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Making a Decision Between Two Excellent Candidates

Rlm Deciding Between Two Candidates Fatured Blog

​The interviews are complete and the recruitment process is coming to an end, yet you still find yourself with two candidates who can’t seem to be separated. Having a choice between two excellent Construction & Engineering candidates might seem like a happy problem, but it can quickly turn into a big dilemma for employers.

The longer it takes to make a decision, the greater the risk of losing one, sometimes even both, to nimble competitors. So, how do you ensure the right choice is made? If there are two candidates on your shortlist that have been inseparable every step of the way, here are some tips to help make the right call.

Future Focus

Although immediate needs may feel more pressing, don’t forget to look at the future. They may have similar experience, but that doesn’t always equate to the same growth.

Look beyond the requirements of the position in question and examine their potential in the organisation over time. Which candidate suits your business’ long-term plans? Does one of them seem more interested in developing their technical skills? What about leadership potential?

Compare their levels of motivation and enthusiasm. Perhaps one appears slightly more motivated and engaged than the other? Finding someone who enjoys their work and is keen to develop, is more likely to thrive in the role long-term, so it’s answers to these sorts of questions that may play a big part in making a decision between two candidates.

Seek Outside Opinions

Although the final decision rests on your shoulders, an outside perspective can be invaluable to the hiring process when deciding between candidates. Ultimately, the candidate is being hired to be part of a team, so asking other people for their thoughts can often provide the clarity needed to reach a decision.

What does everyone involved in the recruitment process think and what was their feedback after the interviews? It’s also good to gauge the opinion of the candidate’s potential colleagues. Using a trusted member of your team, try organising an informal catch up with the candidate.

Another perspective can also help determine their cultural fit. Although you don’t want to forget about what someone can add to the culture, it’s widely believed that people who fit in will settle in quicker, get on better with team members and add more value to the business.

If you’ve been working with a recruitment agency throughout the process, remember to have a discussion with them to provide additional insights.

Look at Other Skill Sets

Although both candidates will have the core requirements of the position covered, consider any secondary skill sets they may possess that are missing in your current team.

With different competencies, experiences, and ways of thinking, a diverse team will always add value to a business.

If one brings a useful secondary set of skills to the table, while the other candidate overlaps with the skills of current employees, then it might be worth choosing the person that rounds off your team nicely.

Seize the Opportunity

If, after weighing up everything, the two cannot be separated, then you may want to consider hiring both. With the construction market like it is, it can often be worth hiring great people whenever you find them. Taking on two top-class people may allow you to scale up your operations in that specific area, but even hiring the other candidate in a different role than initially anticipated can be valuable too. Inevitably, great people tend to make their mark on the business regardless.

Of course, this is easier said than done and will always be dependent on various factors, however, it’s certainly worth looking into. Is there budget available to hire two new employees? Would it work with regards to the structure and the needs of the team?

If this option is decided and both candidates are hired, ensure that it is sustainable. Be cautious of how the positions are structured, have roles and responsibilities clearly defined and ensure that there is enough work to keep both engaged and happy.


If all else fails, trust your instinct and make a decision. The great news is that you have two excellent candidates to choose between, so the chances of making a great hire have just gone up.

Whatever the decision, we always advise to keep in touch with the unsuccessful candidate. Checking in every now and then (regarding company/industry news and updates on their career) will keep things ticking over until your actively hiring again.

If you would like to discuss this more or for support with your Construction & Engineering recruitment, get in touch with the RobLawMax team.