How to Choose Between Two Great Finance People

Eenie meanie miney moe…there has to be a better way to pick between two great finance people, right? Don’t worry – we’ve got some tips to help you decide between two outstanding potential candidates.

Life is filled with tough decisions: Pepsi or Coke, The Matrix or The Hunger Games, Wolverine or Iron Man (Wolverine, of course!). One of the most difficult hiring decisions employers have to make comes when they are confronted with a choice between two great finance people. While you’d probably like to hire both of them, the reality is that you only have one role to fill and enough resources to add one of them to your team. So how do you choose between two great finance people?

Keep a scorecard

The first step in choosing between two great finance people is to create an objective scorecard to rate and rank them against one another. This should be done ahead of time for a variety of reasons. It forces the key stakeholders to arrive at a consensus about the requirements for the position. Having a scorecard to compare the candidates will also help to streamline the hiring process at later stages and allow your team to make a faster, more objective selection. Finally, it will standardize the interview process: each candidate can be compared according to certain expectations, so that you can compare apples to apples.

Look for success

Another way to split the difference between two great finance people is to look for things that fall outside of traditional job specifications. Focus on the candidates’ career trajectories. Note which of them has been consistently promoted in each role he/she has taken on. Take notice of which candidates have been identified as top performers. Typically, successful people will continue being successful.

Focus on the candidates’ career trajectories. Note which of them has been consistently promoted in each role he/she has taken on.

Overcoming obstacles

Exceptional finance people consistently demonstrate the ability to overcome obstacles. During the interview, ask the candidates to define the challenges they have faced in each of their roles. The strongest candidate will demonstrate a solutions-focused approach to problem-solving, tied to specific timelines and with company milestones in mind.

Growth focused

Always hire the person who is open to growth. Great finance people select opportunities that allow them to learn and grow their skill sets. As businesses evolve, so do the demands of each job within the company. If a person has a history of taking on increasing levels of responsibility and expresses a desire to continue their professional development, you can be comfortable that they will remain an asset in the future, regardless of how your company develops.

As businesses evolve, so do the demands of each job within the company.

Excel in ambiguity

When you have to choose between two strong finance candidates, identify the person who can excel in ambiguity. Ask the candidate to describe a time when he or she had a limited amount of information, received little instruction or supervision, but was still able to solve a problem. This type of scenario is an effective way of ferreting out which potential hire is a creative problem-solver – someone who can devise potentially innovative solutions, while still respecting company culture. A resourceful employee is a valuable employee.

Making tough hiring decisions is a part of the finance and accounting industry. But by following these steps, you can make the tough process of choosing between two exceptional finance people just a little bit easier.

Let us know what you think! At Clarity Recruitment, we’re always interested in hearing from accounting and finance professionals like yourselves, who are ready for new, exciting opportunities that can take their careers to the next level. And be sure to follow us on Twitter (@clarityrecruits) and connect with us on Facebook for more great tips and advice!