Recruiters: Use Emotional Intelligence to Find Your Rockstar Candidates

September 25, 2017


No matter what your business does, or what part of industry you’re a part of, it’s the people you work with that make your business what it is.


An important factor in a positive work culture is the Emotional Intelligence (EI) of the people who work there. Whether you’re hiring for a startup or a large-scale corporation, a thorough knowledge of how to use EI as part of your hiring practices can be of extreme value for recruiters and hiring managers alike.


According to a three-year study conducted by Leadership IQ, 81% of new hires fail. For 23% of these failures, the reason for failure was not due to a lack of skills related to the job, but a lack of emotional intelligence skills, such as self awareness about personal emotions, and recognizing  the emotions of others.


So how can recruiters and hiring managers use emotional intelligence to their advantage during the hiring process?

Don’t Go Straight for the “Yes” People

As a recruiter, you’ve had your fair share of “yes” people step through your door. These are the types of individuals who tend to agree with basically anything that a person of authority says.


Although this might seem like a positive attribute for some, experienced hiring managers realize that they should be looking for self-starters and independent thinkers. Those who consistently say yes, or have trouble saying no, have actually been tied to a higher chance of experiencing depression or stress within the workplace, according to research by the University of California.


Narrow Down the Core Behaviours Necessary for Successful Hires

Many job descriptions place emphasis on the core qualifications of the ideal candidate, when in reality, the core behaviours of the ideal candidate are equally as important. It’s vital that hiring managers and recruiters think about relevant emotional behaviours of their candidates. Considering EI will enable new hires to effortlessly blend into the existing workplace culture, while completing their job successfully.


Depending on the environment and skills needed, common basic core behaviours that allow people to effectively carry out a job are:


  • The ability to adapt to new situations

  • The ability to solve problems quickly and effectively

  • A high level of confidence within groups

  • The ability to communicate effectively


Although relevant emotional skills will vary greatly from business to business, recruiters can quickly narrow down their candidate list by focusing on the prevalence of emotions that lead to desired behaviours and employment outcomes during the interview process.

Trust Your Gut

You can also use data to back your gut instinct to ensure a potential recruit will successfully fit into your workplace. Focusing on emotional intelligence within the workplace can also have a positive effect on the profitability of the company you’re hiring for: research shows that firms employing managers with high emotional intelligence have 34% higher profit growth.


No matter the company, it’s imperative that recruiters focus on potential hires’ EI to generate success and create an inviting and motivating work environment. If you’re looking for more information on the use of EI within the workplace, contact us today.


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