Hiring and selecting the right candidature is most important aspect of any recruitment team and as a recruiter, it’s important to be able to screen the right candidate that will be aligned to given responsibilities and company goals as well. During the selection process, staffing managers are usually interested in education skills, experience of the job candidate, Aptitude and cognitive abilities but most of the times, they make a fundamental mistake, focusing too much on accomplishments and not giving importance to Emotional Intelligence also known as Emotional Quotient (EQ).

Emotional intelligence is the ability of a person to identify, evaluate, and manage personal feelings and those of other people, as individuals or as groups. EQ is the ability to understand, use and manage one’s emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others to overcome conflict and challenges.

To achieve success at the workplace, everyone has to get along and support each other. It is natural to feel happy, sad, excited or angry during the course of work. The key is to understand one’s emotions well and express them in a way that is healthy and well received by others.

Some people always manage to maintain a calm demeanour at work. They are not work-loving robots, but simply emotionally-intelligent people. People with high on EQ manage to keep their feelings in check, which prevents others from being thrown off balance or losing their calm at work. This is an important skill to look for when one is hiring for leadership positions. For leadership positions, emotional intelligence is a significant factor to look out for in candidates. It is said that people who understand themselves have the ability to understand their emotions, especially those emotions that may affect their performance at the workplace.

There are several studies supporting that EQ-driven hiring leads to higher entrepreneurial potential, increased employee satisfaction, and more productivity. Many companies has shown significant improvement in employee engagement and employee retention with hiring through EQ that’s because emotionally intelligent employees automatically exhibit traits that matter in the real world: optimism, self-awareness, flexibility, empathy, and impulse-control, helping them make better decisions.

A combination of traits is thought to determine emotional intelligence such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management. Having a high level of emotional intelligence is demonstrated by:

  • Being a Team Player
  • Being Empathetic towards team members
  • The ability to make thoughtful, informed decisions in regards to business matters
  • Working Calmly under pressure
  • Having the skills to resolve conflicts

Just like cognitive skills are measured through testing, emotional intelligence skills can also be measured. Specific observations and behavioral questions during the interview can give insight into a candidate’s EI.

Assessment of emotional intelligence helps a staffing organization determine how well a candidate will perform in terms of development, leadership, teamwork and organization building, credibility, global versatility, and social responsibility.

It is possible to check for EQ even during the interview process. This may sound routine and easy and many may think they are already doing this, but many may not. If the responses are vague and the employers fail to ask good follow-up questions, then there is no way to assess EQ.

The process of integrating EQ into hiring begins right when you post the job description. Define the personality traits you need your new hire to have do mention phrases like “team player” and “works well under pressure.” Create a complete personality profile and make sure you letting candidates know that soft skills are of importance to your organization.

Psychometric test also plays important role for gauging the EQ during an interview process, with psychometric testing you can get an overview of their strengths and weaknesses. It can identify if a candidate copes well under pressure, and looks at their decision making in general.

And the most common way is face to face interview wherein you analyse how a person interacts in a group setting is a great way to understand their social skills and how they’ll fit in with your team. Do they make eye contact with everyone? Do they address the room when speaking? In a group or panel interview do they treat each interviewer equally?

You may also have a Situation Based or Behavioural Event Interviewing (BEI) is a technique that asks the candidates to describe a situation or personal experience from a previous job like Asking questions “What didn’t you like about your last job?” or “Tell me about a problem you faced and how you resolved it. This allows one to ask for and hear details about how the candidate thinks in situations that involve stress, challenges, and other people. Employers can learn about the feelings of the candidates during typical situations. This helps gauge whether the candidates are actually aware of their own feelings. Employers are also likely to get to know how they individuals managed their feelings, and the extent to which they were aware of their impact on others.

A stress interview is yet another way to assess a person’s EQ. As the name reveals, it is an interviewing style that companies use to gauge a candidate’s response to stress. It provides the hiring team an idea of how the candidates will respond, while juggling various high-priority tasks, or dealing with challenging clients, or facing a difficult co-worker or manager.

An emotionally intelligent person is more than a good worker as they are quite a good team player and they lift the spirits of people around them during stressful or difficult situation which also leads to increase in employee engagement and retention of quality employees. Including emotional intelligence testing in your overview of candidate skills is a powerful way to ensure you hire employees who will be a good fit for your corporate culture and help lead the company to success.

Identifying emotional intelligence in others is a skill that many people have to learn. As you gain experience hiring and leading teams, you’ll get better at noticing all the little traits that make someone a great person to work with.

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