6 tips to pick the right candidate

Those of us who work in recruitment try to pick the right candidate, sometimes the decision can be clear but other times not so much. But what happens when we hesitate? What happens when we are in doubt? What can we do to pick the right candidate when we aren’t sure?

If you are an HR manager in your company and you have been in this situation, you’ll agree: that hiring or rejecting a specific candidate can sometimes be a real headache. 

Many recruiters would probably opt for the drastic solution in this type of situation characterized by a dilemma: if you make me doubt you are not the right person for the job and there is no point in considering a candidacy that does not seem to us, instinctively, to be suitable for the position. 

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It’s true. It’s often enough to stop the cycle of doubt into which we enter when aiming to pick the right candidate and realize something went unnoticed: if we have to make an effort to find merit in a candidate (that is, if we have to make an effort to like the person), then they don’t have the right qualities and must be discarded. 

However, surely you have not been able to resolve the dilemma of whether or not to pick the right candidate because neither of the two options leaves you in a state of sufficient peace of mind. There are several reasons for this.

how to Pick the right candidate

One of them is that the ideal candidate for a position often exists, but does not always appear in the right selection process. In that case, lower your selection standards, and simply, go for the most “suitable” or keep looking until you can find the best candidate. 

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Another reason is that, when aiming to pick the right candidate, people are not always classifiable in lists of pros and cons, but we need other criteria to decide and pick the right candidate. What criteria would that be?

How to pick the right candidate when we are in doubt

1. Trust your intuition

Your technical knowledge of the HR area, as well as the requirements of the job offer, are essential tools for selecting the right candidate. However, they are not enough to cover the complexity of those candidates who, being suitable or unsuitable, do not prove it to you at first glance and make you doubt. 

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However, remember that you are an expert in this area, do not let yourself be paralyzed by the complexity of this decision. Use your intuition, observe the impression this person makes on you, imagine them integrated with the rest of the team, and ask yourself what is the worst thing that could happen, whether you choose them or not. Don’t forget this is a person with whom you or your colleagues may have to work every day: do you feel like sharing your work with someone like this, on a personal and professional level?

2. Assesses technical skills and personal qualities 

Being charming or interesting is not always enough to be a good employee, but being an expert in a specific subject isn’t either. People have characteristics and skills that have to do with the position they are applying for (the so-called hard skills) and with personality and interpersonal intelligence (soft skills). Keep both types of skills in mind when choosing the best candidate, because they can be the ones that tip the balance when the issue is “neck and neck”

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3. Know what you are looking for

When you start to process of finding the candidate, fully develop the role, skills, requirements, and personal characteristics that, even if only ideally, the right candidate should have to fill the vacancy. 

The more you can specify your selection criteria, the less you will have to worry about whether your intuition fails you or not because you will have resources to answer your questions. 

Of course, you can’t always do it, but sometimes it’s enough to follow the instructions in the offer when selecting or discarding a person and picking the right candidate. 

4. Share your concerns with a good counselor

When you have to pick the right candidate for a position, you may be stuck with one or two candidates. Talk to a member of your team whose judgment you trust and who is free from the pressure of having to choose the best candidate. Explain the pros and cons to them. 

Surely this person will give you a point of view that you are not taking into account and that will help you clarify why you are considering selecting this candidate but do not see it clearly or why you are willing to discard someone who is supposed to fulfill “all the requirements”

5. Don’t pretend to be a psychic

Selecting a person for a position requires, among other things, anticipating what kind of employee they will be, both interpersonally and in terms of demonstrating if what they stated in the interview corresponds to reality. 

Will they be a good colleague, is their level of knowledge that high, will they freeze in a crisis, will they cause more problems than benefits?

You can ask yourself as many questions as you need to imagine who you are going to be dealing with once the contract is signed, but there is a limit to your intuition, your intelligence, your selection criteria, and every selection process where you have to pick the right candidate has an element of risk. Remember: no one can guarantee a recruitment decision will be the right one. Assume the part of the uncertainty that a candidate generates in you and make your decision.

Pick the right candidate

6. Allow yourself to extend the process as much as you need to

If you need to do an interview longer than planned, or mail out some kind of additional questionnaire, or employ any other technique that completes the selection process for a particular candidate, just do it. You won’t waste so much time and it’s better to invest it in that, surely, than to reject or accept someone feeling like you haven’t gathered enough information

Remember that the characteristics of the selection process you are executing have to be at the service of the best decision: when it comes to picking the right candidate it is not the decision that has to be adapted to a predetermined process.  

Emotional well-being program for companies

These are just 6 suggestions that can help you overcome an obstacle when it comes to hiring or rejecting a candidate. However, if you discover that the cause of your doubts lies in more complex personal difficulties, then a more in-depth approach to the issue is necessary.

At ifeel, we are experts in well-being at work and that is why we are dedicated to helping companies create stimulating and healthy work environments for their employees. That is why we focus on companies that want to invest in their employees’ wellbeing as one of their main priorities, focusing on those responsible for taking care of the most important resource that every company has: people (HR managers, talent managers, compensation & benefits, etc.).

To accompany them in this process, our team of psychologists has created an emotional well-being program for companies. With it, your company’s human resources managers will be able to receive personalized, data-driven advice on how to improve the psychological well-being of their teams. In addition, this program offers employees a complete mental health care service structured at different levels according to their needs. Try our program now to see how it could help you.


Also, don’t forget to visit our Resources section, where you will find podcasts on sports and health, employee experience, work environment, or talent attraction, among other interesting topics for you and your team. You will be able to access different guides, especially aimed at Human Resources managers or interviews with important managers in this field. In addition, you will find a Psychosocial Risk Factors Template, which will help you to comply with the requirements of the Labor Inspectorate.


We hope this post on how to pick the right candidate has given you good ideas to improve your day-to-day work in the company. Contact us to learn more about how our emotional well-being program for companies works. Get in touch we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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