In the era of COVID-19, many professionals are scouring for a new job to replace the one they lost to the pandemic. With an influx of job candidates, human resources must turn to the increasingly popular scientific process of hiring candidates based on emotional intelligence (EI).
Strong EI is vital to forming teams that work together cohesively as they have a certain kind of professional chemistry that discerns them from the rest of the bunch.
It’s easy for a job candidate to rattle off their software proficiencies and case studies of happy bosses, clients or customers, and, unfortunately, it can sometimes be easy to overload a resume with a long list of skills and capabilities. However, a critical point of advancing one candidate in the interview process is to find out more about their personality and what attributes bring their resume to life.
What will help HR managers finetune their search for their company’s next rockstar employee is investigating candidates’ ability to identify, assess and manage the emotions of oneself, and to positively impact those of others and of groups.
Elements of emotional intelligence
EI accounts for 85-90 percent of the difference between outstanding leaders and their more average peers, and there are four dimensions to emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management. Embracing these nuances of human emotion in the workplace can have pragmatic benefits, such as better collaboration among employees and a happier workplace.
Understanding yourself involves knowing your weaknesses, strengths, motivators, values and impact on others. Self-aware employees are self-confident but still show a thirst for constructive criticism. They plan their time properly and manage deadlines proactively.
The ability to control and redirect disruptive impulses, moods and thoughts keep good employees on track. These employees can handle the complexities of life all at once by compartmentalizing when is right and when is wrong to address certain issues, thus keeping their focus on work while at work. They can adapt to changing situations, no matter how difficult, and constantly push to better themselves.
Employees with high social awareness show empathy, organizational awareness and value service at the workplace. This is important when tasked with making critical decisions and working while being sensitive to cross-cultural differences. For example, this type of employee would understand what tasks his or her boss perceives as more important than others.
The foundation of relationship management consists of cooperation and teamwork. Employees with strong relationship management skills can handle emotions in relationships well and accurately read social situations, interacting smoothly. These skills can be used to persuade, lead, negotiate and settle disputes. Basically, strong relationship management means a good team player that works well with others.
What emotional intelligence means for hiring managers
The competitive job market allows employers to more carefully analyze job candidates for certain intrinsic qualities that will enhance the company’s profitability. Technical skills and responsibility are necessary for any employee to possess, but when it boils down to which job candidate is more likely to deserve a promotion in the future, interpersonal skills are the most distinguishable traits.
In fact, 71 percent of employers say they value emotional intelligence over IQ, according to a CareerBuilder survey, for the following reasons:
- Employees [with high EI] are more likely to stay calm under pressure
- Employees know how to resolve conflict effectively
- Employees are empathetic to their team members and react accordingly
- Employees lead by example
- Employees tend to make more thoughtful business decisions
What makes a leader better than the average employee
Two job candidates may seem identical on paper, but work does not simply get done just through email. Successful work involves building and nurturing relationships, strong listening skills and interacting with others. This is why it’s important to consider job candidates’ emotional intelligence during the interview process. Leaders may not sound better on paper. The average, however, do.
Emotional intelligence differentiates the most successful employees and leaders from the average. When every employee is just about as smart as one another, those with these abilities win the competitive edge. If you want to hire an employee that will be worthy of a promotion and develop into a leader, you must start considering interviewing for emotional intelligence.