If no one stands out as the person to cut, it is a very difficult decision.
These are the questions I would ask myself:
1. Can I narrow down the prospects by identifying those that I fell must stay?
2. Do I make the decision purely on business logic, or do I include personal opinions.
Examine all attributes of the employees: Attitude, willingnesss to go the extra mile, on time, absenses, quality of wrok, plays well with others.
If there is contact with clients, what has been the feedback from them. Who has a better working relationship with the most important clients.
What is it going to cost me in severance
Who needs the job the most from a family standpoint.
Who might be able to get a new job quicker
3. Is there an additional option?
Is there a possibility this is temporary? Can I cut hours from many employess in order to keep them all? Can I take 2 FT employees and make them both 1/2 time?
If all things are equal (and you can't make a couple of people part time for a while) then standard practice is last in, first out. Check with your HR department, your company may have a policy which covers this.
i dont agree that all in the team are equal. it is never - in any real scenario. you are working for management, not for your team. tough decisions need to be made, it you cant someone else will, and it maybe on you.
without getting too emotional, find out the weakest link.