What to do When You and Your Colleague Disagree on a Candidate

There are lots of cases where the candidate that the applicants’ manager approves of is not suitable according to the hiring managers, and vice versa. The reasons why you like a particular candidate and don’t seem to favor the other can be personal or professional. But when you decide who to hire, there are a lot of factors to consider, even though it’s not wrong to hire someone if you strike a chord with them.

To keep the process formal and industrious, keep an objective perspective on why the candidate should or should not be considered. Remember the following tips the next time you disagree with someone whether you should or shouldn’t hire an applicant.

Categorically Set Parameters to Judge

First and foremost, make sure that both of you are judging the candidate on the same levels. It’s possible that you see beyond the technical skills of the candidate and don’t see them to be a good fit, while your colleague approves of the candidate on the grounds that they are technically qualified.

Understand the role and define the basis on which the two of you will assess the candidate with strict key areas so you can plan your next move. This will minimize the confusion between you two and both of you will have evidence on why or why not to go ahead with the particular candidate.

Try to Talk-it-Out

Have a healthy discussion with your colleagues and discuss in detail what would be the consequences of making the hire. Whether positive or negative, a detailed conversation will highlight the things you like and/or don’t like about the candidate.

The easiest trick is to judge the candidate on a “pro & con” basis rather than to decide on the basis of opinions of the hiring managers.

Align The Skills Required For The Job

The candidate might be judged on a skill they have but the skill might not be aligned with the one needed for that role. For instance, it doesn’t make sense if a role requirement prioritizes communication skills but the candidate is rejected or approved on grounds of leadership skills.

The role requirement will be well defined, so make sure that you and your colleague assert the applicant the basis of those requirements.

Try a 3rd Party

While you and your colleague are at each other’s throats and can’t reach a decision, you’re probably arguing over nothing. To get a fresh outlook on how good a candidate really is, ask a 3rd party to review the candidate and interact with the applicant. The person you choose can be a senior or junior, but most importantly they would be unbiased while interviewing the candidate.

Trick: Share the interview details of you and your colleague. A video or voice

Talk to The Applicants’ Reporting Officer

The person who will be most affected if the hire is or isn’t made will be the candidates’ reporting manager. They will be the person under who the new person will work if they are hired. The manager will have pretty important insights in what to look for in a candidate and mark the red flags. 

The candidates’ potential boss will give you great pointers to follow. Use the manager’s leadership acumen to see whether the candidate would be a good fit under them or not.

Test Their Skills

Give them a specific assignment. Although aptitude and skill are both important in a healthy work environment, the talents for the role definitely are a priority. This can serve as the final test to approve or reject the application or be your last resort if you’re not able to make a call. Give the candidate a final, specific, and tough assignment that locks down on the decision and exhibits the level of skill and expertise the candidate has to offer. 

The applicant will be applying for a particular role that requires the skills, and most applicants for the role will have that skill, but you have to look for a factor would set this hire apart from the others. This test will properly show the reasons you do or don’t want to hire them.


There are going to be reasons why you should or shouldn’t hire a particular person, but there is a specific requirement that only certain individuals would be able to fill properly. So, even if you do get in a tussle with a colleague on why you should or shouldn’t make the hire, it’s not the end of time. You can get back to the beginning of the process and start from scratch to see how wanted the hiring to go and whether making the hire would be the right direction or not.


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