It sounds like a plotline for a reality TV show but it's a problem faced by HR heads everywhere, every day; what do you do when faced with two equally strong candidates? Especially when you know what the cost of a bad hire can be. It can be a paralysing position to be in especially if you wait too long could see you potentially lose both candidates.
Writing for Robert Half senior executive director at the recruitment firm Paul McDonald has these three pieces of advice the next time you strike the talent jackpot
Look to the futureYou might need to fill an immediate vacancy but keep the company's long-term plans in mind before hiring anyone. Beyond the skills needed to fill the position what is each candidate's long terms potential for growth at and with your firm? Does one candidate's leadership capabilities stand out over the other or has some other soft skills that may not be directly relevant to the job but could come in handy later on.
There is no I in teamWell, one candidate may stand out as a superstar individual which of them is more likely to fit in with the overall culture of the office? Sometimes hiring managers don't devote enough time to considering who would thrive as part of the team already in place especially once the honeymoon phase of the job wears off. It's not always about who has the best skills but finding the right fit could help that person turn from coal to a diamond. Consider introducing top candidates to the rest of your team as part of the hiring process and get their opinions.
A for EnthusiasmIf you are really stuck think beyond their answers and CV and consider their overall enthusiasm and commitment to the process. Who was most engaged? Who asked the most questions? How quickly did they follow up after the interview? What is your gut feeling about who wanted the job most? Trust your instincts you have been doing this a long time.
If none of this helps you arrive at "the one" - hire both says, McDonald. While there may be lots of considerations star talent is hard to find and the company will benefit from having them both on board. Just make sure your decision is sustainable.