Bridge Insights

Making the Final Decision Between Two Great Candidates

Jan 12, 2022

Finding top talent can be hard to do. We all like to think when we find The One, similar to dating, we’ll know. More often than not, interviewing leave us will several equally, yet differently, qualified candidates, and making the final decision can be tough. If you’re stuck on who to select between your top candidates, here are some things to consider before extending that final offer:

What soft skills separate your candidates?

If both of your candidates have the background and experience needed to successfully perform the job, examine the areas where the two candidates diverge. Do aspects of their skill set, like soft skills, differentiate them in a meaningful way? Things like adaptability, creativity, time management, problem-solving, and collaboration can be hard to quantify, but they set professionals up for long-term success in a role.


[blockquotes color=”accent”] Keep the lines of communication open with your second choice. In today’s market, things move quickly and there’s no guarantee you are your top choice’s top choice.[/blockquotes]

Think about Culture

In addition to someone with a well-rounded skill set, it’s also important to hire someone who is a cultural fit. If you’re on the fence about which top candidate to whom you should extend an offer, consider what your top candidates will add to your team’s current company culture.
Remember, being a good fit isn’t always about what is a match presently, but who will add value and take your company culture to new heights.


Do not Duplicate

If your new hire is stepping into a role left by an exiting employee, you may want to exercise caution about hiring a near-identical professional to fill the role. After all, your newly departed employee left for a reason, so, ultimately it wasn’t a good fit for their personality, experiences, etc. Yes, hiring a cultural fit is important, but it’s also important to consider what your team needs as a whole.

Consider your top candidates and ask:

  • What does skills/personality does my team need presently and in the future to be successful?
  • Will this candidate push us to be a better business?
  • Will this candidate add value to the team beyond tangible production?
  • Can I see them being an architect in the company’s future?
Bridge Personnel Staffing Score card and hiring funnel metric performance

Still Stuck? Why not hire both?

If after weighing soft skills and a cultural fit your two candidates are still in a deadlock, you may consider hiring both candidates, if budget allows. As the saying goes, two heads are better than one, and if you have the means to do so, this could be a great way to get the best of both worlds (or candidates).

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Keeping your Workforce Top of Mind

While we all wish in deadlocked hiring decisions, we could hire both candidates, the reality is, we must select one candidate for the job. After considering the things mentioned above, and you’ve made your final decision, keep the lines of communication open with your second choice, in today’s market, things move quickly and there’s no guarantee you are your top choice’s top choice.

Continue to build that working relationship and leave that candidate with a positive interviewing experience with your company. You never know when another position may open or when you may happen to cross paths with this professional while networking down the line.