​Let’s face it, having to choose between two incredibly talented creative candidates for a position is not the worst problem to have! However, making sure you hire the right candidate for the role is crucial, as getting it right can positively impact your bottom-line, company culture and employer brand, as well as reduce your turnover.

Here are some top tips that can help you differentiate between two final candidates to make sure you get the best fit for your team!

Methods for selecting candidates

1. Ask yourself what you REALLY need?

If they’ve got this far it’s likely that both candidates have a good number of the skills and competencies listed in the job description. So, it’s up to you to weigh up the importance of those skills and ask yourself, what is the most critical?

It might be that one candidate has more of the required design skills but the other has extensive social media experience or has worked with your design software before, etc.

2. Consider the future

Think about the following questions: what are the long-term plans for the business as a whole? What skills and experience will your creative team need in the future, and can these candidates support that growth? Additionally, you might consider which candidate is best suited for the career development in your company. Who is most likely to work independently and progress in the organisation?

3. Go beyond culture fit – think culture add

It’s important to make sure any candidate fits in with your workplace culture. But you should also consider what each candidate can ADD to your culture. Leaning too hard on cultural fit can leave you with a lack of diversity and runs the risk of promoting unconscious bias. The right candidate should bring a mix of integration and contribution to your company culture.

4. Look at their soft skills

Are there any soft skills that either candidate has that sets them apart, that aligns with your business values or that will add to your workplace culture? Creativity and critical thinking improve innovation and problem solving. Communication, collaboration, and empathy help teams get along and work together. Are the candidates able to give concrete examples of their soft skills?

Top tip: Asking candidates to rank their soft skills at the interview stage can be a useful way to see if their priorities match up with yours.

5. Who wants it most?

Creatives need to be passionate about the job they are doing. Given that your candidates have made it to the final stage of the process it should be a given that they are both keen to be hired for the role. However, have either have them stood out in terms of energy and enthusiasm? Is one candidate more responsive? Did they ask inspired questions about the role? Little details like these can help you distinguish who may make a more engaged employee who is as passionate about your business as you are.

6. Get a second opinion

Still struggling to decide? A fresh perspective may be just what you need. Ask a colleague for their opinion on CVs and interviews. You can also arrange for both candidates to meet the team they will be working with in a relaxed environment to see how well they interact together. All those extra eyes and ears may also pick up on something you have overlooked.

Bonus: Our top 3 tie-breaker interview questions

Build in some questions in the interview that you can use in the event of a tie-break situation. Here are our favourites that work well with considerations we have outlined above.

1. Describe the ideal organisational culture you want to be a part of?

Not only can you assess if the candidate will fit in with your current culture, but you can also see what they believe is important and how they can help you work towards that culture goal.

2. What is your most important long-term career goal?

Does their long-term goal align with your own for the role and for the business? You can also see what they believe to be the most important factor for growth.

3. Can you describe a time when you had to work with someone you were incompatible with? How did you manage the situation?

This is a great question to measure soft skills such as collaboration, teamwork, problem solving, and communication. If you are looking for different soft skills, you can adapt this question as needed.

Remember, whichever questions you choose, make sure to ask both candidates the same ones!

Once you’ve decided on the final two candidates, break the tie, not the connection!

Remember not to take too long to choose between candidates. Demand for talent is high and top-quality candidates are interviewing for multiple roles at the same time. Once you have decided which candidate is the best fit for the role, make sure you offer the best compensation, benefits, and conditions you can. Exceptionally talented creative and marketing professionals are in high demand and how you present your employee benefits is critical to attracting and retaining high-calibre candidates.

Therefore, once you have made your decision you must be careful not to alienate the unsuccessful candidate. Whoever you choose, make sure you offer feedback quickly and in-person, connect on LinkedIn and keep their details for any future roles that may become available. You want to break the tie, not the connection.

How DMCG can help you attract talented candidates

​If you are looking for advice on how to create a recruitment strategy that attracts the best creative or marketing talent available, DMCG can help. If you are looking to appeal to top quality professionals and would like a bespoke recruitment service, our expert consultants would be happy to discuss you needs. Get in touch below to find out more.