Having many qualified candidates vying for a job can be both a blessing and a curse for a hiring manager. When your picks are narrowed down, you should feel comfortable with the idea of bringing any one of them onto your team. But how do you figure out who’s the absolute best? These three tips will help you to make your best possible judgment call when you’re deciding who to hire.

Education vs. Experience

You might be more drawn to one candidate because they have better educational credentials, such as having a more advanced degree. However, another candidate could have more job experience that gives them the edge. Better education could mean that a candidate has a better understanding of terms and procedures. However, more experience could mean that they’re more of a self-starter. You shouldn’t feel as though you have to choose between one and the other. Finding the right candidate is about finding someone who has a good mix of both attributes.


Anti-discrimination laws have done a good job of addressing unfair hiring practices. However, there are still ways you might be unwittingly contributing to discrimination. If you choose to administer pre-employment tests, you will need to pick questions carefully to avoid biased or discriminatory practices. Run these by legal experts with a deep knowledge of hiring law. You also need to reflect on the demographic makeup of your workplace, as any trend of only hiring certain types of people or not hiring certain types could expose you as having serious hiring bias.

Past Employer Opinions

If you request references from previous employers, getting in touch with them will help you figure out if someone is worth hiring. You might be greeted with a very gushing review or something very curt, such as “no comment.” You should be as respectful of the other person’s time as possible and ask a few, to-the-point questions that help you with your search. Letting them speak in their own words about what made an employee such a great member of their team can help with your decision.
Going over these items and anything else that seems important before making a hiring call can help you to feel greater confidence in your hiring choice. Your intention is most likely to fill this position for the foreseeable future, so it’s not a decision to be made carelessly. When you make that congratulatory call or email, you’ll be able to do so with great conviction.
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