Your business has a fantastic property role to fill. You’ve pored over CVs, identified the best candidates, carried out interviews, maybe even second interviews too, and now you’ve narrowed the field to two final contenders.

The problem is that your top two candidates are both equally qualified, equally experienced and equally suitable for the job, so much so that you’re not sure how to choose between them. As problems go, it’s not a bad one for an employer to have, but ensuring you make the right decision can still leave you in a quandary.

If you find yourself with two great candidates and only one property role up for grabs, here’s what to ask yourself to make sure you choose the right person for the job.

Who will better fit the company culture?

Never underestimate the importance of organisational fit. When your last two prospective employees have both demonstrated the skills and experience they’ll need for the role in question, your decision can come down to personality and who will better complement your existing team.

Think about which of the applicants seems to really ‘get’ your organisation and its objectives. How could their personal career plans fit in and become a part of this? You could even take them out for the ‘beer test’ to see which candidate you and your team gel with on a personal level.

However, there is a balance to be struck here. While it’s important to hire someone likeable and trustworthy who will get on with the rest of your employees, there’s much to be said for building a diverse team of property professionals, each of whom bring a different perspective to tasks and challenges. Considering who will contribute the most value to your company culture can help you make the right call.

Who is more eager to learn?

Even if the position up for grabs is a senior one, your new employee should demonstrate that they are ‘coachable’ and willing to take on new techniques and approaches. Every estate agency does things differently, so you don’t want to hire someone who isn’t open to adopting your working practices.

The best property professionals recognise that there’s always more to learn, so ask yourself which of your top two candidates may be the more receptive to change.

Who has the better track record?

It’s also worth looking back over your final candidates’ career paths to date. Has one of them progressed more quickly through the ranks or received more official recognition?

Keep an eye out for any instances in which either of your top two has been rehired into a company or hired by someone they’ve previously worked with into a new agency. Taking the opportunity to work with a particular individual again is a really positive endorsement of their expertise and character, so consider any example of this a significant plus point.

Who is more enthusiastic about the role and your company?

Of course, it’s not just you who needs to be sure about your new hire – they also need to be sure about you and your company. It’s unlikely that either of your top two candidates would have made it that far without clearly expressing their desire for the role, but think about this in more detail if you’re struggling to differentiate.

What questions did each candidate ask during their interviews? Were they fairly generic or did they demonstrate their interest by asking about specific aspects of your business? Did either of them ask what they would be doing in their first few months in the role or what you think makes your agency such a great place to work? More considered and in-depth queries tend to signify someone who is more serious and passionate about landing a role.

Discover more about their skills

If you’d rather take a more practical approach to selecting your winning candidate, why not set them both a task? Asking your top two to take on the same assignment – say, a presentation of what they would contribute in the first six months – can make it suddenly obvious which of them is the better prospect.

Then there’s also psychometric profiling. More and more property companies are using this method to assess candidates’ suitability, based on their personality characteristics and cognitive abilities. The idea is to measure the applicants’ results against a predefined ideal set of attributes for the role on offer. There’s no passing or failing, but this kind of profiling can help to distinguish between two candidates.

Other things to consider

Don’t forget to take the obvious into account too – things like salary expectations and where each of your candidates live. Of two equally qualified individuals, deciding between them may be as simple as who is more affordable, or who has the shorter commute.

Take time to canvas opinion from team members who weren’t involved in the interview process, yet came into contact with each candidate – your receptionist, for example. The way someone carries themselves when they don’t know they’re being watched can be very telling!

Finally, ask yourself if you really must choose. If they are both such good candidates, why not find roles for each of them? If yours is a larger organisation and you can stretch to it, hiring two great new employees can make perfect sense, especially if you know you’ll need to recruit again sooner rather than later.

For more help finding the best new hires for your property company, give our friendly team a call. We have everything you need to help you attract new talent to join your business.