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Emotional intelligence (EI) or emotional quotient (EQ) is the ability to perceive, comprehend and control one’s emotions and respect others’ emotions. Emotionally intelligent professionals handle interpersonal relationships empathetically and form them comfortably in order to carry out organizational tasks. This blog elaborates on why emotional intelligence is needed more than ever at work, the right approach to hiring people with high EQ, and tools to assess suitable candidates.
While recruiters focus on technical knowledge and academic intelligence during hiring, behavioral competencies such as emotional intelligence are equally important to assess the right fit. An employee’s high EQ makes them self-aware, empathetic, and composed. They become better team players, better at handling conflict, and better leaders.
For this reason, a high EQ is an indicator of top-performing employees. According to a survey by TalentSmart, 90% of the top performers are high in emotional intelligence.
Empathetic people who understand others’ emotions make better decisions and accomplish tasks efficiently. Furthermore, a workforce of emotionally intelligent employees helps reduce stress and boost morale.
Comprehending one’s feelings and those of their team members is essential for effective communication. Emotionally intelligent leaders and managers know how to manage their emotions and behavior at work, creating a safe environment to exchange ideas and feedback, ensuring productive teamwork and performance, and boosting employee engagement and job satisfaction.
People with high emotional intelligence can communicate with clients effectively by patiently handling sensitive situations. Such qualities are vital for successful and sustainable cross-team collaborations, internal communication, and stakeholder management.
High EQ is linked with efficient problem-solving. Therefore, emotionally intelligent professionals:
Regular feedback on employees’ performance helps businesses become successful industry leaders. The best method to provide feedback is by paying attention to the employees’ work and achievements. Employees may easily remember comments when team leaders or managers acknowledge how they operate and positively react in challenging situations. The feedback-giver must be emotionally intelligent to ensure constructive feedback is accepted positively.
An engaging and productive meeting is the outcome of high EQ. Healthy discussions happen when everyone pays attention to one another, celebrates good ideas and refrains from interrupting meetings and collaborative sessions.
One way of assessing a candidate’s EQ is by incorporating behavioral indicators in interview questions. This includes asking questions about feedback received, conflicts with colleagues or leaders and the perception towards change.
The interviewer must also ask relevant follow-up questions. The answers received will provide insights into how self-aware the candidate is of their thoughts and emotions.
Another simple way to assess EQ is through assessments. These sophisticated tests aim to determine a candidate’s emotional intelligence level and whether they can recognize, understand, manage, and control their emotions and reactions.
An excellent example of EQ assessment is Mercer | Mettl’s EQ Test, which allows organizations to evaluate a candidate’s emotional and social skills. Apart from assessing a candidate’s emotional intelligence, it also aims to identify key improvement areas for personal development.
Various comprehensive psychometric tests are available from Mercer | Mettl to gauge a person’s behavior, aptitude, intelligence and personality. These tests help match a person’s skills to a suitable vocation for career counseling and employment.
1. Mercer | Mettl’s Personality Inventory (MPI) is an innovative, evidence-based assessment. It measures relevant personality traits required for vital work and helps predict behavioral competencies. MPI is designed to help employers gain access to objective information about a job applicant or an employee, which is critical in influencing their behavior at work
2. Mercer | Mettl’s Critical Thinking Assessment measures a candidate’s capacity to think critically, solve problems and make decisions. It enables organizations to choose people who can identify problems at work and effectively address them through critical information analysis. It assesses the following competencies:
3. Mercer | Mettl Test for logical reasoning evaluates a candidate’s ability to draw appropriate conclusions while considering multiple factors. Employees with logical reasoning abilities base their decisions on facts and information, producing impartial findings. This assessment analyzes a candidate’s capacity to recognize the collection of pertinent data.
4. Mercer | Mettl Emotional Intelligence Assessment evaluates a person’s emotional intelligence and how it can affect relations and workplaces. It aims to identify key improvement areas for personal development and focus on those strengths that one can leverage to the full potential at work.
Also, explore: Tests for evaluating emotional intelligence
There are several traits to seek when hiring exemplary employees, and testing for emotional intelligence help predict a person’s success at work.
Understanding the various branches of emotional intelligence and vital EQ indicators and adopting holistic tools when hiring for emotional intelligence is integral to building sustainable and prosperous workforces.
Emotional intelligence assesses a candidate for specific job roles. It is used in recruitment and training and enables HR professionals to find the perfect fit based on the strengths and weaknesses, self-control of emotions, ethics and empathy of the candidates.
A candidate’s emotional intelligence can be improved with proper training and practice by following the below tips: I. Be clear and respectful regarding goals and expectations. II. Engage in employee conversations. III. Be confident and optimistic about the team. IV. Be a good listener. V. Consider other people’s views. VI. Be open to receiving honest feedback. VII. Stay considerate of the employee's needs.
Yes, employers look at and value the EQ of a candidate because it helps in the following ways: I. Managing work pressure maturely II. Understanding coworkers and cooperating with them III. Fostering a good work relationship IV. Making mindful decisions
Originally published October 27 2022, Updated July 5 2023
Vaishali has been working as a content creator at Mercer | Mettl since 2022. Her deep understanding and hands-on experience in curating content for education and B2B companies help her find innovative solutions for key business content requirements. She uses her expertise, creative writing style, and industry knowledge to improve brand communications.
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