Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EIQ), in many ways, is the essence of being human. Our ability to draw on it as a reserve helps us in so many ways. Emotional intelligence is considered to be twice as important than IQ and technical skills.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to control and evaluate emotions, a term created by Peter Salavoy and John Mayer and popularised by Dan Goleman in his book.

Why Emotional Intelligence is a crucial parameter in modern recruitment?

In a survey conducted by the World Economic forum, emotional intelligence was considered by global employers to be the most important skill they would look for while employing potential candidates.

The recruitment process has traditionally focused on assessing qualifications, experience and skills. Leading employers have now agreed that understanding emotional intelligence can help identify traits and characteristics that will help you in evaluating how the candidates would respond to work situations like:

  • High pressure environments
  • Interactions with clients
  • Working with other teammates
  • Working with different levels of seniority
  • Different working environments

Embracing the nuances of emotional intelligence in the workplace can have pragmatic benefits such as better collaboration among employees and a happier workplace.

Daniel Goleman emphasised the need to teach emotional intelligence in a systematic way to children. A self-aware and emotionally intelligent manager would plan his time properly and get the work done well in advance of deadlines.

Self-management (one of the key attributes of EIQ) is the ability to control, recognise and redirect disruptive impulses and moods. For example, a problem occurs with the team’s presentation. The leader ought to resist the urge to scream. Instead should consider the possible reasons for failure, explain the consequences of their mistakes and explore solutions together.

A passion for the work you do, optimism and energy to improve are the key hallmarks of an emotionally mature person.

Empathy is considering others feelings when making decisions. Consider a situation when a team is trying to pitch to a Japanese client. After the pitch, the client remains silent and usually this could be interpreted as disapproval. But an emotionally mature teammate senses interest owing to the body language and continues with the pitch and wins the deal.

It is very clear that leaders in some of the most successful companies, demonstrate high levels of emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence starts with yourself. You cannot enhance other people’s well-being and sense of self without first understanding how you operate on an emotional level

The more we automate tasks, the more we realize the benefits of emotional maturity

5 ways to evaluate emotional intelligence in a candidate:

  1. Recruiters need to pay attention to the candidate’s level of self-awareness. Questions related to situations they have already been in will help in analysing their emotional maturity.
  2. When questioned on how they dealt with a frustrating situation at work, an emotionally intelligent person would clearly show self-awareness, an ability to accept responsibility and empathy towards others. Asking insightful interview questions can help understand a candidate’s ability to learn from negative experiences and move on.
  3. Pay attention to the language they use while describing emotions. The more specific they are, the more likely they are to exhibit emotionally intelligent behaviour.
  4. Observe their verbal and physical language to see if they are adaptable and open to change.
  5. Conduct group interviews – Observe how the candidate interacts in a group.

Incorporating emotional intelligence testing into your candidate selection process can help hire the right candidate who would be a good fit into your company. It is found to be the most crucial factor in determining how successful and apt a candidate would be in his role.

How do you handle conflict? How well you are able to put your opinions aside and stay solution oriented is an indicator of your EIQ. The workplace is an environment where a group of different people come together and work towards a common goal. In order to be successful, everyone has to support each other.

Common traits of emotionally intelligent people

Some specific traits that you could look out for while hiring include:

Team player-They work for the good of their team. They are happy when their teammate achieves something.

Positive attitude-They take day to day workplace issues in stride.

Focused– They treat their work as priority even with other issues going on in their personal life.

Accountability– They don’t blame others when mistakes happen. They take up responsibility when a crisis occurs.

A number of advantages come with a high EIQ such as employee retention, increased productivity and hence a better success rate. Luckily for humans, they can systematically develop emotional intelligence. When you hire people based not only on their skills and experience but EIQ as well, you nurture a self-sustaining culture. The group thus formed are self-aware and self-driven. They are committed to the collective success of the company and not just their own. Then, when problem arise, they approach them compassionately instead of pointing fingers and wasting your organization’s time and resources.

By prioritising EIQ in your recruitment, you build a motivated team that supports one another and ultimately drives the company’s success.