How To Choose Between Two Great Candidates For A Role

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How To Choose Between Two Great Candidates For A Role

It’s a no-brainer that having the right person in a key position is paramount for managers, staff and an organisation overall. However, recruiting the right person is a blend of science and art. Choosing the best candidate can be difficult when you’re working under pressure. That problem is amplified when, after progressing through all the stops on the recruitment journey, there are two ideal candidates. And when you consider that the average cost to a business for recruiting a new person is nearly $30,000, there’s even more pressure on you not to make a mistake!

Your decision-making style

Let’s move away from the idea of the candidates for a moment and instead focus on you, as your personality may unconsciously affect how you make decisions. Some people are particularly decisive – they like getting the job done and move on to the next task without thinking too much about it. Decision-making is as quick and easy as blinking and that’s all there is to it.

Others spend a great deal of time analysing all the facts and evidence to ensure they make the right decision. If they are not confident, then they will probably need more facts and evidence to support their decision. This process can be time-consuming and frustrating for others.

Then there are those whose inclination is to support people as much as possible and really don’t want to upset anyone. It can be personally very challenging for them to make a decision and it will normally take a long time. They may even choose to refer the decision to someone else.

The final person will be very optimistic and more informal about it all and will help everyone to feel good while making the decision. They prefer to keep everyone onside and happy even when someone has to miss out.

“How do I choose between two really good candidates for a position?”

Choosing between candidates can be tough, so I suggest using the following methods to help you make the decision:

Talk with a trusted colleague. Having someone who is a good listener and can ask the challenging questions could help you see the situation from a different perspective. They may also hear your preference for a candidate by what you say and how you say it. They can feed this back to you for discussion, which can be a light-bulb moment.

Stop and step away from the situation. Often you can be too close or embedded in the process to see it clearly. Engaging the brain in other activities for a period of time can free you from these thoughts. This could simply be a change of environment, doing some exercise, meditation or something else you really enjoy. Do this and you will usually revisit the situation with more clarity.

Sleep on it. I am constantly amazed at how a good night’s sleep clears the head. Often it enables you to see things from a different perspective, which may provide greater clarity.

Peter Cullen is an AIM facilitator who teaches AIM’s “Manage People, Performance and Business Effectively” courses. Each three-day program engages participants in developing and implementing their capabilities as managers and leaders. Visit the AIM website for more information. 

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