Emotional Intelligence: The In-Demand Skill You Need to Hire For
By Shannon Vize, Content Strategist at Mondo, an Addison Group company
When you go to make a hiring decision, you base it off several things, like past work experience, likability, culture fit, etc. But we know that it often comes down to intellect. Sure likability is important, but Tech experts, specifically, must have the smarts to get the job done well. But by valuing intellect over everything, we miss the true mark of a successful candidate: emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence, also referred to as EI or EQ (emotional quotient), is a buzzword everyone likes to throw around, including quasi-counselors on shows like The Bachelor. But it’s often an overused yet undervalued word when it comes to hiring.
Let’s Get Emotional(ly Intelligent)
Emotional intelligence first picked up steam in the 90s with Daniel Goleman’s bestseller, “Emotional Intelligence.” The book outlined the five core constructs of EI, which are:
- Social Skills
Considering the findings in the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report that emotional intelligence will be one of the top 10 job skills by 2020, it’s critical hiring managers and C-level roles understand why hiring for this skill is critical to a successful business. As more of these hiring experts learn about EI, the skill set has started popping up on more job postings as one of the primary job requirements.
Studies throughout the past several years have noted EI as a core skill set of 90 percent of superstar performers in various industries, not high IQ like previously believed. (Which was only present in 70 percent of top performers.) So what do those with EQ, as some call it, do better? A lot actually.
Employees with high levels of emotional intelligence handle pressure and stress better by being aware of any changes in their emotions as they happen and implementing healthy coping mechanisms to relieve any stress or negative emotions to remain in control. They know when to take a step back rather than waiting until they reach their breaking point. Their empathetic nature allows them to collaborate effectively with and react accordingly to others from a diverse range of cultures and background, which reduces the occurrence of internal bickering or office politics.
These individuals also tend to have excellent listening skills and pick up on body language allowing them additional insight into conversations and the ability to easily adjust their behavior or work as recommended. They also know when to say no in terms of commitment and their ego for the betterment of the business.
Most of us get the general idea of emotional intelligence. But recognizing this in the hiring process is a serious challenge. Don’t stress though; we got you covered.