large, successful company? If not, will they thrive in a small, close knit environment long into the future?

Talent in some industries is in short supply, so to have two all-star candidates to choose from may be a rare luxury. Choosing just one may prove an agonising choice if you don’t understand how to analyse an applicant’s potential to succeed in your organisation. Looking beyond their ability to perform in the role can clarify which of the two candidates will be most beneficial to your team and your company. However if you find that after a careful and methodical analysis you still have two equally appealing candidates, perhaps your solution is to find a second role within your organisation. After all, if both candidates are of such great value, it shouldn’t be too long before they are kicking goals and delivering a great return on your investment…yes?

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