Two internal candidates for the team lead position: How to handle this?

I‘ve heard from a colleague of mine, who is working for an industrial company about his recruitment process.

He is responsible for a department in the company and one of the team leaders, let’s call him Angel, did indicate a return to the team member role. Angel The is nearly 60 and the management team did a good job in openly talking about his wish and decided to first post the job offering in the internal job market.

Two internal applicants have been interested and did apply for the position: Julius is 35 years old and has been working for the company for 3 years. He already has some management experience since he had some positions in other companies. Rather a maker, he intends significant changes in the team should he be able to secure this position. Randle is 47 years old and has a great and long history in the company, joining over 19 years ago. He is probably the most connected person in the department, has good ideas, and would like to bring back some structure to the team and how the team works; he is more kind of a stabilizer and will hold the team together for a long time.

So, how do we handle this situation, and how do we proceed? Obviously, if one of them will not be selected or even if both are not selected you are possibly looking to demotivate team members. If one of them is selected, the other one might be very skeptical and disappointed, and working together with the newly appointed leader might prove difficult.

I suggest openly addressing the elephant in the room and being as transparent as possible.

To give better advice of course I would need more information. In the end, it also heavily depends on the goals of the company and especially of the department. Which candidate is most suitable for the upcoming years considering the goals of the company? Depending on those questions, I advised, the colleague should be able to chose the perfect fit for the future.

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