Why It Matters
The U.S. Department of Labor estimates the average cost of a bad hiring decision can equal 30% of the individual’s first-year potential earnings. That’s an alarming statistic for the company’s bottom line.
That’s why many companies are changing their hiring methods and shifting the focus from a candidate’s depth of education or technical skills and certifications to their emotional intelligence. They’re looking for an approach with the potential for better, longer-lasting results.
It’s a valid shift. There’s much to be learned from examining the various components that make up “emotional intelligence” (EI or EQ). Characteristics of emotional intelligence – self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and a variety of other “social skills – are now recognized for the crucial role they play in job success. In fact, the top five reasons why employers are placing value on emotional intelligence are because candidates with a high EI:
• Usually remain calm under pressure
• Resolve conflict effectively
• Are empathetic to colleagues, and act accordingly
• Lead by example
• Typically put more consideration into business decisions
These valuable traits have a huge impact on a person’s ability to work well with others, deal with change, be an effective leader and/or team player, and in general, attain a satisfying level of success in the workplace.
According to Laszlo Bock, head of people operations for Google, “When someone is just “book smart,” they may not necessarily have emotional intelligence and therefore have a harder time learning from their mistakes.”
Emotional Intelligence isn’t just a buzz word – it makes a powerful difference for your company. Successful companies have learned to look beyond IQ, work experience, specific training and skills during the hiring process. Yes, of course, they matter, but assessing emotional intelligence is every bit as important. That’s why it’s more than worthwhile to learn how to tune-in to these valuable attributes as you sort through job applicants.
So, what clues indicate a candidate’s EI? What interview style and questions help you measure EI levels? What doesn’t work? We’ll share the answers to these questions in next week’s blog, “Emotional Intelligence – Part II – How to Hire for It.”
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