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How to Hire Emotionally Intelligent People

January 14, 2021
3 minutes to read

What does the future of work hold for us?

The pace of change in the world of work has never been faster, and is unlikely to ever be this slow again. Many experts make predictions about what’s in store for the future of organisations in terms of the technology we use and the skillsets we will need.

On most of the lists of skills and attributes required for success in the future of work, you will see ‘Emotional Intelligence’ (For examples, Forbes, World Economic Forum, Human Resources Online, CNBC, and HR Vision ).

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is a set of social and emotional skills, which influence our ability to understand and manage ourselves, our emotions, and the emotions of others. It relates to our ability to maintain relationships, handle stress, and use emotions effectively when making decisions.

Hiring Emotionally Intelligent People

While EI is a highly sought-after set of skills, it can be a challenging one to recruit for.

An obstacle some employers face is that if they give candidates a self-report measure of EI (such as the EQ-i 2.0), the candidate may exaggerate their skills, provide an overly positive impression of themselves, or give the answers they think the employer wants.

One way to overcome this is by using a test, an objective measurement of Emotional Intelligence, such as the MSCEIT (the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test™).

Scientifically valid and reliable, the MSCEIT uses a variety of tasks that measure a person’s skills in four key areas: Perceiving, Using, Understanding, and Managing emotions.

It directly tests the individual’s ability to perform tasks and solve emotional problems, and asks objective and impersonal questions which are based on scenarios typical of everyday life. This is valuable because it removes the subjectivity and biases a person may have about how they perceive their EI. It enhances the selection process of a company by removing potential biases on their side.

Developing Emotionally Intelligent People

Another trend that is predicted for the future of work is that companies will ‘build’ rather than ‘buy’ talent, i.e. upskilling and retraining existing staff rather than taking on new hires.

From our experience and the experience of experts around the world, the use of the EQ-i 2.0 or EQ360 is extremely valuable, from entry-level all the way up to C-suite. This is a self-report measure which allows individuals understand how they see their own EI skills. Often, it provides insight and a language to discuss these soft skills.

The 360 aspect allows them to explore whether they are showing up how they believe they are, or where blind spots lie in their perception of themselves. They can identify if there are discrepancies in how they see their skills versus how others see those same skills.

Get in touch if you would like more information on hiring or developing emotionally intelligent people in your organisation!

If you would like to become certified to use either assessments with your clients or colleagues, it is a two-day course.

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