Have you ever been in the situation where you hired a candidate with exceptional skills and qualifications, but later regretted it because they fared poorly in team environments and overall just had bad synergy within your workforce?
Well that could be because you may be favouring a candidate’s IQ over their EQ. What’s EQ exactly? EQ stands for “Emotional Quotient” . It measures a person’s adequacy in areas like self-awareness, empathy and dealing sensitively with other people.
But why is that so important for a workforce? Goleman’s study of 200 companies revealed that EQ accounts for 66% of a candidate’s performance difference between individuals.
Essentially, candidates with higher EQs would perform better than candidates with a high IQ, even if their technical skills were not at the same level, compared to their smarter counterparts.
Integrating EQ in the workforce
EQ affects a person’s ability to build relationships at work which are essential in a team, it also helps people transition into leadership roles and build a positive work environment. However the biggest benefit is that high EQ individuals recover from failure much faster. They possess the ability to self reflect, learn and adapt to changing environments and circumstances.
As employers, you may be wondering, how do you screen for EQ candidates? The authors of The Emotionally Intelligent Workplace, highlight key points that alleviate an average candidate to a super performer, these are: Organizational Awareness, Self-Confidence, Achievement Drive, Influence and Team Leadership. Creating an interview routine and process that incorporate behavioral questions around these points would be a great start.
Finding candidates with EQ
The Very Well EQ Test and Psychology Tool’s EQ Test are also good alternatives, however they are probably not something every candidate would be willing to take as it requires a significant amount of time to complete. These should be reserved for the final rounds of an interview.
A quicker solution would be to incorporate these questions into a pre screen questionnaire, this way you will be able to assess a candidate’s EQ potential quickly even if their technical skills are lacking, allowing you to make better hiring decisions. As recruiters may be rejecting a candidate if their skills aren’t up to scale but this may be causing you to overlook high performing candidates
Finally, it’s not enough just to hire emotionally intelligent candidates. Like any successful workforce , they need to be nurtured through character education and building a company culture that emphasizes empathy. It’s important to remember that these candidates are team players and thrive with a robust support system.