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Recruitment Strategy   | 2 Min Read

Emotional Quotient: The Secret Sauce of Effective Recruitment

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Hiring is much like walking on eggshells—one wrong decision can spell disaster, affecting team spirit and client relationships negatively. Even if the new person is a one-man army, no business would want to put so much at stake. That's why hiring managers are always on the lookout for better strategies of hiring. But most of the times, they make a fundamental mistake, focusing too much on accomplishments and not giving importance to Emotional Quotient (EQ).

The idea of Emotional Quotient—that intra-personal intelligence matters as much as, if not more, than Intelligence Quotient (IQ)—was advanced in the 1980s by researchers such as Wayne Payne and Howard Gardner. Over the years, popular thinkers like Daniel Goleman have added to the concept, leading to our present understanding of EQ:

EQ = Self-awareness + Social awareness + Self-management + Relationship Management

Business impact of EQ-driven processes

Does EQ really improve business results? There are several studies supporting that EQ-driven hiring leads to higher entrepreneurial potential, increased employee satisfaction, and more productivity. For instance, L'Oreal was able to achieve 63% less turnover and significantly improve sales by hiring salespeople on the basis of 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.

Consider what this white paper from the Kenan-Flagler Business School has to say about choosing EQ over IQ:

[H]igh emotional intelligence can boost career success, entrepreneurial potential, leadership talent, health, relationship satisfaction, humor, and happiness (Chamorro-Premuzic, 2013). [. . .] a study conducted by business consulting firm Genos found a positive correlation between the emotional intelligence of business leaders and the employee engagement levels of their direct reports (Genos, 2011). ”

In other words, keeping EQ on priority when evaluating new hires pays off significantly. Moreever, getting started is easy.

Job description: 

The process of integrating EQ into hiring begins right when you post the job description. Make sure you include EQ requirements also along with job-specific skills, letting candidates know that soft skills are of importance to your organization.

Written tests: 

Include psychometric tests in the written part of your hiring process. You can either use standardized tests (Yale's Emotional Intelligence Test, Goleman’s Revised Emotional Intelligence Competency Model, Bar-On’s Emotional Intelligence Assessment, etc.) or use them to create your own.

During the interview: 

When interviewing the candidate, pay close attention to body language, influencing skills, etc. The idea here is not to overwhelm the candidates, but to see how good they are in communication, both verbal and non-verbal.

The importance of EQ in increasing employee engagement has been demonstrated beyond debate in various studies. The practice of using emotional intelligence as a measure of effectiveness is now a best practice among Fortune 500 companies. You too can embrace it and see the difference it makes.

Topics: Recruitment Strategy

Originally published May 06 2019,updated June 29 2019

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