Choosing the Perfect Candidate: Mr. Right or Mr. Right Now?

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Little boy give a glass slipper to little girlYou’ve searched and searched for the perfect candidate. Resumes and interviews narrowed the talent pool to the best candidates. The only problem: You have found the best qualities… in two people. You can only pick one, so how do you choose? Eighty percent of organization turnover is a result of poor hiring decisions. The candidates are perfect on paper and have the charisma of President John F. Kennedy during the initial interviews. These tips shed some light on making the right decision.

Two Heads are Better than One

It never hurts to ask for help. Asking another experienced professional or coworker can give additional insight to a candidate’s cultural or professional fit in the company. The fresh perspective exposes some candidate qualities you were unaware of. Conduct a second round of interviews in which you participate very little if at all. The interview board will have a more objective perspective on the candidate’s fit to company mission critical skills.

collaborative second interview  gives a wider view of the candidate to the hiring team. Fifty percent of candidates who apply for a position will get a second interview. You can reduce this rate by giving the initial interview more weight in the hiring process. A narrower second interview can make the decision to hire easier.


It is crucial to know the immediate or future needs of the company before initiating the hiring process. The surprising catalyst is companies don’t always know what they want in a new hire. Even before reading resumes, 25 percent of hiring managers don’t know corporate needs. Knowing more important needs of the organization can save a lot of heartache when the time comes to make a decision between two candidates.

Should you hire Mr. Right or Mr. Right Now? The size and growth of the company has a direct impact on which you decide. A company that is growing quickly needs to hire a candidate who has ambition for growth. Mr. Right has the charismatic traits to fit a future role in leadership. While charisma matters, it isn’t the only thing to take into consideration when it comes to picking the perfect candidate.

Hiring for potential, which is sometimes a wise decision, might not always be the right decision. Established companies have their CEOs, CMOs, and the rest of their chiefs of staff; they already have their leadership. Mr. Right Now has the characteristics of a role that serves its purpose right now. They don’t necessarily have the potential for higher leadership, but that’s okay. Established companies need talented people to fill the gaps within their ranks to solve a current need.

360-Degree Interview

Interviews are vital to hiring the perfect candidate. But when you have two candidates who have potential to be dream employees, initial interviews don’t increase your chances in picking the right one. The typical interview increases the chances of choosing the right candidate  by two percent. Two percent. Take the hiring process to the next level. Bring the candidates into the office to observe daily company life. How do they fit?

Take a look at the whole candidate. Introduce them to potential coworkers and some higher-ups. An introduction to client procedures and communications will give insight into how well they actually interact with others. Communication skills can be learned, but how developed are their innate interpersonal skills?

Look at the entire candidate; find the quirks and the personality traits that make the perfect candidate the perfect fit. Use the opinions of your team to help decide if you need a Mr. Right or a Mr. Right Now. Make the decision before hiring if your company needs a candidate for immediate needs or the potential for higher leadership. Don’t get caught making the wrong choice.

By Maren Hogan