What Should Be The Tie Breaker Between Two Candidates?

Hiring in the IT field is a challenge. It can feel impossible to find a single ideal candidate, but what happens when you have the rare but opposite problem of two great choices and you must make a decision?

How do you make the right choice between two candidates?  

Degree Vs. Certification 

If both candidates appear the same on paper, and both would fit in with the team, a logical place to start looking for differences is in their credentials. Some candidates will come to you with a college degree while others may have no degree or an unrelated degree, but they do have certifications. Which should carry more weight? A tech degree or an IT certification?  

The fact is, only your company can decide that. There are pros and cons to both. People with college degrees have a more well-rounded education and graduates tend to have business acumen and analytical skills. However, certifications are proof of specific skills, many of which require immersive boot camp work to master. How you weigh one vs. the other will depend on input from leadership and perhaps even HR. 

Focus On The Most Important Skills  

If you can’t decide whether experience or degrees and certs are more important, boil it down to skills. Talk to the people who will work with the new hire most closely and determine the five skills that are most important for success. Then determine which of your top two candidates has those skills or at least have most of them. If both have those top skills, add a fifth and sixth and so on until one person stands out. 

The fact is that college degrees are becoming less and less important in IT as more employers focus on skills and experience. If you find someone who has the skills and previous work history you want and who is a good personality match for the team, they should probably leap to the top of your shortlist.

Are You Looking For Top Engineering Talent? 

If you are looking for talented engineers who can help your organization achieve its goals, contact the experts at PEAK Technical Staffing today. We are a national leader among engineering recruiting firms, and we look forward to helping you land top talent. 



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