The Role Of Emotional Intelligence In Hiring

Importance of Emotional Intelligence in Hiring

When it comes to predicting job performance in the recruitment process, the debate often centers around IQ (Intelligence Quotient) versus EQ (Emotional Quotient). While certain fields continue to prioritize IQ in today’s workplace, others are actively seeking candidates with a well-rounded skillset that goes beyond the purely logical.

A study conducted by Talent Smart has already found that 58% of job success is attributed to emotional intelligence. Thus, technical skills and experience are no longer the sole differentiators. Companies are increasingly recognizing the critical role emotional intelligence plays in building successful teams. SO what exactly is EQ, and why should it be a top priority in your hiring strategy?

Definition of emotional intelligence :

Emotional intelligence refers to a person’s ability to understand, manage, and express their own emotions, as well as perceive, understand, and influence the emotions of others.

Daniel Goleman’s groundbreaking work in particular on emotional intelligence revolutionized our understanding of human potential. His theory outlines five core components that contribute to a person’s ability to understand, use, and manage their own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. These components work together to influence behavior and overall success in various aspects of life, including the workplace.

Here’s a breakdown of the five core components:

  • Self awareness: This is the foundation of EQ. It refers to a person’s ability to recognize their own emotions and their impact on thoughts and behaviors. Someone with high self-awareness can identify their strengths and weaknesses, along with their emotional triggers.
  • Self regulation: This component builds upon self-awareness. It involves the ability to manage your emotions effectively, including delaying gratification, controlling impulses, and calming oneself down during stressful situations.
  • Motivation: This goes beyond simply having goals. It’s about the internal drive and passion that fuels your actions. Someone with high motivation has a strong sense of purpose and direction, and they are able to maintain focus and resilience in the face of challenges.
  • Empathy: This refers to the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. Those with strong empathy can perceive emotions in others, both verbally and nonverbally, and can see things from another person’s perspective.
  • Social Skills: This component focuses on your ability to build and maintain healthy relationships. It encompasses a wide range of skills, including effective communication, conflict resolution, teamwork, and building rapport with others.

These five components are interconnected and work together to create a strong foundation for emotional intelligence. For example, high self-awareness can help you regulate your emotions better, which in turn can contribute to increased motivation and more effective social interactions.

The 5 components of emotional intelligence
The 5 components of emotional intelligence By Daniel Goleman

Why should companies prioritize emotional intelligence based hiring ?

As automation and AI take over routine tasks, the human contribution is flourishing. Soft skills like being empathic, aware of your own emotions, and being able to build good relationships are becoming key, and resumes made of steel are no longer the sole key to landing the dream job.

On the other hand, companies are gradually seeing that having workers who are good at these soft skills is beneficial in many ways. In fact, studies showed that emotionally intelligent people are earning $29,000 more per year than average people, as the demand for these profiles are expected to increase to 26% by 2030.

Here are some of the benefits of hiring employees with high EQ in the workplace:

  • Stronger teams and communication: Employees with high EQ are better at collaborating, resolving conflicts constructively, and fostering a positive work environment. This leads to increased team cohesion, productivity, and overall morale.
  • Improved client and customer interactions: Employees with strong emotional intelligence excel at building rapport with clients and customers. They can navigate difficult situations calmly, listen actively, and communicate effectively, leading to stronger relationships and higher customer satisfaction.
  • Enhanced leadership potential: Great leaders possess a high degree of emotional intelligence. They can inspire and motivate others, delegate tasks effectively, and provide constructive feedback that fosters growth and development.

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  • Reduced stress and conflict: Emotionally intelligent individuals are adept at managing their own stress and regulating their emotions under pressure. This translates to a calmer work environment with less interpersonal conflict and improved decision-making.
  • Increased adaptability and change management: The modern workplace is constantly evolving. Employees with high EQ can adapt to change more readily, manage uncertainty effectively, and remain positive and resilient in the face of challenges.

How can you assess emotional intelligence during the hiring process?

The interview question, “Tell me about a time you felt overwhelmed,” might seem cliche, but it reveals more than meets the eye. This seemingly basic prompt actually delves into a candidate’s emotional intelligence (EQ), specifically their ability to manage conflict and overcome challenging situations. By analyzing their response, HR professionals can assess the candidate’s behavioral aspects like self awareness, stress management, and problem-solving approach under pressure.

Usually, recruiters and HR managers use one of these methods or even use a combination of many for a well-rounded perspective :

  • Behavioral Interviewing: Ask questions that delve into past experiences where the candidate demonstrated emotional intelligence skills. For example, “Tell me about a time you had to manage a conflict with a coworker.”
  • Situational judgment Tests: These assessments present hypothetical scenarios and ask candidates to choose the most appropriate response. This can reveal their problem-solving skills and emotional intelligence under pressure.
  • Work Sample Tests: Assign a task relevant to the position that requires collaboration or problem-solving skills. This can provide insights into their communication and teamwork abilities.

Another well recognized methodology is The Global Emotional Intelligence Test. This one is inspired by Goleman’s four quadrant Emotional Intelligence Competency Model (2002). To pass it , just click on this link below, only be sure to answer all the questions accurately and be completely honest:

Take the test !

Conclusion :

Although some positions require more power skills like customer service representatives, teachers, and health care, other positions are evolving to require more communication, even the most introverted programmer needs some EQ to navigate his way through the day ! Thus, building a team with strong emotional intelligence, will not only create a more positive work environment but will also boost innovation and problem solving within the team.

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