5 Tips for Hiring Emotionally Intelligent People

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is a must for individuals, teams and organizations that want to succeed. Classic leadership traits like charisma, determination, accountability, empowerment, innovation, and an ability to inspire others are still very important, but these traits alone are not enough to make the grade, particularly since leaders have been challenged with the new way of working and changing workforce dynamics. 

Emotionally intelligent leaders are better able to inspire others, handle stress, rise above adversity, and build strong teams. They are not intimidated by conflict, and, for the most part, are more confident in their roles than leaders who may lack emotional intelligence. The same can be said for those in non-leadership positions. Everyone in the organization should have some level of emotional intelligence in order for teamwork, collaboration and innovation to flourish.

Do you recruit and hire for EQ?  If not, then tune in as we have five simple tips to assist you in recruiting and selecting the right individuals for your organization.

Before we begin, let’s look at the core qualities that make someone emotionally intelligent:

● Empathy

● Motivation

● Self-awareness

● Self-management and self-regulation

● Social skills

If you do nothing else to change your hiring practices, you should at least keep these core qualities in mind as you look over resumes and interview potential candidates. 

5 Tips for Making Emotional Intelligence Part of Your Hiring Practices

If you’re ready to go further and truly transform the way you recruit and hire for your team, the following five tips may assist in making a huge difference.

#1 — Look and Listen for Signs of High EQ

A resume alone cannot ensure that you are able to detect a person’s EQ but there are subtle clues to look for by how they describe themselves and the language that they use in both the interview and in their resume.

You will want to target your questions based on the role you are recruiting for, and as an example let’s use a Project Manager role. You may want to ask for an example of a successful project launch and what made it so successful beyond meeting a deadline and delivering on the task at hand. Ask questions about stakeholder management, how they managed conflict and nurtured relationships to ensure the overall success of the project. 

Additionally, if a candidate’s resume indicates that the individual can communicate difficult information with positive results, then ask them for an example and tune into what they have to say.  

Or take it one step further and have them complete an EQ assessment to gauge their level of emotional intelligence. There are a variety of assessments online and Daniel Goleman’s team recommends this website to explore the various EQ assessments that are available http://www.eiconsortium.org/measures/measures.html

#2 — You Set the Stage & Create a Positive Environment for Interviews

If you want to really get a bird’s-eye view on your potential hire’s behavior, provide them a relaxed and safe atmosphere during the interview. This will create a more at-ease setting and allow them to just be themselves so you can see the real them in your discussion.  

Tune into their body language and how they are carrying themselves throughout the interaction. A comfortable candidate will show you who they really are, and this is where their level of competency of emotional intelligence will shine through or their lack of it.

#3 — Use Strategic Behavioral Interview Techniques

Instead of keeping strictly to interviewing for the specific needs of the position, try coming at the discussion from the perspective of whether the candidate is a good fit, based on how their skills match with the role you are looking to fill. 

We recommend asking questions, either hypothetical or from the candidate’s past around how they handled certain situations. Observe how they react and how they share examples from their work history. You should then be able to gauge more about the candidate’s behavior, their level of emotional intelligence and overall abilities and competencies.

#4 — Are They a Good Culture Fit?

Your organization has its own culture, values and ethics, and every individual in your organization comes with their own unique personality. If you can see a candidate fitting in and blending in effectively with your existing team, and they express that this is important to them as well, they probably possess some level of emotional intelligence which is a positive sign. 

Most likely, this type of person will come into your organization with a willingness to fit in and handle a broad range of emotions and personality types effectively. If you want to take this one step further, ask them how they envision fitting into the company’s culture and building relationships that will enable their success, and then listen to what they have to say as it will paint a clearer picture for you on their level of EQ.

#5 — Look at Other Aspects of the Candidate

Ask some questions about what the candidate does outside of work. What drives them? What are their passions and personal goals and interests? What types of adversity have they had to deal with in their lives? 

The way a person goes about living their life outside of work can tell you a great deal about how they will operate in the office, and whether they may be emotional intelligent and the right fit for your team.

Are You Challenged Hiring for Emotional Intelligence?

Leaders and individuals who possess emotional intelligence are essential to your organization’s success. Those who have and hone this skill constantly will be a good choice over the long term.

Unsure how best to customize your EQ hiring plan? I would love an opportunity to share my insights and strategies for overcoming this hurdle.

Feel free to reach out to me by calling 1.855.871.3374 or send me an email at joanne.trotta@leadersedgeinc.ca.

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