Eeny, Meeny, Miny Moe

Quite often employers will speak about the challenges of finding the best staff. The process of finding great staff is well documented. But what do you do when you are unable to make a decision between more than one “perfect” candidate?

Recently I have been recruiting for a highly sought after role with candidates from across the country applying.  After reviewing applications, completing phone screens and first round interviews, the process moved to the Selection Panel for interview. In this case we had a Selection Panel of three; an odd number is best to avoid a stalemate.

Once each candidate had been scored against the selection criteria, the Selection Panel was unable to agree on a preferred candidate. What happens next? How do we make a decision between candidates who have equally strong skill sets/experience and match the cultural values of the organisation?

Eeny, meeny, miny moe is never going to be the best decision making tool. At this point you have a number of options. The interview should form part of your process, but you must make use of other tools available to ensure you make the right decision.

1 – Reference checking – use the information you have obtained in the interview. Do you have any areas of concern, or any areas of importance for the role? The insight of a referee can be invaluable.

2 – Skills testing – what skills are required for the role? Do they need to use specific software? Would reasoning tests be useful? Are any other specialist skills required?

3 – Behavioural/psychometric profiling – a number of cost effective profiling tools are available and can provide valuable insight not necessarily gained from interviews or reference checks.

4 – Background checks – people can write anything on a resume. There are a number of ways you can verify what the candidate has written/told you, including qualification, employment and police checks.

5 – Introduce the candidates to the team – if you are unsure of cultural fit, who better to evaluate suitability than the team they will be working with? 

6 – Informal interview – take each candidate out for a coffee or for lunch. The more relaxed environment will allow the candidate’s true personality to shine.

It’s a great problem to have and by using the appropriate process and tools you can do everything possible to make the best decision. 


Written by Senior Recruitment Executive Paul Baranski

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