Recruitment and hiring are two of the most essential tasks for any HR professional. Finding the perfect candidate for a job is challenging enough, but what happens when you are faced with the decision of choosing between two equally qualified candidates whose experience and skills are identical? There are several important factors you should consider before making a final decision.
If you’re having trouble deciding between two candidates, don’t worry: this is actually a good problem to have! Often, recruiters struggle to find even one person qualified for the job. The fact that you have choices means you are attracting top talent. Having said that, you will have to pick one over the other. The Society for Human Resource Management surveyed a group of human resources professionals to learn which factors they considered the most important in deciding whom should be offered the job. Their answers included the following:
- Diversity. The strongest organizations are those whose employees have a wide range of different perspectives. Ask yourself what each candidate would add to the team to enrich your company.
- Team dynamics. Look for a candidate who will complement the existing team the most. As with diversity, it’s nice to have a group with different personalities who excel in different areas. This brings different strengths and perspectives to each project.
- Growth potential. Ideally, your new hire will be with the organization for a long time, so try to determine which one is most likely to be interested in growing more in the role and with the company. Pay attention to how adaptable and trainable you believe each candidate will be, and whether they share your company’s cultural values. However, don’t focus too strongly on cultural fit; doing so could hamper your efforts to establish diversity and inclusion.
- Thought process. Understanding how a person arrives at an answer is more important than the fact that they know the answer in the first place.
- Passion. The candidate who seems most passionate about being a part of the team may bring a new way of thinking to the organization. This could help solve problems that have previously felt insurmountable.
- Communication. Pay attention to both verbal communication and body language, especially if your new hire will be in a customer-facing role. How we speak to other people is crucial.
- Soft skills. Employers often focus on technical skills, but soft skills are equally important. Soft skills are everyday behavioral and personality traits that establish how well an individual will interact with coworkers, solve problems and manage their time.