It’s a candidates’ market as job growth continues to be solid – a trend that started in 2012. While top talent is in high demand, you may still find yourself with two outstanding prospects – and only one position to fill.

You don’t want to let go of either prospect. And time is of the essence. According to one recent study, 57 percent of job seekers lose interest in a position if the employer takes too long to extend an offer. In fact, 39 percent said they would move on, unless they heard back within seven to 14 days.

How to Decide

Here are some suggestions to assist you in making the right hiring choice:

  • Take a long-term view. Look beyond the immediate requirement, which is to fill a single open position. Consider each individual’s potential for growth within your organization. Does one candidate have expertise or skills in an area not essential for the job at hand, but with high value to your company as a whole?
  • Hire for cultural fit. There are no grey areas when it comes to this factor. It’s essential that an employee not only fits in, but thrives within your company culture. You may want to invite both candidates back, not for another interview, but for a less formal visit. Have them participate in part of a staff meeting or come to an after-work happy hour or another event. This will give you a deeper look into their personality and how they interact with other team members.
  • Assess interest and enthusiasm. Which candidate has been the most engaged throughout the hiring process? This might include asking relevant questions, following up after interviews or genuinely relating to everyone they’ve met. Consider your gut feelings, as well. It’s likely that one person will rise to the top, even if there’s only a miniscule difference between the two.

Hire Them Both

If it’s feasible from a budget and organizational standpoint, a great strategic decision is to hire both superstars. Again, think long term. Your company will be stronger and more competitive if you deepen your talent pool – and you never know when you may have another opening to fill, especially in light of today’s job market picture.

  • Be sure your decision is sustainable. There must be enough work to keep both new hires engaged and feeling as though their contributions are making a difference. Are their projects or initiatives that have been moved to the back burner because your current team doesn’t have enough time to address them? Could an extra person help lighten the load for another high performer and save them from burnout or disengagement?

If you simply cannot hire two people, keep in touch with the candidate you turn down. Connect on LinkedIn and through other networks. Check in with them periodically to pass along news, and follow their careers. Just because it didn’t happen now doesn’t mean they won’t be a valuable team addition in the future.

To help you with candidate selection and other aspects of your talent acquisition strategy, contact the recruitment pros at StaffMasters today. We’ll help build your industry-leading workforce for today – and tomorrow.


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