I'm a CEO — This is the Real Way I Make the Choice Between 2 Qualified Candidates



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Deborah Sweeney102
MyCorporation.com CEO
Take a minute to imagine that you’re in the middle of the hiring process. Countless applications have been reviewed, you’ve conducted multiple phone interviews, you’ve met with a handful of talented individuals in person, and now everything has been narrowed down to two candidates. It’s a little like the rose ceremony in The Bachelor. Both would bring incredible skills and ideas to the table, but you only have one rose to give. That is, you can only afford to hire one person.
What happens next? How can you make sure that the candidate you choose is the right hire and doesn't turn out to be a disappointment? Here’s what I consider before making the job offer.

I hire for fit.

This could mean two different things—cultural fit or motivational fit. Both are equally important.
Hiring for cultural fit means that this hire is a team player and willing to step in where they can to help everyone succeed. Motivational fit goes together with cultural fit in the sense that the candidates has an interest in the position’s duties and is excited grow with the company. If the candidate possesses both fit options, they will be more likely to stay with the company. Their career goals and beliefs align with the brand’s overall mission.

I check in with their references.

While the potential new hire might sound great on paper and interview even better in person, they might just be good at selling themselves. It’s time to reach out to their references, which may include former coworkers or employers, for a one-on-one chat about the individual.
When speaking to references, make sure to hit on these things: 
  • Ask the reference to describe the strengths of the candidate.
  • Inquire about their most memorable accomplishments.
  • Find out more about their work style, both solo and as part of a team, and how they communicate.
  • Ask the reference if there are specific areas where the candidate can improve and grow.

I ask about their future and goals.

“Where do you see yourself in the next five years?” is one of the most commonly asked questions during any interview. But it’s absolutely necessary to have an answer to this question. By inquiring about the candidate’s long-term goals, you’ll have a better understanding of who they are as a person and what motivates them. This is a great way to test for cultural fit, as it provides insight into what they are looking for in an employer. 

I go with my gut.

After all of the interviews and discussions, consider the candidate’s vibe and the way you feel around them. If you were naturally drawn to them and trust that they are right for the position, then go with your gut decision. When hiring new employees, look at your existing team members. Remember what attributes and characteristics they had that inspired you to hire them. This will allow you to have a better understanding of the kinds of candidates you should continue hiring in the future and help you feel confident that they will accept this rose, I mean, job offer.

Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com which provides online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, startup bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent services, DBAs, and trademark and copyright filing services. You can find MyCorporation on Twitter at @MyCorporation and Deborah at @deborahsweeney.