It’s a good problem to have: You’ve narrowed your search to two really strong candidates who both seem perfect for the job. But how do you decide? What if one seemed really good on paper but won’t be able to follow through in real life? Or what if one just interviewed well? Some people are just charismatic and good at telling you what you want to hear. It’s natural for worry and second-guessing to set in with so much at stake. Here’s how to choose between two strong candidates.

Consider the long-term

Think beyond your immediate hiring needs and consider what you’ll need in a year or two, or five. Figure out which candidate has the most potential for growth. Does one have experience in a leadership role? Or does one have knowledge or skills that seem extraneous now but might be useful in a management role? It might not even be the skills themselves that stand out to you, it might be the fact that one candidate has a passion for learning and acquiring new skills, which is always an asset.

Think about the cultural fit

Cultural fit doesn’t have to be the number one priority, but it’s important enough that it has to be considered. Invite them to spend time with your team, maybe even for lunch, to see how they get along with everyone. And be upfront about the working environment – do most people work independently or collaboratively? Which candidate is more likely to thrive in your company?

Evaluate their enthusiasm

Figure out which candidate seemed most interested in your company. Did one ask more questions than the other? Did one provide more insightful responses or show they had done more research into your company? Use your gut to determine which candidate was more interested and enthusiastic about the position in your company.

Check references

Sometimes references are the most revealing part of your hiring process. Previous employers and co-workers can provide information about a candidate’s work ethic, integrity, ability to get along with others and attendance record. If there have been problems in the past, the candidate isn’t likely to share those on their own, but those references can share insight you couldn’t get any other way.

Use a trial period

If you can, test the person out for a week or so. Pay them so they’re motivated, but only provide them with the amount of information to do their jobs. Don’t share anything sensitive or confidential. And then see what they’re made of. See how well they fit into your culture, and how well they perform in that short time period. Then, assess how each candidate did in that short period of time.

Hire both

Okay, this one isn’t feasible for all companies, but if you have the budget, hire both candidates! If one doesn’t work out, then at least you’ve secured the other one, too!

For more tips on hiring the perfect candidate for your company, contact PrideStaff Thousand Oaks today.

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