How To Choose Between Two Strong Candidates

Hiring the right workers is essential to the success of any business. So while being faced with two (or more) equally qualified candidates is an enviable situation to be in, it can make choosing just one challenging.

To help you narrow down the candidate pool and make the final decision of who to hire, here’s our advice on what to consider when choosing between two great candidates.

Your immediate requirements

If your hiring process started a while ago, it can be easy to lose sight of what exactly you need in a new recruit. Looking back at the original job advert and assessing what your team’s immediate requirements are (putting emphasis on specific skills and experience) can be valuable when choosing who to hire.

For example, do you need a new member of staff with a unique skill set to enable new services or fill a gap? Or do you need someone whose experience is similar to your current team to provide support and reduce individual workloads?

Look at the long term

Alternatively, if both candidates meet the requirements for the job vacancy and your immediate business plans, you may want to consider how they could add value to your organisation in the long term.

What is their potential to grow and progress in their role over time? Does one have a skill or previous experience that the other doesn’t which, while not essential for the current vacancy, could be beneficial to the organisation further down the line?

Insight and enthusiasm

When deciding who should be offered the job, thinking about who seemed the most genuinely enthusiastic about the opportunity can be helpful - especially if you are hiring for a permanent position.

Think back to your conversations in interviews - who seemed the most actively engaged in the conversation? Who asked more insightful or detailed questions? Did one candidate have better knowledge of the company than the other? While the answers to these questions are unlikely to be the main factor in your decision, they can be useful to take into consideration.

Supporting the selection process

XCL are a specialist recruitment agency with a wealth of experience in managing the whole recruitment and selection process for our clients. We will work closely with your internal teams to ascertain exactly what you need from your new staff, advertise the role and conduct preliminary interviews before providing you with a shortlist of the best candidates.

While you will always have the final say on who will be offered the job, our expert consultants will provide support and insight at every stage of the process to inform the decision. Calling on their knowledge of each candidate and of the wider jobs market, your dedicated consultant will work tirelessly to help you hire the best person for the role.

Whether you have a vacancy that you need to fill right now, or if you’d like to discuss your future recruitment needs, call XCL on 01484 819900 or send an email to