Hire with Emotional Intelligence

By Ekaterina Grishko

Often times hiring managers try to figure out an ultimate formula for an ideal candidate’s personality traits. It is a particularly tricky task considering that each position puts an employee through very unique experiences and, as a result, requires a specific set of attitudes, interpersonal habits, and stress-coping mechanisms to become successful in the job. The secret is that a formula like that doesn’t even need to be invented, as it already exists within one key factor: emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is a relatively new concept that was introduced in the last decade of the 20th century and has been significantly popularized since then. Simply put, it stands for one’s ability to understand emotions and what causes them. All of us are familiar with an IQ – Intelligence quotient – and we tend to believe that high scores on IQ tests signify a larger potential for one’s success. In fact, this assumption is more stereotypical than factual.

According to many psychologists and scholars such as G. Mann, IQ accounts for only 20 per cent of one’s success. The rest is a product of one’s EQ – the level of emotional intelligence.

Let’s break this argument down to demonstrate the biggest benefits of hiring emotionally intelligent employees.

Self-aware go-getters
The key positive outcomes of emotional intelligence in one way or another are based on people’s ability to understand themselves. Emotionally intelligent individuals always realize why they feel certain way. They know how to control, express and manipulate their reactions to external and internal stimuli. They understand how to take an advantage of their good and bad days. In terms of performance, self-awareness guarantees employee’s stability, commitment to professional goals and maximized productivity.

Fantastic communicators
Emotionally intelligent people are better communicators. This results from their sensitivity to various verbal and nonverbal communicative clues that they receive from the people they interact with. They know what buttons to push in order to achieve a certain outcome of a conversation. They can empathize with people but they also understand when it’s appropriate to become critical of someone’s words or actions. Emotionally intelligent people manage to get their point across in a persuasive but non-aggressive manner, which makes it easy and exciting to listen to them.

Favourite team players
The previous point is logically followed by the fact that emotional intelligence helps people get acceptance from other members of their social group. Sometimes it seems like they speak multiple languages and manage to attract even the most skeptical and closed members of the team. Emotionally intelligent people have an ability to understand where others come from without letting anyone undermine their own position. This ability is crucial for finding a compromise among team players with different opinions.

Inspiring leaders
When typing “emotional intelligence and… ” in the google search, the first suggested word to complete the request is “leadership”, which is truly reasonable. In fact, every component of emotional intelligence such as self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, social skills, and empathy, represents qualities of a great leader. People who master these components are very effective in analyzing the environment they work in, setting realistic goals and staying persistent. From a professional standpoint, having a clear vision and dedication to work produces a trustworthy and reliable image. Thus, emotionally intelligent people naturally gather other team members around themselves and often serve as sources of inspiration and motivation.

Easy collaborators
The process of building relationships always involves emotions. Long lasting and mutually beneficial connections are impossible to create based on dry business proposals alone. Emotional awareness of oneself and of others is a key aspect of networking.  Emotionally intelligent individuals are good at reading people and predicting the effects of their own behavior on others’ emotional responses. They can figure out whether their communication partner is interested in the topic of conversation, feels comfortable, anxious, excited… But most importantly, they can easily adapt to these reactions in order to build a healthy connection.

Emotional intelligence is a valued ability in any aspect of life, professional and personal. None of us is born with it, but training it is absolutely essential for becoming successful. As a hiring manager, you will benefit from hiring and training emotionally intelligent people as they will be the ones to bring your company the most positive results.

Ekaterina Grishko is a Marketing Coordinator at Ashton College. Founded in 1998, Ashton College has become a national and international force in the field of higher education.

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