Two Quality Candidates – A Nice Problem to Have


Two highly qualified AND likeable job candidate resumes are sitting in front of you.  You’ve gone through extensive interviews, background checks, and reference checks on both and now it’s decision time.  Enough waffling, enough “Pro and Con” back and forth in your brain – you must choose one or the other.

I’ve worked through this scenario with clients just a few times in my career – ok many.  If I do my job correctly, chances are I’ve narrowed down the pool of candidates to 2 or 3 really great fits, but the final decision must lay with my client.

It’s not easy and FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is very real.  “What if the one I don’t choose is better, would be better, is potentially better?”

When I see the signs of FOMO rearing its ugly head I intervene with some sage advice.

  1. Which candidate REALLY fits into your culture. On day one will they seem like they’ve been here forever?  Will they assimilate well into the current mix?  You want someone who will be sticky – be with you for a long time. Take a deep look at each candidate – which one rises to the top?
  2. Speaking of sticky – who can you see in your organization for the long term? Which person can grow into other roles (if that’s applicable), who will be able to handle change easily, because every company experiences change and innovation, which candidate is more versatile?
  3. The WOW factor. Think back to your interviews – who shined more?  Who smiled more, who had more energy – more consistent energy?  Who showed up earlier, more eager, and happier?  Who was more inspired?
  4. Who interviewed YOU? Who asked relevant and insightful questions and who seemed more interested in you, your team, and your culture?
  5. If you did Assessments – how did each fare? Did any show red flags that may become an issue down the line?

If you are still stuck, and really can’t decide, consider hiring both, if you can afford it.  Great talent isn’t easy to find and sometimes opportunities happen that you can’t pass up.  As this adds a different layer to your business it’s important that you define roles clearly and consider bringing in a consultant to work through the transition with you, the candidates, and the team.

Choosing the ONE is hard, sometimes it’s not worth the anxiety if in the end you are gaining two amazing people who can take your company to new levels of performance and success.